In 2015, Roman Gonzalez was our Fighter Of The Year, and when the clock struck twelve on the year 2019 we declared him to be The Fighter Of The Decade. And yet so many believed that we had seen the last of the greatness of the brilliant pugilist they call “Chocolatito,” that one of the most likable and classy of fighters, not to mention a four division world champion, was ready for his rocking chair. It had been fun while it lasted, but clearly the astonishing performances and big wins were all now officially in the rear view mirror. Right?
It seemed a reasonable assumption to make given the grueling war Gonzalez had endured in his first bout against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2017, a fight stolen from him by the judges. Six months later his powerful Thai nemesis knocked him out cold in four rounds and the verdict was in: that first, grueling and bloody struggle against Rungvisai had drained what was left of Gonzalez’s greatness. No one would forget his brilliant run as one of the best fighters in the sport, pound-for-pound, but now was the time to look back and fondly remember. The sun had set on “Chocolatito’s” prime. Right?
But then in 2020 Gonzalez challenged Khalid Yafai for yet another world title belt and not only did the Nicaraguan legend win, but he looked absolutely brilliant in the process. A perfunctory victory over Israel Gonzalez followed and then, in one of the truly great fights of recent years, “Chocolatito” clashed with Juan Francisco Estrada in a long overdue rematch. After twelve rounds of blistering action Estrada won a split decision, but more than a few ardent fight fans thought the verdict rightfully belonged to Gonzalez. Now the world awaits: will we see Gonzalez vs Estrada III in the near future?
Reportedly, a deal is close for a trilogy fight on January 22nd, and we can only hope an official announcement will soon follow. But in the meantime, it’s important to remember that the Nicaraguan maestro is now 34-years-old and it’s entirely possible that his heroic performance against “El Gallo” this past March may have been his “last hurrah.” At the very least, we cannot take such displays of intense and intelligent in-fighting for granted. Who knows how many great performances Gonzalez has left to give us?
So what better reason can there be to revisit one of Lee Wylie‘s most brilliant videos, the one that was praised on air by HBO’s Jim Lampley, the one that Roman himself has declared to be “one of the most special videos of my entire career,” one for which he is, in his own words, “eternally grateful for”? The answer is: one does not exist. So today we proudly re-feature the video that highlights what makes Gonzalez such an effective pressure fighter, namely his brilliant footwork and ability to cut angles and control the movement of a fight.
So, since we are very proud to be the home for Lee Wylie’s work, and in honor of “Chocolatito’s” impressive win last week, here it is again for boxing fans to admire: “The Art of Moving” by Lee Wylie. (And should you need more in-depth analysis of the genius of “Chocolatito,” check out Lee’s other great video on the Nicaraguan phenom, High-Speed Chess!)