Alfonso Gomez Regroups By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (May 19, 2011) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
Late last year, Alfonso
Gomez was in line to faceJulio Cesar
Chavez Jr. It was a fight that Gomez had yearned for. Junior's
father, the great “JC Superstar,” had been Gomez’s idol and he salivated at the
opportunity to face his son. Gomez- who returnsthis Saturday nightat the Morongo Casino in Cabazon,
California versus Calvin Green- was willing to give up significant advantages
in size and weight to make this fight a reality. He gave up every major
concession to make this happen.
There was one problem- a bum
left elbow was simply too much of a hindrance to Gomez, who was eventually
pulled from the show (which nearly blew up when Chavez came down with a
mysterious case of the flu the week of the card and dropped out his bout
against Pawel Wolak, who replaced Gomez).
"I was disappointed
when the doctor told me that there was a tear in the ligament of my elbow and
my manager, Gary Gittelsohn, he just told me, 'You have to think about it; it's
a very important fight. I don't want you to go handicapped. You're already
going in with disadvantages like weight.' But I still wanted to fight. It
was an important fight for me. Even with one hand, I knew I could beat this kid
but the fact is I had to pull out because everyone insisted; it just seemed to
be the most logical thing to do."
It turns out this fight was
just never meant to be.
"After I pulled out, he
pulls out with the flu," said Gomez, whose facial expression lets you know
what he thought of Chavez's alibi. "So with that in mind, it just makes me
feel that the fight wouldn't have materialized either way. It seemed more like
a publicity stunt for people to say, 'Oh, yeah, he's finally going to fight,
like a somebody who's going to give him a hard time' and that was about it. It
was like publicity to me. So I pulled out; he pulled out. I pulled out with a
legitimate excuse; he pulled out with some B.S."
Gomez’s elbow injury was
suffered early on in his training camp for that assignment. He says that during
a sparring session, "I overextended my elbow and it hurt." As the
pain and discomfort lingered for over a month, the plug was finally pulled. "I
couldn't work through it," said Gomez, who said he struggled mightily with
even novice sparring partners during this ordeal. What was prescribed was rest
and then eventually, physical therapy.
The reality is that this was
going to be his one and only chance to ever face Chavez Jr., whoon June 4th, is facing Sebastian Zbik for the WBC
middleweight title and Gomez is going back down to welterweight, where he
belongs. It made the decision to scrap the fight all the more agonizing.
"It did," said Gittelsohn, "Chavez has a name and he's got a
promotional push that Alfonso isn't the beneficiary of, unfortunately. So we
had been chasing Chavez Jr. for several years. He was the guy that Alfonso
would wake up and look in the mirror at, with the possibility of fighting,
everyday for a couple of years now. So when the day finally came and then we
were all very excited about it, even though by that time, Alfonso was an
underdog, physically, because Chavez Jr. had continued to grow and Alfonso, if
anything, had always been fighting above his natural weight. We still felt it
was a great fight, a great opportunity for Alfonso."
Now that Gomez is going back
down to 147 pounds, Gittelsohn told Maxboxing, "I think Alfonso is a
welterweight. In an effort to get opportunities, starting with 'The Contender,'
he always fought above his weight. He even fought at 160 on 'The Contender'
against the likes ofSergio MoraandPeter Manfredo Jr.
and all those other guys but he's really a welterweight and that's where his
strength is. And if he continues to campaign at that weight, I think he's
strong at that weight. I think he's developed very good boxing and slugging
skills at that weight. If he's successfulon Saturday,
I believe we have some big-name opportunities out there."
However, there was one
problem; while the contracted weight for his face-off with Chavez was 157 pounds,
in the subsequent months, Gomez was much closer to around 197 pounds by
February and March. Yeah, that part about him getting a lot of rest, was
certainly taken to heart."Oh, yeah, I really
enjoyed my vacation; I'll tell you what," Gomez said, laughing loudly, not
denying that he was rather rotund just a few short months ago. "Definitely,
I put on some weight, I guess. And more importantly, I just relaxed. I ate
everything I could and laid in bed as long as I could- I hibernated."
The weight for Green is 150 pounds.
If you saw Gomez after his workout at the Maywood Boxing Club last week, you would
have seen that he will have no problems at the scales.
From his run on theNBCreality
show to gaining enough notoriety to face the likes ofArturo GattiandMiguel Cotto,
Gomez has had a colorful career. When you ask him about its final chapters, he
says incredulously, "Final chapters?! Man, I'm barely starting. I know I'm
30 years old but I'm so motivated and so I feel this is my second wind in my
career. At one point, I did think, 'Man, this is my last fight' because of
injuries and mentally, I was down. All those cobwebs in my head but now, I've
cleared that out; I feel so refreshed. I feel so motivated. I feel young again
and I know this fight with Green, I'm going to show that I'm ready to keep
going, two or three fights, I know I'm going to get a big fight."
However, he's resigned to
the fact that the Chavez book is closed for good.