Promoter Eddie Hearn has expressed his concern at the scorecard of judge Carlos Sucre in Saturday night’s thrilling fight between Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada 42-3 (28) and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez 50-3 (41) at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
WBC super flyweight champion Estrada added Gonzalez’s WBA strap to his collection with a split decision victory in an exciting back-and-forth battle that most fans and pundits thought could go either way.
Two of the three judges agreed with Jesse Reyes seeing the fight for Gonzalez 115-113, while judge David Sutherland awarded the bout to Estrada 115-113. Judge Sucre delivered a card of 117-111 for Estrada that has drawn widespread derision online.
“When I got in the ring, it was like 115-113,” Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn told Fino Boxing. “I thought 117-111 is terrible. I thought Chocolatito won the fight in the last round, so I thought it was all square going into the last.
“But there were so many close rounds. So 115-113 either way, you can’t really argue. I think two judges had it 115-113. But 117-111, that kind of spoils it and that enhances people saying, ‘Oh, it’s a robbery.’
“It was a close fight. It could have gone either way. But it was incredible to watch. The sixth round and the twelfth round. There were 2,593 punches thrown in the fight. It’s incredible.”
It comes as the WBA has announced it will suspend Sucre from judging their fights pending a performance review.
“I asked the Officials Committee to evaluate the fight although I think it is not necessary,” WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza said.
“It was a great fight, very close. We have to respect ‘Gallo’ Estrada, who made a great effort. In this case the judges favoured him, however I sent a temporary suspension while Sucre is heard, because big shows and fights like this one do not deserve the kind of score he gave.
“His decision was misguided yesterday.”
Hearn heaped praise on Estrada and Gonzalez, who last fought in Los Angeles eight years ago in a bout that Gonzalez won by unanimous decision.
“You can watch it again and again,” Hearn said of the rematch.
“Chocolatito looked like he might be tiring in the fight and then he came back. Then the 12th round was unbelievable. They deserve a huge amount of credit.”
Estrada’s victory came on the same day as former WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 50-5-3 (43) walked through former WBA minimumweight champion Ekkawit Songnui 50-8-1 (27) in three rounds to cement his claim as the mandatory challenger to Estrada’s WBC title.
Hearn flagged the possibility that Estrada would abandon his green belt in favour of a trilogy fight against Gonzalez.
“Fights happen that people want to see. There wasn’t one person that watched that fight that doesn’t want to see number three,” he said.
“We do have a situation where Rungvisai is the mandatory. So if Juan wants to keep his WBC title, he has to fight him. But the rematch [between Estrada and Chocolatito] is bigger than the belts.
“So it all comes down to the deal and the money. But for me – and I represent Rungvisai – it’s difficult, but I want to see the third. I felt like the 12th round for Chocolatito won him the fight.”