By Joe Koizumi
WBA minimumweight champ Roman Gonzalez (23-0, 20 KOs) , Nicaragua, arrived in Japan on Monday, eight days before his second defense against ex-WBA/WBC ruler Katsunari Takayama in Kobe next Tuesday. Nicknamed “Chocolatito,” Gonzalez sincerely expressed his condolence to his country’s national hero Alexis Arguello’s sad and sorrowful passing. The 22-year-old KO artist is accompanied by his long-time trainer Gustavo Herrera. By the same flight from Tokyo to Osaka, Nestor Rocha (21-1, 7 KOs), US, also arrived here in Kobe, as he will have an ambitious shot at the WBC bantam throne against Hozumi Hasegawa in the Japanese southpaw’s ninth defense on the same bill.
Also, WBC official challenger Elio Rojas (20-1, 13 KOs), Dominican Republic, arrived in Tokyo on the same evening, as he will challenge the newly crowned WBC feather ruler Takahiro Aoh next Tuesday. The split-site promotions will be telecast live by Nippon TV here in Japan.