Jimmy Wilde vs Roman Gonzalez – Who Would Win?
Since the beginning of human existence we have engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Fighting is a universal language all cultures and nationalities understand. Boxing, in particular, has been an Olympic sport since 688 BC when it was performed in ancient Greece. About 300-500 years ago boxing evolved from its origins into prize fighting. After the creation of the London Prize Ring Rules, the sport evolved into the more popularly known Queensbury Rules system. Throughout the sport’s history there have been a plethora of greats in every decade of the sport’s existence.
A prevailing question throughout time as been, “Can fighter ‘X’ beat fighter ‘Y’ in each of their prime?” This is the ninth entry in the series. This entry we will see the first recognized flyweight champion, Jimmy Wilde, take on the current WBA super flyweight champion, “Chocolatito” Roman Gonzlaez. If you missed previous entries, you can click them below to see what you have missed so far.
First Entry in Series: Mike Tyson vs Deontay Wilder
Second Entry in Series: Ezzard Charles vs Roy Jones Jr
Third Entry in Series: Roberto Duran vs Vasyl Lomachenko
Fourth Entry in Series: Henry Armstrong vs Manny Pacquiao
Fifth Entry in Series: Jack Johnson vs Tyson Fury
Sixth Entry in Series: Marvin Hagler vs Canelo Alvarez
Seventh Entry in Series: Sugar Ray Robinson vs Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Eighth Entry in Series: Felix Trinidad vs Terence Crawford
Jimmy Wilde (Early 1910’s-Early 1920’s vs Roman Gonzalez (Mid 2000’s-Present)
Jimmy Wilde-Brief Glance
“The Might Atom” Jimmy Wilde was born May 15, 1892 in Quakers Yard, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales England. As a small child Wilde worked in the coal mines with his father. Because he was so small, Wilde could access the crawl spaces other miners could not reach. Around the age of 16 the affably nicknamed the “Ghost with the Hammer in his Hands” began boxing much larger and older men at local fairgrounds and carnivals. By the time he was 18 years old, Wilde was married and had a child the same year. Starting his professional career also at the age of 18, he would go on to have a career that would sit atop the record books even to this day.
Record Setting Career From Day One
Boxers from this time frame of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s are difficult to tabulate records for. Many boxing experts believe Wilde actually competed in more than the 135 bouts he has listed on BoxRec. Regardless of the bout count, Wilde retired with an absolutely amazing record of 131-3-1. His hall of fame worthy career started with a third round KO of Ted Roberts on January 01, 1911. It would be over four years until Jimmy Wilde would taste defeat.
The man The Ring magazine considers the greatest British fighter of all time, Wilde retired at the age of 31 with a stunning professional record of 131-3-1 with 8 no contests. With his first fight coming at the age of 18, that breaks down to an average of 10 bouts a year. Standing at 5’2″ and only nearing 100 pounds, Wilde was quite durable and made it 92 bouts before ever getting his first title shot. This came in the form of the IBU flyweight title. The IBU (International Boxing Union) only lasted until 1942. He would defend the title one time against Sid Smith before dropping the title in his 94th bout to Tancy Lee. This streak of over four years to start his career is still a record that stands to this day as the longest winning streak in the sport’s history.
It would not be until his 118th bout (115-1-1) before Wilde won the inaugural lineal flyweight championship defeating Young Zulu Kid via TKO. After this victory, Wilde would not lose again until his last two bouts, which did not take place until over four years later. Outweighed by nearly 14 pounds, Wilde decided to take on former world bantamweight champion, Peter Herman. The bigger Herman battered Wilde eventually earning the TKO victory in the 17th round. Regardless of the size difference, Herman would be no push-over. The Ring has Herman rated as the second best bantamweight boxer of all time. Herman would actually go on to regain the bantamweight champion after the Wilde victory.
As the trend as shown in this series, awards are moreso a thing of the present and weren’t as prevalent in the early 20th century. There were not all the outlets there are today with their own awards. In addition to being the world’s first lineal flyweight champion, Wilde would go on to author three books in his career. Along with his longest victory streak in boxing history, The Ring also named Wilde the third greatest puncher of all time. In 1990 he was an inaugural inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The IBRO (International Boxing Research Organization) has Wilde ranked as the top flyweight of all time. Second on that list is the mane Wilde lost to in his farewell bout, Panco Villa.
The lower weight classes aren’t always known for delivering the knockout blow, but when 98 of your 131 victories (75% KO rate) it warrants attention. In the January 1941 edition of The Ring, the editor stated, “Wilde’s strength and his hitting power, considering his size and weight, were simply amazing. He was a highly skilled boxer and the power of his punches was almost magical.”
Former heavyweight champion of the world, Gene Tunney stated of Jimmy Wilde, “the greatest fighter I ever saw.”
Using a bob and weave motion and firing from the waist, Wilde wielded quick striking along with his power. Someone like his opponent in this fantasy matchup who brings relentless pressure would meet for an exciting clash with the man The Ring considers the third greatest puncher of all time. Any opponent of Wilde needs to always consider the knockout is one punch away.
