Pound-for-pound king Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, who has won world titles in three weight classes, will go for a belt in his fourth in his next fight.
Gonzalez, the reigning flyweight champion who has already won world titles at strawweight and junior flyweight, will move up to 115 pounds and challenge Carlos Cuadras for his junior bantamweight crown on Sept. 10 (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at The Forum in Inglewood, California, K2 Promotions announced on Wednesday.
"I'm very happy to challenge Carlos Cuadras for a world title in my fourth weight class," Gonzalez said. "It's an honor to return to fight at The Forum in front of the great Los Angeles fight fans."
The fight will be part of an HBO split-site telecast on which K2 stablemate and unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin will defend against welterweight titlist Kell Brook at the O2 Arena in London in a previously announced bout that will air live in the afternoon in the United States. That night, HBO will have live coverage of Cuadras-Gonzalez along with a replay of Golovkin-Brook.
Cuadras will be fighting in the United States for the second time but for the first time on television and he said he is looking forward to it.
"I am excited to fight in the United States for the first time on HBO and at the legendary Forum in front of the great boxing fans in California," Cuadras said. "Roman Gonzalez is a great champion and I have a lot of respect for him. I will prepare myself to be in the best condition of my boxing career to defend my WBC belt."
The 29-year-old Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs), the best fighter in Nicaragua's history other than his mentor, friend and former trainer, the late Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello, has struggled in recent fights to make the flyweight limit of 112 pounds. So after making four successful flyweight title defenses, including tremendous knockout performances against former world titleholders Brian Viloria and Edgar Sosa, he is headed up in weight to take on the formidable Cuadras (35-0-1, 27 Kos).
If Gonzalez wins a title in a fourth weight class he will accomplish what Arguello failed to do. Arguello, who had won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight, went for a title in a fourth weight class but got knocked out by fellow Hall of Famer Aaron Pryor in the 14th round of their legendary battle at the Orange Bowl in Miami in 1982.
"Arguello is such a legend that if Chocolatito can surpass what his idol tried to accomplish, it would be a huge statement for Roman and his career," K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler said. "When we were discussing potential opponents for Chocolatito's next fight, we went over a list of names and this fight seemed to be the biggest fight he could get right now. But I think (surpassing Arguello) played into his mind."
If Gonzalez surpasses Arguello's feat, he will do so in an arena important to both of their careers. Gonzalez is 2-0 at The Forum, where he burst on the American scene by scoring a second-round knockout of Sosa in 2015. Arguello fought four of his world title bouts at The Forum, including in 1974 when he knocked out fellow Hall of Famer Ruben Olivares in the 13th round to win the featherweight crown.
"We're very excited to bring Roman back to the Fabulous Forum in his first main event at the famed venue," Loeffler said. "Roman has proven with each fight why he is considered to be the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
"Challenging an undefeated champion in his fourth weight class will be a great test for Roman and this battle against Cuadras will provide the non-stop action fans have come to expect at his fights."
Cuadras, 27, of Mexico, won the belt by eighth-round technical decision from Thailand's Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in May 2014 and has made six successful defenses. His first defense resulted in the lone blemish on his record, a fourth-round technical draw against Jose Salgado in a fight that ended when an accidental head clash cut Salgado and he was unable to continue.
Cuadras is coming off an eighth-round knockout of longtime Filipino contender Richie Mepranum on April 23, the same date as Gonzalez's lopsided decision win against McWilliams Arroyo in his last defense, which was also at The Forum.