World Boxing Council World super flyweight champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras (35-0-1, 27 KOs) believes he’s got the punching power and the speed to defeat former three division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs) in their fight this Saturday night on HBO Championship Boxing at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The Gonzalez-Cuadras fight will be shown at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. It comes on after the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Kell Brook fight, which has a start time at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT.
The 5’3” Gonzalez is moving up in weight from the flyweight division [112lbs] to take on the younger and bigger 5’4” Cuadras for his 115lb title. In addition to Cuadras’ one inch height advantage, he has a two inch reach advantage over Gonzalez.
What could be more important is the size of Cuadras. After he rehydrates for his fights, he looks huge like a lightweight, and he could very well have a big weight advantage over the 29-year-old Gonzalez. That may be the most difficult area for “Chocolatito” to deal with in this fight.
It’s not so much the speed or the power of Cuadras. It’s how big the guy is after he rehydrates. He puts on a lot of weight and appears bigger than his typical opponents.
“I think I have the power here to win this fight,” said Cuadras. “You have to remember one thing; I’m the champion at 115. I have the belt. I’m the best at 115. He’s coming up to challenge me. Let’s see how good he is. We’ll find out in the ring. For this one, I have to be fast. I have to be able to move to take advantage of my speed,” said Cuadras.
We could see Gonzalez lose for the first time on Saturday night, because he’s facing a much bigger fighter than him in Cuadras. Gonzalez is a great fighter, but I think he may have problems with the huge size advantage that Cuadras will likely have in this fight. Cuadras could arguably be fighting right now in the super bantamweight division if he wanted to rather than boiling down to fight at super flyweight.
I don’t think Cuadras would do nearly so well at 122lbs than he’s doing right now at 115lbs, which is probably the whole reason why he’s choosing to drop weight to fight in the super flyweight division. If Cuadras had to fight in a division more suited towards his body size at super bantamweight or featherweight, he would have to deal with guys like Guillermo Rigondeaux, Scott Quigg, Nonito Donaire, Gary Russell Jr, Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez. I don’t think Cuadras could beat any of those fighters. I think they’re too good for him. But with Cuadras draining down to 115 to fight at super flyweight, he’s able to dominate smaller fighters than himself. I see Cuadras as the super flyweight division’s version of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez with the way he’s so huge for the weight class. Canelo is huge for the junior middleweight weight division and for his catch-weight fights at 155.
In evaluating Gonzalez’s last fight against McWilliams Arroyo, Cuadras said, “He didn’t look too good. I have the qualities to beat him. I saw what I need to from that fight. If I hurt him, believe me, I’m going to finish him. If I hurt him with a good shot, I’m knocking him out.”
Cuadras is extremely confident of victory in this fight, and he’s done a lot of trash talking in the buildup. In contrast, Gonzalez has been mostly silent. He’s not the type to boast a lot about himself in promoting his fights. This has enabled Cuadras to endear himself with the boxing media, because he’s done virtually all the talking because he likes to talk about his talent and what he plans on doing inside the ring.
Since turning pro in 2008, Cuadras has looked very good in beating everyone that has stepped foot inside the ring to face himself for Jose Salgado, who he fought to a four-round technical draw in 2014. Cuadras has had no problems beating guys like Luis Conception, Koki Eto, Richie Mepranum, and Marvin Mobait. We don’t know how good Cuadras is as of yet through, because his competition hasn’t been that good.
Perhaps a better glimpse of Cuadras’ ability can be gleaned from looking at who he lost to in the amateur ranks. Cuadras was beaten by Oscar Valdez and Jose Murray in 2007. Those were arguably the last quality opponents that Cuadras fought, and he was soundly beaten by both of them. Valdez is now the WBO featherweight champion and he’s looking almost unbeatable. Murray turned pro in 2009, and his career hasn’t turned out nearly so well. He’s been beaten twice by Liam Walsh. Murray is fighting at lightweight.
Also on the Gonzalez-Cuadras card is a junior middleweight fight between sluggers Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jesus Soto Karass. It’s not a great fight in terms of relevant fighters. It’s more of an entertaining match-up than anything, because neither of these guys are major players in the 154lb division. They’re just two sluggers that like to brawl, and they should provide some entertainment for the boxing fans at The Forum.