March 10, 2017
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez Q&A
1. This is your first training camp without your long-time trainer, Arnulfo Obando, who tragically passed away in October. This must have been extremely difficult for you on a personal level when that happened. Professionally, did it take much time to decide how to proceed?
Roman/ It was very difficult for me on a personal and professional level. Arnulfo was my trainer, friend, and father like figure in my life. This was my first training camp without him and I knew he would be happy if we kept on training hard like he taught us and keep winning in God’s name. With God on our team, these events become motivational.
2. Now that your father is your head trainer, and with the rest of the team remaining the same, are you essentially continuing to follow the same blueprint Arnulfo laid down or have there been any differences?
Roman/ My head trainer is Wilmer Hernandez, my father is my assistant trainer. The blueprint was made by dad, developed by Alexis Arguello and continued by Arnulfo, now the torch has been past to Wilmer. Wilmer has followed the same footsteps, but has also added a little of his style.
3. You were on a lengthy knockout streak, against top-quality opposition. In your last two fights, you have been taken the distance, and in your last outing, you were in your closest, toughest fight for years. Do you feel that you still have the same power that you had? Are you noticing any differences with fighting at 115 lbs?
Roman/ I believe every fight is different and every rival has their talent. I believe God gives me the same strength and blessing to train for each fight. The only difference I see in 115 is that more rivals are willing to fight me, which I believe is a true blessing.
4. Not very many American fans will be familiar with your opponent, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. What do you know about him?
Roman/ I had seen videos on him since I was studying his fight with Cuadras. He is very strong and always moves forward with courage. He is a southpaw which is also an extra challenge to this fight, that is why we are training very hard.
5. There will be a lot of attention paid to the fact that you and Carlos Cuadras are on the same card. Clearly, the intention appears to be to steer the two of you toward a rematch. Are you open to that, and if you both win on March 18, do you expect that to be your next fight?
Roman/ I am very happy that Carlos is going to fight on the same card. I wish him the best always. Right now I am focused on Rungvisai. Yes, I am open to a rematch with Carlos.
6. It has been quite the couple of years. You have been beloved and appreciated by Nicaraguan boxing fans and knowledgeable fans in the United States for a while; but now, you have been fighting in the States on HBO, and are widely regarded as the very best boxer in the world. What has this been like for you on a personal level?
Roman/ A true blessing. The glory belongs to God, he gave me this talent and it is overwhelming to be considered as one of the best.
7. March 18 will be your second appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York. In the US, the Garden is regarded as the most historic venue in boxing; what does it mean to you to be fighting there?
Roman/ Just to be fighting is a true blessing, even more so to be fighting in such an iconic place. I have always admired the Garden since I was little.