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On the Rise: Q&A with Alfonso Gomez
Feb 12, 2004 By Brent Hedtke
There are a number of unwritten rules in boxing. One of the big ones is that the word "prospect" is to be preceded by the word "undefeated." Anything but a "0" in the loss column of a young fighter's record will get the skeptics talking and too often we listen to them. As the saying goes though, don't believe everything you hear. Some of the best fighters of today and of all time, for that matter, including Bernard Hopkins, Henry Armstrong, Ricardo Mayorga and even the great Benny Leonard all lost their first professional fight. Rising prospect Alfonso Gomez (9-2-1 4 KO's) is molded from the same clay. Choosing to take on tougher opposition as opposed to padding his record with anonymous victories, Gomez is ready to show the boxing world what he is made of.

With his only losses coming to the hottest welterweight prospect out there Ishe Smith (14-0) and the tough, wild swinging Jessie Feliciano (12-1), Gomez has a resume that speaks for itself. I recently had the pleasure to speak with the rising young prospect and here's what he had to say about his February 28th fight with Bernard Guereca, the current state of boxing and much more.

How's training going Alfonso?

Good, it's going real good.

What do you know about Bernard Guereca?

Bernard is a tough fighter. He's one of those guys that just keeps coming
and coming. I'm sure he's going to come in good shape to the fight so I'm
getting very well prepared.

You're coming off of four consecutive victories, three by KO. Are you going to be looking to impress with another early knockout or will you try to get the rounds in and make it competitive?

Since this is my first eight round fight, I think I'm going to try to go
about six rounds into it then try to finish him off. Of course if the knock
out comes sooner, I won't let it go.

You're 23 years old. At what age did you start fighting and what got you into it?

I started boxing when I was nine years old. That was back in Oakland. I
started boxing because I used to get picked on by the other kids and self
defense classes and karate were too expensive and boxing wasn't so I took

You're only 12 fights into your professional career and already you've taken on tough fighters like Ishe Smith, Jessie Feliciano and Juan Carlos Amezcua. Was it a conscious decision on your part to take on the best possible opponents available?

Actually that was because I didn't have a manager or someone to promote me
or anybody to take care of me. Guys that have let's say one win and three
losses that usually get fights like that, they don't want to fight me.
Because if they fought me, they wouldn't get paid a lot because I'm a tough
fighter so I have to take on the good guys that want to fight me. You see
guys that in their first 15 fights they fight guys that are 3-15 and my
opponents are like the exact opposite.

Do you think that padding a young fighter's record can hurt them in the long run?

I think it does because once they face tougher opposition they really don't
know what to do. Like Bojado, he was knocking everybody out but the first
time he went over six rounds he got tired. In my case I've already fought
tough fighters and gone the distance or knocked them out so if they put me
in against a really tough opponent then I wont' be surprised by what's
coming. I've been through it many times already.

Mexican fighters are traditionally known for a particular style of fighting. Do you see yourself as that kind of straight ahead brawler or do you bring something different to the table?

No, I'm more of a boxer. I'm a counter puncher. I don't have that powerful
punch so it would be stupid of me to go brawl with someone that hits harder
than me. So I try to wear them down and swell up their face so that as the
rounds go by it's easier for me to knock them out. I'm not a one punch
knockout kind of guy so I have to work on them.

How do you see the 147 lb. division right now?

There are a lot of tough opponents but not as much as the 140 lb. class or
the 154 lb. class. So it's pretty wide open for anyone else that is
climbing up like Ishe Smith or Jose Celaya or anyone else that is coming up.

Any plans of you moving up?

Yeah, actually this year I plan on hopefully being classified.

What do you have planned for 2004?

I'd like to get a title. Not world title yet, but just a minor title of
some kind. I want to do maybe two or three more eight rounders then go up
to ten rounds so hopefully I can get classified.

Many in boxing feel that the sport is in trouble and on the verge of dying altogether. As a fighter, what changes do you see that need to be made to get the sport back on its feet?

No, I don't really think its in a slump it's just that lately there have
been a lot of issues with fighters getting robbed, like De La Hoya in my
opinion, and a lot of people think that it is all fixed, you know. Maybe
what we need to do is just get better fights. I mean you see fighters like
Vargas fighting guys with 13 losses. We need closer fights with good

Is there anything else that you'd like to say to your fans?

Just that boxing is a tough sport and I always come well prepared to my
fights. I had an experience with the Ishe Smith fight where I didn't come
prepared because it was on a weeks notice and I lost that fight. Because of
that I always come well prepared to every fight and like you said my last
four fights have been victories, three by knockout, and those were all main
event fights so hopefully we'll keep it going.

I'd like to thank Alfonso for taking time out of his training schedule to speak with me. For more information about his Feb. 28th fight against Bernard Guereca go to

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