“Chocolatito” Roman Gonzalez-Brief Glance
Roman Alberto Gonzalez Luna was born on June 17, 1987 in Managua, Nicaragua, about 95 years after his opponent for this matchup. Unable to be verified, it’s stated Gonzalez had an amateur record of 88-0 and was considered by many the greatest Nicaraguan amateur boxer ever. The highlight of his amateur career came at the 2004 Central American Championships where Gonzalez won the gold defeating Gilbert Martinez. Gonzalez did not participate in the 2004 Olympic Games the following month and instead decided to turn pro, making his professional debut July 01, 2005.
Nicaragua has about 14 boxing representatives since it started competing in the summer games in 1968. The country has a whole has yet to ever earn it’s first Olympic medal of any kind. A very important person in the life of Gonzalez, Alexis Arguello, never boxed in the Olympics, but was the flag bearer in the 2008 games. Arguello was a former world champion in the 1970’s and a role model to Gonzalez. Beginning a winning streak that wold last 11 years, Gonzalez was ready to make his in-ring debut against Ramon Urbina in Gonzalez’s hometown of Managua.
In his 51-fight career, Gonzalez did not suffer his first loss until his 47th bout. The 46 initial wins covered a span of almost 12 years. Heading into his 21st bout on September 15, 2008 Gonzalez would win his first world championship. On this night he defeated Yutaka Niida in Japan for the WBA minimum-weight championship. After a handful of defenses, Gonzalez defeated Francisco Rosas, again in Japan, for the WBA interim light flyweight title, marking his second weightclass world championship. Continuing to rack of the victories and undefeated record, Gonzalez entered his 40th bout where he won his third weight class championship, winning the WBC, The Ring, and lineal flyweight titles.
Setting a trend, Gonzalez won yet again in Japan defeating Akira Yaegashi via 9th round TKO on September 05, 2014. To cap off the four weightclass world championship, Gonzalez would go on to defeat Carlos Cuadras via unanimous decision on September 10, 2016. This would mark his first United States title win, defending in the states on past occasions. November 2016 would serve to be a hard month for Gonzalez with his long time trainer, Arnulfo Obando, passing away.
Suffering First Loss and Rebounding
Gonzalez met his toughest task to date when he ran into Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in March 2017. After losing the majority decision and his WBC super flyweight crown, Gonzalez attempted to win it back in September 0f 2017 but was knocked out this time by Rungvisai in round four. After taking a year off suffering his first two losses, Gonzalez returned in September 2018 and won his next two bouts via KO/TKO. This would setup for his return to prominence and place him firmly in the boxing spotlight.
On February 29, 2020, one of the last bouts before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gonzalez met undefeated British undefeated world champion, Khalid Yafai. The two were meeting for the WBA super flyweight title. Yafai was defending his title for the fifth time and was hoping to had Gonzalez to his growing resume. Gonzalez put on a phenomenal showing and won via 9th round TKO to win the WBA super flyweight title. The victory scored Gonzalez many Fighter of the Month awards and earned him the cover of The Ring magazine for June 2020.
In 2004 Gonzalez’s hall of fame career earned it’s first accolade winning the 2004 Central American Championships. As his career progressed, Gonzalez became the first boxer ever to win world championships in the four smallest weight classes; minimumweight, light flyweight, flyweight, and super flyweight. Boxing Monthly listed Gonzalez as one of their “fighters of the decade” for the 2010’s. As big an honor as any for a boxer, he was also placed on the June 2020 cover of The Ring after regaining the world title earlier that February. In a landscape where a bigger athlete typically gets the nod for awards, Gonzalez held the most prestigious award in boxing, The Ring’s pound for pound top fighter spanning September 2015 to March 2017.
It’s sad Gonzalez did not make it to the United States until later in his career. With his aggressive striking style, he would have been a mega-star of the smaller weight classes. In it’s simplest terms, Gonzalez is just a hard-nosed hard-hitting fighter. The only major issue seen for Gonzalez is when he faces a boxer with exceptional footwork. To counter that, Gonzalez has a great ability to adjust and cut off the ring. When he can cut off the ring, nothing can be done to stop him. He wasn’t named The Ring’s pound for pound top fighter for a year and a half for no reason. Gonzalez has the complete package along with a deadly, lead hand uppercut.
The smallest of the weight classes don’t normally “tip the scale” for the casual combat sports fan. Most casual fans look for knockout potential. This is a matchup of the smallest weight classes that produces the potential for for a heavyweight quality knockout. 41 of Gonzalez’s 49 victories have come by knockout while 98 of Wilde’s 131 are by knockout finish. Both fighters are aggressive and look to be first to the punch. If these two fought 100 times, it’s probably safe to be there would be 100 knockouts. When two fighters are so similar on the tangibles, it comes down to the un-measureables to determine the winner.
After his most recent victory, Gonzalez stated,“I’m so happy with God to have been given the opportunity to be a world champion once again,” Gonzalez told The Ring through his manager, Carlos Blandon. “I value it so much more now, and I missed being world champion. To be able to get back up proves greatness. God has blessed me with the talent to keep harvesting victories and receiving these accolades around the world. I try to show young kids that everything you want to achieve in life is attainable as long as you put the work in.” With that, I’d give an ever so slight edge to Gonzalez.
Who do you think would win between Jimmy Wilde and Roman Gonzalez?