Jonathan Gonzalez vs Shokichi Iwata Preview November 1st, 2022
WBO Light Flyweight Champion Jonathan Gonzalez of Puerto Rico will be defending his belt for the second time this Tuesday, November 1st when he takes on unbeaten Shokichi Iwata of Japan at the Saitama Super Arena just outside of Tokyo. The 12-rounder can be seen live in America on ESPN+ at 4:30 am ET while most other nations can catch the action on DAZN. Gonzalez last fought in June when he beat Mark Anthony Barriga by 12-round unanimous decision. Gonzalez won the title in previous outing last October when he beat Elwin Soto by split decision. Iwata last fought in July with a 12-round unanimous decision over Kenichi Horikawa to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Light Flyweight Title, Horikawa’s Oriental and Pacific Crown and defend his Japanese Belt.
Gonzalez vs Iwata Betting Odds
- Jonathan Gonzalez +140
- Shokichi Iwata -170
The 31-year-old Gonzalez is a southpaw who has 175 rounds under his belt since making his pro debut in 2011 following a fine amateur career. He stands 5-feet-2-inches tall with a 62-inch reach and enters the ring with a mark of is 26-3-1 with 14 Ko’s. Since turning pro he’s also won the interim WBO Youth Flyweight Title in 2012 and the NABA Light Flyweight Crown in 2015. He also captured the the WBC Latino Flyweight Belt in 2015 and has captured his WBO NABO Title a couple of times.
His lone draw came against Michael Ruiz Jr in 2014 over eight rounds while his three defeats came at the hands of Kosei Tanaka by seventh-round stoppage in 2019, to Jobert Alvarez by sixth-round KO in 2016 and to Giovani Segura by fourth-round KO in 2013. The loss to Tanaka came in a shot at the WBO World Flyweight Crown. He’s been stopped in all of his losses so it’s fair to say Gonzalez has a suspect chin.
He’s also beaten the likes of Juan Alejo, Julian Yedras, Ricardo Rodriguez, Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Del Valle, Omar Soto and Danny Flores. Gonzalez isn’t known as a heavy puncher as his current knockout ratio stands at 45.2 per cent but it shouldn’t be underrated by Iwata. Gonzalez has experience against top-tier boxers and that should be an advantage for him this weekend.
Iwata is 26-years-old and has boxed 57 rounds since making his pro debut in 2019. Before that he enjoyed a fine amateur career with wins over Kosei Tanaka and Takuma Inoue and won the national boxing tournament while still in high school. He won his pro debut over Joel Bermudez in Carson, California and has fought exclusively in Japan since then.
When it comes to power, Iwata has enough of it in his fists to cause some damage with a current knockout ratio of 66.7 per cent. He stands 5-feet-4-inches tall with an unlisted reach which gives him a two-inch height advantage over Gonzalez. Iwata has fine boxing skills to accompany his power but is certainly stepping up in class here.
Iwata may be in over his head here as he’s fighting an experienced world champion in just his 10th pro bout. But while Gonzalez is a solid pro his chin isn’t the greatest and that may be a problem since Iwata is a heavy puncher. Gonzalez has much more pro experience but will have his hands full here. This should be a close contest but I’m leaning towards Iwata pulling it out in his homeland.
Fighting at home should give the edge Iwata needs.
Play: Iwata -170 @ BetOnline.ag
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