The May 5 HBO boxing card has undergone a large number of changes and said Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez was originally going to fight on that card.
In a conference call promoting the upcoming Gennady Golovkin vs. Vanes Martirosyan fight on HBO on May 5, Loeffler explained to Fightful that there were plans to have Gonzalez fight as the co-main event of the May 5 telecast, but current political turmoil in Gonzalez's home country of Nicaragua prevented him from getting his visa in time to fight on the undercard. Loeffler explains Gonzalez has been instrumental to the growth of HBO broadcasting boxing fights in the lower weight classes, paving the way for the critically acclaimed "Superfly" series of shows that have taken place last September and this past February.
"Just to back up a few steps, originally we had Chocolatito as the co-feature with GGG and that's one of the best combinations that we've ever had in boxing. [Chocolatito] is such an exciting fighter in the lower divisions, really a pioneer for the flyweight, super flyweight divisions. He's really responsible for opening a door for the super flyweights and creating the "Superfly" series that we've done in collaboration with HBO. Unfortunately, Chocolatito wasn't able to get his visa on time. There was political unrest in Nicaragua, unfortunately and when he was supposed to get his visa last week, we got an email from his manager Carlos Blandon saying it was impossible for him to get the visa and be here in Los Angeles for fight week," Loeffler said.
Blandon has stated in the past that he and Gonzalez were aiming for a May return to the ring and to have Gonzalez fight on the undercard of Golovkin's May 5 fight against Canelo Alvarez before the fight got scrapped due to Alvarez's suspension. There has been a number of names being thrown around for Gonzalez's return opponent. Blandon also stated that Gonzalez's focus is not an immediate world title opportunity. Gonzalez is currently ranked in the WBO's top 3 in its super flyweight rankings.
Gonzalez has fought on the same event as Golovkin has in the past. Back in March 2017, Gonzalez served as the co-main event fight for Golovkin's close unanimous decision victory over Daniel Jacobs on HBO pay-per-view. Gonzalez lost that fight to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and his WBC super flyweight title. Gonzalez would go on to lose the rematch to Sor Rungvisai on that first "Superfly" card on September 9.
In its place, HBO will now air the first ever live women's boxing match on the network. The co-main event fight of the May 5 card will see undisputed women's champion Cecilia Braekhus defend her titles against Kali Reis.
"That misfortune for Chocolatito actually opened up the door for Cecilia Braekhus. She was always going to be on the show," Loeffler said.
Fightful will have live coverage of the entire HBO card, which will see Golovkin defend his unified WBA and WBC middleweight titles against Martirosyan at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The card is scheduled to air on HBO television at 11 p.m. EST.