Juan “El Gallo” Francisco Estrada (33-2, 24 KOs) has his sights set on taking on the best competition. The WBA/WBO flyweight champion is still recovering from a hand injury that has kept him out of the ring since September 2015, but he and his team are already working feverishly to set up a bout with WBO junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (37-1-4, 21 KOs) upon his return.
Per Miguel Rivera of BoxingScene.com, that fight has yet to be finalized, but Estrada has made it clear, he’s eager to train and to prepare to take on the Filipino champion.
“Since December, I have not trained,” said Estrada. “For already more than three months, I’ve gone without doing anything and I’m really upset about it. My return could be in July or August with an opponent to be confirmed. Although it is being negotiated, at the moment it could be with Nietes.”
It would seem both parties are moving toward the clash. Nietes has already made the move to 112 pounds after his October victory over Juan Alejo via unanimous decision. With Nietes having already committed to competing in Estrada’s weight class, the fight seems more tangible than ever before.
Nietes is said to have initially made the move to 112 pounds in hopes of tangling with undefeated WBC flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs). The Nicaraguan slugger has earned a solid fan base with his all-action style, and he’s often been paired with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Facing Gonzalez likely represents an opportunity at a lucrative payday for Nietes.
That explains why Nietes isn’t the only one who covets a shot at Gonzalez. Per Rivera, Estrada is also eyeing a scrap with Chocolatito.
“I am very interested in a fight with Gonzalez,” Estrada said. “I know at the moment it is very difficult to do because of the sum of money that Gonzalez is requesting to get into the ring, but I’m sure it will happen.”
Gonzalez is scheduled to face McWilliams Arroyo on April 23, thus he doesn’t appear to be a logical opponent for Estrada upon the latter’s return. Should Gonzalez win—as most expect—it could be more feasible to have Gonzalez face the winner of Estrada vs. Nietes in late summer or early fall.
However it turns out, it’s great to see champions chasing greatness along with the massive paydays. Hopefully, Estrada gets Nietes and then we’ll just have to see what happens next.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.