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Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez a champion again, stops Kai Yafai

Gonzalez beats up and stops Yafai

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Gonzalez a champion again photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA)
Gonzalez a champion again photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA)

When Roman Gonzalez was knocked out by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 29 months ago, his storied boxing career appeared over.

 

Gonzalez, 32, took a year off to rest his body and soul. When he returned, many scoffed at his chances to be a champion again. He won two comeback fights against unheralded competition. The critics said he was slower and soft, lacking the frenetic speed of his youth.

 

Perhaps, but on Saturday night, Gonzalez, a four-division champion, proved there’s some life left in boxing bones. Gonzalez captured WBA super flyweight title by knocking out previously undefeated Kai Yafai in round nine at The Star in Frisco, Tx.

 

Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KOs) and the favored Yafai battled evenly in the early going. Yafai (26-1, 15 KOs) had the edge in speed, but seemed determined to beat Gonzalez at his own game.

 

“He surprised me wanting to fight inside, but I was ready to go,” said Gonzalez. “He

moves a lot usually, but he was standing there for me.”

 

Gonzalez began to take over for good in round five. Ignoring the advice of his corner, Yafai stayed inside and battled, eating bodyshots and uppercuts. Gonzalez, bleeding from a cut caused by an accidental clash of heads, continued to crack Yafai in rounds six and seven.

 

Sensing his opponent was fading, Gonzalez opened up even more in round eight, flooring the soon to be former champion. Yafai beat the count but his fate was sealed. Gonzalez wasted no time going after him in round nine. A heavy right hand sent Yafai to the canvas.

 

The referee took one look at Yafai and waved off the fight.

 

The time was 29 seconds in round nine.

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