By Ian S Palmer
Unbeaten WBC World Flyweight Champion Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua will be making the fourth defence of his title this Saturday, April 23rd when he meets McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico. The 12-round bout takes place at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood, California and can be seen across North America on HBO. Fans in the UK can tune in on BoxNation. Gonzalez last fought in October when he beat Brian Viloria by ninth-round stoppage. The last time he had to go the distance was back in November, 2012 when Juan Francisco Estrada took him 12 rounds. Arroyo’s last bout was last April when he beat Victor Ruiz by third-round stoppage.
The 30-year-old Arroyo climbs into the ring with a mark of 16-2 along with 14 Kos. He’s been victorious in five of his past six outings and is a solid pro. However, he was beaten by split decision by Amnat Ruenroeng in October, 2014 and dropped a four-round unanimous decision to Takashi Okada in June, 2010. Arroyo had a fine amateur career and has boxed 78 rounds since turning pro in 2010. He stands 5-feet-4-inches tall and has a reach of 64 inches. Arroyo likes to pressure his opponents and also has a good body attack. He has decent power, but could suffer from ring rust since he’s been inactive for about a year. Arroyo’s a tough character with a big heart, but he’ll be taking a big step up in class with Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is known as a knockout artist and has 10 straight Kos to his name, but he’s also a good technical boxer. His mobility allows him to control the ring and he likes to use his aggression to unleash quick, painful combinations. The 28-year-old champion has a perfect mark of 44-0 with 38 Kos and has held world titles in three different weight classes. He’s got more than enough power to handle most opponents and has stopped 11 of his past 12 foes. Gonzalez is a power-punching boxer who likes to let his hands go in quick combinations whenever he sees an opening. He may not be the best defensive fighter in the world, but has a solid chin to absorb shots when he does get tagged.
Gonzalez turned pro in 2005 and has 193 rounds under his belt since then. He won the WBC flyweight title when he stopped Akira Yaegashi in the ninth round in September of 2014. He defended it two months later by stopping Rocky Fuentes in six and then beat Valentin Leon by third round TKO in February of 2015. After that he stopped Edgar Sosa in two rounds last May and then Viloria in October.
Gonzalez is the same height as Arroyo and also has the same reach. His current knockout ratio is a very impressive 86 per cent while Arroyo’s is also one of the best out there at 78 per cent.
Arroyo shouldn’t be underestimated or taken lightly by Gonzalez since he’s a quality opponent with good experience and plenty of power. This could deter the champion from just wading in to land his shots. Gonzalez should wear him down eventually though with his speed and power and should be able to stop him in the second half of the fight. However, there’s a chance Arroyo goes the distance, but either way, Gonzalez will retain his title.