This we already know: Flyweight world champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the business, will defend his title Oct. 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the middleweight title unification bout between Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux.
But what is not certain is who Gonzalez, of Nicaragua, will face in the HBO PPV-televised fight. There's been movement toward a showdown with former unified titleholder Brian Viloria. If the deal is finalized, that would add a big-time matchup -- one of the best that can be made in the smaller weight classes -- to a card that already has a strong main event.
“Everything is pointing towards Viloria,” Carlos Blandon Vidaurre, Gonzalez’s manager, told ESPN.com on Sunday. “I’m glad Viloria’s team jumped back in the race. I believe he is an excellent fighter and will help Roman give another amazing performance.”
Others who have been under consideration as Gonzalez’s possible opponent include former junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura (32-4-1, 28 KOs), 33, of Mexico, one of boxing’s most devastating punchers, and Puerto Rican contender McWilliams Arroyo (16-2, 14 KOs), 29, the twin brother of newly crowned junior bantamweight titlist McJoe Arroyo.
But Viloria (36-4, 22 KOs), 34, of Hawaii, whom promoter Top Rank has promised a title fight to and who is coming off a first-round knockout of Omar Soto on July 25, is the biggest name of the three, the most interesting, most credible and most dangerous.
The Viloria camp is certainly interested in the fight, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.
“There was a conversation about it amongst us on Thursday,” he said.
Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs), 28, made a huge hit in his HBO debut on May 16, at the Forum in Inglewood, California. He appeared in the co-feature of Golovkin’s defense against Willie Monroe and annihilated former junior flyweight titlist Edgar Sosa in the second round.
The Golovkin/Gonzalez pairing was so well received that their promoters and HBO wanted to have them on the same show again, paving the way for his appearance on the Oct. 17 pay-per-view. If it comes against Viloria, all the better.