Friday night in Nicaragua WBO junior flyweight title holder Jonathan Gonzalez will travel into the hometown of his challenger in a bout that will be televised by ESPN+ streaming in the U.S.
From the Top Rank Boxing release Monday:
“Puerto Rico’s WBO light flyweight world champion, Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, will defend his world title against hometown favorite Gerardo Zapata this Friday, Oct. 27 at Alexis Arguello Sports Complex in Managua, Nicaragua.
Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KOs) has won five bouts since falling short to Kosei Tanaka in a 2019 bid for the WBO flyweight world title. He then moved down to the light flyweight ranks and positioned himself for a title shot with a pair of victories. In October 2019, he toppled Mexican champion Elwin Soto by split decision to capture his world title. Gonzalez defended the WBO light flyweight twice in 2022 with unanimous decision victories over Mark Anthony Barriaga in Florida and Shokichi Iwata in Japan.
Zapata (14-1-1, 5 KOs), who was born in Managua, fought the first 14 bouts of his pro career in his home country. He lost his ‘0’ when he was controversially disqualified against Rene Santiago in December 2022. Zapata returned in August and was held to a 10-round draw against Panamanian contender Azael Villar.”
The 32 year old Gonzalez was born in New York, but has been based most of his career in Puerto Rico and then, in Florida with most of his early bouts in Puerto Rico. However, prior to fighting and defeating Iwata by unanimous decision in Japan last November, he had captured the WBO title on a Top Rank/ESPN undercard in Fresno, CA by spit decision against Soto. So, clearly he will travel where ever the significant bouts and money are for his career, just like coming to Nicaragua in this case.
As for the 29 year old Zapata, he enters this bout off not only the questionable DQ against Santiago in late 2022, where the supposed rabbit punch in the second round never actually landed, but also, the draw with Villar that took place in Panama City, Panama four months ago. Zapata is now based in Miami, as he prepares to return home in front of what will be a partisan crowd for him Friday night.
Speaking of Santiago (11-3, 8 KOs), two fights removed from that DQ win over Zapata, he will defend his WBO latino light flyweight title in a 10-round co-feature against undefeated Nicaraguan Kevin Vivas (7-0, 2 KOs).
The Gonzalez-Zapata main event and the undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S., on ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT Friday night.