Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez vacates flyweight belt, keeps junior bantam

Pound-for-pound king Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez has vacated his flyweight world title in favor of keeping the junior bantamweight belt he won on Sept. 10.

Gonzalez, who rose to No. 1 pound-for-pound following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather 13 months ago, moved from 112 pounds to 115 pounds last month and outpointed Mexico's then-undefeated Carlos Cuadras in an action-packed fight to take his junior bantamweight title at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

The victory gave Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs) a world title in his fourth weight division -- from strawweight to junior bantamweight -- which surpassed the three weight classes that his late idol, mentor and Nicaraguan countryman Alex Arguello achieved during his legendary Hall of Fame career.

The WBC gave Gonzalez a few weeks to make up his mind about which division he wanted to keep a title in and he elected to retain the junior bantamweight belt.

It will be easier for Gonzalez to make weight in that division and there are also a number of attractive possible fights for him, including a possible rematch with Cuadras, compared to a lack of top flyweights to face.

"He treasures this (flyweight) title very much, but is excited another boxer with his same dream will have a chance to become a WBC world champion and that feeling overwhelms him," Carlos Blandon, Gonzalez's manager, told ESPN.com.

Gonzalez, 29, won the WBC flyweight title -- as well as claiming the division lineage which was unbroken for decades going back to the mid-1970s reign of Hall of Famer Miguel Canto -- by ninth-round knockout of Akira Yaegashi in September 2014. Gonzalez made four successful defenses before moving up to face Cuadras.

To fill the flyweight vacancy, the WBC has ordered its two top-rated contenders to meet: Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai (36-0, 28 KOs), 25, of Thailand, and Juan "Churritos" Hernandez Navarrete (33-2, 24 KOs), 29, of Mexico. If their camps do not make a deal for the fight, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announced that a purse bid would be scheduled to take place Oct. 21 at the offices of the sanctioning organization in Mexico City.

Sor Rungvisai will be fighting for a world title for the first time. Hernandez Navarrete has won 15 fights in a row since a unanimous decision loss to Kazuto Ioka for a strawweight world title in August 2011 in Tokyo.