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  Gomez Signs Contract For Fight With Alvarez

By Barbara Pinnella

Alfonso Gomez looks to be on his way to one of, if not the biggest fight of his career Ė a bout for the WBC Light Middleweight Title with Saul ďCaneloĒ Alvarez. ďIíve already signed the contract,Ē Gomez told me Wednesday afternoon. ďThey sent me the contract yesterday, and Iíve signed it and returned it. The fightís happening; itís just a matter of him signing, if he hasnít already.

ďItís a big fight for me,Ē he continued. ďThe last time I had an opportunity like this was a few years ago against Miguel Angel Cotto, and I came short. Iím 30 years old now, so Iím going to give it all this time to make sure I donít have to wait another four years for another shot like this. Iíll be too old,Ē he laughed.

I asked Alfonso how this all went down and how long this had been in the works. ďWell, it just kind of happened I guess,Ē he said. ďI fought a week before he did, and I fought good in my fight, and he defended his title successfully. My manager Gary Gittlesohn called me and said that they had proposed a fight with Alvarez. Obviously I said yes. They just want to make sure that everythingís correct in terms of money, and the weight, and all that stuff that has to be organized in terms of the promotion aspect. I let my manager settle all that and he said to go. He gave me the contract yesterday and I signed it Ė I liked what I saw.

ďBut yeah, itís been going on for three weeks already since I got contacted for that fight. I accepted immediately, without even knowing if it was going to be a lot or a little (the money). It didnít matter to me. What mattered for me was the opportunity.Ē

Gomez thinks that Saul is a good opponent for him in his quest for that belt. ďI think out of all the Champions he is one of the most popular but the least experienced in big fights. Cotto, heís champion and heís been in with the big boys, and Mayweather and Ortiz have their thing going on right now, so of all the big champions out there, heís one that I was looking forward to. Beating him puts me in the position where I can get a rematch with Cotto or go down in weight and get the winner of Mayweather and Ortiz. Thatís a big payday right there.Ē

When we last spoke, Alfonso told me that his eye was on Pacquiao. I asked him how this fight fit into that plan. ďBeating Alvarez definitely propels me to a fight with Pacquiao maybe next year,Ē he told me. ďIíve just got to win this fight and maybe retain my title another time, and then the possibility of Pacquiao is there.

ďIt doesnít matter if it takes another year; Iíve just got to keep winning, winning, winning, winning, and this fight right here is an important fight to fight Pacquiao. You know, to fight Pacquiao, I wasnít going to do it just fighting people like Calvin Green. It was good for my record, but in order to get to a Pacquiao I have to be World Champion; beat Miguel Cotto, or in this case beat Saul Alvarez. So this is step three in getting to Pacquiao.Ē

One of the things that opponents talk about with regard to Alvarez is his power and how strong he is. I asked Alfonso if he was concerned about that. ďNot at all, heís not even going to touch me!Ē he laughed. ďIíve fought Welterweights, Super Welterweights, even Middleweights, and Iíve been able to take their punches pretty well, so Iím not worried about that. His chin is susceptible though, heís been hurt twice. So for me thatís a motivating factor, to get more strength for this fight.

ďAnd also I know that heís a good counter-puncher, so my plan is to box and to move and to use my experience in bigger fights, because he obviously has more fights then me. But I believe I have more experience in harder fights against more legit opponents than he does, and Iím going to use that to my advantage too.

ďIíve fought strong fighters. in the beginning of my career, Peter Manfredo and Jesse Brinkley, World Middleweights, and also Ishe Smith, and then Soto Karass. So I think Iíve been in there with stronger fighters in deep waters, and thatís somewhere Canelo hasnít been. I plan to take him there. I know the experience I have over him is going to make a difference.Ē

Just back from Mexico two days prior, Gomez was obviously not going to waste any time. ďIím already hitting it hard in the gym, my second day, and I feel real motivated. Iím sure Iím going to keep this motivation through the whole training camp. Iím going to show off in the fight, Iím going to be very well prepared to take the title away and be Champion.Ē

This fight is scheduled for September 17th at Staples Center. If that date sounds familiar, it is the same day that the Mayweather/Ortiz fight is happening in Vegas. As Alfonso said, a double-header of boxing pay-per-views. What a big night it will be, regardless of which fight one attends.

As always, I want to thank Alfonso for taking the time to speak with me. I will catch up with him closer to fight time.

Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,


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