Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez made his official entrance into the flyweight division Saturday night, stopping Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in seven rounds at the Crowne Plaza in his hometown of Managua, Nicaragua. The time of stoppage was 1:10.
Gonzalez (36-0, 30 knockouts) had an easy time of it, dominating the relatively inexperienced Rodriguez (11-2, 9 KOs) of Monterrey, Mexico. The stoppage wasn't quite the highlight reel-worthy sight Gonzalez has been accustomed to producing.
Gonzalez, who has won titles at 105 and 108 pounds, has exciting options before him at 112. THE RING's flyweight champion, Akira Yaegashi, fights exclusively in Japan, where Gonzalez has fought five times.
Gonzalez has already beaten Juan Francisco Estrada, holder of the WBA and WBO titles, who has arguably faced the best opposition of any flyweight in recent years. The IBF claimant Moruti Mthalane of South Africa is the longest reigning current flyweight titleholder, but hasn't fought in over a year.
Gonzalez's next bout will take place on Nov. 10 in Japan, according to his manager Silvio Conrado. No opponent was named.
Earlier in the night, Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. began his campaign at bantamweight with a seventh-round stoppage of Darwin Zamora. Time of stoppage was 1:36.
Sanchez (17-1-1, 9 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico, won the IBF super flyweight title in 2012 but lost the belt after failing to make weight for his defense against Roberto Domingo Sosa in June. Zamora (21-9-1, 18 KOs) suffered his third straight loss.