Friday, October 23, 2009

A Contender Gets Another Shot

Alfonso Gomez will get a chance to bask in the spotlight when the boxing world tunes its attention to Las Vegas.

Former “The Contender” reality show participant Alfonso Gomez is currently training in California for his Nov. 14 appearance on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto “Firepower” undercard.

Gomez, 20-4-2, 10 KOs will meet Jesus Soto Karass, 24-3-3, 16 KOs for the WBC Continental Americas welterweight title.

For Gomez, who will turn 29 next week, it's another chance to fight his way back to contender status. Karass is rated in the top 15 by all four sanctioning organizations and if Gomez were to prove victorious he would put himself into consideration for a future world title shot. Karass is ranked #7 by the WBC and #5 in the IBF. As a result, Gomez is taking his latest opportunity very seriously.

“I've basically been in the gym since my last fight,” he says. “In my last fight I had a first round knockout win and I only took a week off after that. I wasn't beaten up at all, I was fresh and I was already in shape. I haven't burnt myself out in the gym.”

Gomez is keenly aware that the spotlight will be shining brightly on the night of Nov. 14. The attention of the boxing world will be focused on the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“I know that Soto Karass is strong and that he never stops coming forward,” said Gomez. “Apparently we're the first fight on the card that is going to open the pay-per-view so hopefully a lot of people will see the fight. I'm excited because it's [Pacquiao vs. Cotto] the biggest fight of the year. There is going to be all that energy, all the fans and all the commotion the night of the fight so I can't wait to get there and be a part of it all.”

In the most impressive fight of his career, Gomez retired Arturo Gatti for good.

In addition to his regular boxing regimen, Gomez has been working with a strength and conditioning coach.

“I'm just very excited and I'm training very hard,” said Gomez. “This fight against Karass, I think, has a chance to be a very good fight. We're both warriors, we're both Mexican, so we'll give the fans one of the best fights they've seen.”

Gomez fought and lost to Cotto in April 2008. It was a brutal loss as he was summarily dispatched in the fifth round. But he claims that was then – and this is now.

“This is totally different from the way I felt before the Cotto fight,” he explains. “I was dreading the gym before the Cotto fight, but for this fight I'm very excited.”

Gomez has a crowd-pleasing style and he made his name in season one of “The Contender” versus Peter Manfredo, Jr. He has also had a trio of exciting fights against Jesse Feliciano. Gomez was the last man to face Arturo Gatti when he ended his career with a 7th round TKO in 2007.

October 2009

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