Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez chose Tuesday not to enter the debate about whether he or unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin should be considered the world’s top active boxer.
Gonzalez, appearing at L.A. Live to promote his April 23 World Boxing Council flyweight title defense on HBO against McWilliams Arroyo, said he’s observed pound-for-pound rankings in newspapers and websites that hail him as No. 1.
“That’s what the people -- you guys -- have told me,” Nicaragua’s Gonzalez told boxing reporters gathered at the Conga Room. “I love boxing, it’s my passion, but the last word ... you guys have it.”
For the third consecutive card, Gonzalez, 28, will have an opportunity to compare his case with Golovkin’s as they’ll both fight title defenses at the Forum.
While Golovkin boasts 21 consecutive knockouts, Gonzalez (44-0, 38 knockouts) has shined with resilience and sharpness.
“I believe Golovkin is a great champion,” Gonzalez said. “But I can’t say I’m on top of him or not. In each of our weight classes, we’re the best.
“I like [Golovkin’s] discipline, his power, the strength and his combinations.”
Unlike Golovkin’s insistence to unify the middleweight division, Gonzalez wants to add a title in a heavier division belt in the future.
After Arroyo, the best remaining challenge for Gonzalez at flyweight is a rematch with Mexico’s World Boxing Assn. and World Boxing Organization flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada following their 2012 epic bout at the Los Angeles Sports Arena that Gonzalez won by unanimous decision.
The Estrada rematch is a possible future main event on an HBO boxing card, officials have speculated.
“My biggest dream is attaining a fourth [division] title [at 115 pounds], but if a rematch with Estrada comes up, I’m ready,” Gonzalez said, his interpreter-manager explaining Chocolatito aims to hold two belts simultaneously.
Gonzalez, who trained early in his career under the supervision of the late legendary Nicaraguan fighter Alexis Arguello, will train in Costa Rica for Arroyo (16-2, 14 KOs), who carried the flag for Puerto Rico at the 2008 Olympics.