Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) has always done well in rematches. That trend continued tonight in Mexico City, Mexico.
After barely scraping by in their first encounter in 2017, Estrada placed an emphatic end to his rivalry with Carlos Cuadras (39-4-1, 27 KOs) on Friday, October 23, 2020.
With four straight victories under his belt and his newly won WBC Super Flyweight title draped over his shoulder, Estrada came into his contest against his fellow Mexican native with all of the momentum in the world. However, following a fairly even first two rounds, Cuadras jumped into the driver’s seat with a third-round knockdown.
Estrada, to his credit, bounced right back up and began chucking leather at his opponent in an attempt to quickly score a knockdown of his own. With the possibility that he could be trailing going into the second half of their contest, Estrada turned the pressure up. He pushed the pace and could care less if he took a shot or two in order to give a few of his own.
In the eighth round, his no-stop pressure finally began to yield results as Cuadras slowed down considerably. More times than not, both men simply met in the center of the ring and kept throwing shot after shot in an effort to see who would take the first step back.
Unfortunately for Cuadras, he found himself against the ropes and using his legs in an attempt to dance away from his opponent. With that being said, several shots to the body turned the fleet footed Cuadras into a sitting duck as Estrada began landing big shot after big shot.
As both Mexican products continued their onslaught on one another, somewhere in a backroom of the Azteca Gimnasio sat WBA titlist, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Earlier in the night, the former pound-for-pound star easily outpointed Israel Gonzalez. The win all but guaranteed that he would get the winner of the main event that was taking place.
While a win for Estrada would book the rematch he has long been calling for, the Mexican star had no interest in simply eeking out another close decision. So with the 11th round starting, Estrada took his pressure to another level. The result was exactly what he was looking for as he scored a clean knockdown thanks to a left hand.
Seemingly ready to go out on his shield, Cuadras got back to his feet and encouraged Estrada to come back for more. Without hesitation, the two traded punches against the ropes which resulted in Cuadras hitting the deck again. He staggered to his feet, but after a few more shots upstairs, the referee stepped in and called a halt to the contest.
Final Grade for Estrada: B+
It wasn’t the sharpest night for Juan Francisco Estrada, but that may have more to do with Carlos Cuadras.
It seemingly took a third round knockdown for the WBC Super Flyweight titlist to realize that he was in a serious fight tonight. Despite his lackluster start, Estrada picked up both his effort and pace.
Winning wasn’t enough, with a rematch and unification matchup with Roman Gonzalez on the line, Estrada sent him a message that the knockout win he scored over Cuadras tonight is the same fate awaiting him when the two meet.
Although the end result was impressive, the Mexican product will need to avoid a slow start against Gonzalez if he hopes to pick up a win when they clash in 2021.