Tragedy Hits Roman Gonzalez – World #1 pound for pound fighter Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is in the midst of dealing with the death of his coach Arnulfo Obando. This is a devastating blow to the Nicaraguan fighter as both he and Obando had created a pair of big wins on the world stage, as well as developing a deep friendship they themselves compared to a father/son relationship . Obando, 54, who had suffered a massive stroke, was declared clinically brain dead this past Sunday, November 6th, at the Vivian Pellas Metropolitan Hospital in Managua, capital of Nicaragua.
“The family made the decision to let him rest,” Irwing Obando Aburto, the son of the trainer, told the news media about the painful news of disconnecting his father from the artificial respirator that kept him alive, “but it’s the doctors who will pick the right time to do it.”
Obando and “Chocolatito” began their successful journey through the world of pugilism seven years ago, when the gladiator already had the World Boxing Association’s minimum weight (WBA) crown, obtained by technical knockout against Japan’s Yutaka Niida on September 15th of 2008, in the Japanese city of Yokohama.
Under the guidance of “Professor” Obando, the star born in the La Esperanza neighborhood in Managua, gathered in three other belts: the WBA mini flyweight belt, as well as the World Boxing Council belts in the flyweight and super flyweight categories. The latter was snatched by Gonzalez via unanimous decision against Mexican Carlos “El Príncipe” Cuadras, on September 10th at the Inglewood Forum.
“I never had difficulty with him in my (preparation) camps,” Gonzalez said of his professional relationship with Obando. “We always made plans and tried to make everything go as planned.”
Obando was in the corner of Gonzalez in 21 bouts, 12 of them for world title, resulting in 17 wins by knockout and only four victories by the judicial route.
In the match where the team made it’s debut “Chocolatito” annihilated Mexican Iván “Pollito” Meneses in the fourth round on January 30, 2010, in Puebla, Mexico. It was the third time defending the WBA minimum weight belt for Gonzalez.
Coach Obando was decorated in his country with the order Alexis Argüello in July of 2016 and was also recognized by the The Ring magazine in the select group of “Trainer of the Year” candidates, along with Abel Sánchez (Gennady Golovkin) and Floyd Mayweather Sr. , father of “MoneyMan” Mayweather.
Prior to joining Gonzalez, Obando took Eduardo “El Faraón” Ray Márquez to the pinnacle. Marquez applied the chloroform to the Spaniard Jorge Mata on March 28, 2003, in Madrid, to win the disputed WBO world minimum weight title.
Our condolences to the Obando family and the entire team of “Chocolatito.”
Tragedy Hits Roman Gonzalez / Check out more boxing new on video at The Boxing Channel.