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Injury forces 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez to withdraw from Dec. 8 bout; Juan Francisco Estrada a possible replacement

Injury forces 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez to withdraw from Dec. 8 bout; Juan Francisco Estrada a possible replacement
Roman Gonzalez, left, lands a punch against Carlos Cuadras during a WBC super-flyweight championship fight on Sept. 10, 2016. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

Former four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez has withdrawn from his Dec. 8 co-main event at StubHub Center after he injured a knee during training camp in Indio.

Fight promoter Tom Loeffler said he is in active negotiations with former flyweight champion and mandatory World Boxing Council super-flyweight contender Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico to step in as Gonzalez’s replacement.

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The plan, Loeffler said, would be for Estrada to serve as the new co-main event opponent of Pedro Guevara, a former world champion who was to fight Gonzalez on the HBO “Boxing After Dark” broadcast.

Estrada is positioned to meet WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand early in 2019.

Sor Rungvisai claimed the belt from Gonzalez with a win over the Nicaraguan at Madison Square Garden (by majority decision, March 18, 2017) and defended it with a victory over the Nicaraguan at StubHub Center (by knockout, Sept. 9, 2017).

Taking the Dec. 8 bout — the final in HBO’s long relationship with boxing — would be Estrada’s fourth consecutive appearance on HBO and fourth straight fight in Los Angeles. He defeated former champion Carlos Cuadras at StubHub Center last year and won a main event at the Forum in September.

The card is headlined by the women’s welterweight title defense of four-belt champion Cecilia Braekhus.

Women’s middleweight champion Claressa Shields will also fight on the card, a quick turnaround following her victory in Kansas last week.

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