Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras will meet in an excellent all-Mexican battle as part of the blockbuster ‘SuperFly’ card on September 9. It’s hard to imagine the StubHub support contest failing to live up to its billing as a war between two confident, talented lower-weight stars.
“It’s obviously a big opportunity for my career and I’m definitely going to take advantage of it,” Estrada told Steve Kim, reporting for Boxingscene.
“He [Cuadras] obviously didn’t look that great in his fight with Carmona for some reason. Maybe he underestimated him or something but I expect nothing else but a 100-percent Cuadras for our fight because he knows the importance of it.”
The fight Estrada was referring to is Cuadras’ last outing, against unheralded Mexican David Carmona on the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs undercard. Cuadras was caught out on a few occasions by his neat-boxing opponent but scraped by anyway. Before that bout he had given Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez a good argument over 12 rounds.
Indeed, Gonzalez is the common opponent for these two. 27-year-old Estrada gave Gonzalez as good of an argument as anyone in recent years when, in 2012, he lost over 12 to the classy Nicaraguan in a WBA light-flyweight tilt. Estrada was tall and rangy for the weight and used his advantages well, especially in the earlier rounds before Gonzalez found his mojo. Estrada’s only other loss on his 35-2 (25 KOs) record can be discounted as an early career reverse that now means little, given the level he is consistently operating at. ‘El Gallo’ has had nine consecutive wins since the Gonzalez fight. In his first fight back after Gonzalez he defeated Brian Viloria for the WBO crown after moving up to flyweight, before going on to take the unbeaten record of 29-0 Milan Melindo in Macau and rack up a string of further defences.
Cuadras, meanwhile, has a 36-1-1 (27 KOs) record and similar to his opponent, Carlos can clearly punch hard. As mentioned previously, Cuadras was competitive for long spells against Roman Gonzalez. The 29-year-old found good use of the jab and his languid style allowed him to clip his challenger multiple times throughout. Indeed, Gonzalez was the challenger moving up in weight and Cuadras was making the seventh defence of his WBC super-flyweight crown. In a further interesting twist, Cuadras had won the title on a technical decision over Wisaksil Wangek in 2014. The same Thai fighter that popped Gonzalez’s unbeaten record and the same man Roman is rematching on this very card.
Cuadras has shown over the years that he is not afraid to travel to take on a challenge and has won in both Japan and America. Both are evenly matched and I expect a solid contest, fought on relatively close terms. Ultimately though I predict Estrada will prevail on points. The close final scores will reflect the nature of the bout but I think Estrada has better names on the record and has slightly better technical skills. Cuadras looked poor in his last outing against David Carmona but I expect him to seriously up his game as he will need to. The winner can look forward to a rematch with Gonzalez or a possible crack at the Japanese power-puncher Naoya Inuoe. The loser will offer enough to work his way back into a world title opportunity fairly sharpish.
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