Gomez Wins, Mora Draws

alfonso gomez17.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: Alfonso Gomez didn’t let a potential showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. get in the way of concentrating on the tough opponent in front of him, Ben Tackie. Gomez, 18-3-2 with 8 KOs battled the road tested Tackie, 29-8-1 with 17 KOs to a unanimous decision victory. The scores were 98-92 twice and 97-93.

Gomez, who was coming off a knockout victory over a depleted Arturo Gatti, proved that despite the fact that he lacks one punch knockout power he makes up for that deficiency with punch output. Gomez is a busy fighter who uses his aggression and volume punching to win rounds. Tackie, who fought tooth and nail with the former Contender star couldn’t quite keep up.

“We worked on a lot of jabs and lateral movement,” Gomez said after the fight. “I respect Tackie because he comes to fight and he doesn’t duck anybody. I don’t duck anybody either.”

Gomez is now in line to take on rising star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Should Chavez defeat Rey Chavez in December he could be the Mexican’s next opponent. The fight would also bring a nice paycheck.

Gomez’s manager Gary Gittlesohn has been trying to get the fight made and after the Gatti fight Bob Arum took notice of a potential ticket seller. “We’ve had talks with Bob,” he says, “And he’s been receptive. I think it will get made.”

“I’m really looking forward to that fight,” Gomez says. “Julio hasn’t really been in the deep waters yet.”

In the co-main event Sergio Mora, the Contender first season winner, struggled to a draw against Elvin Ayala. Mora, 19-0-1 with 4 KOs started very slowly but rallied late to pull out a disputed split decision stalemate against Ayala, 18-2-1 with 8 KOs.

Mora had hoped to set up a possible fight against middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik but after this performance and his pulling out of a previous potential match up with then champion Jermain Taylor, “The Latin Snake” hasn’t done himself any favors.

“I’m very, very sorry,” he said, as if his problems in the ring were all of his own making. “That was an embarrassment. That was not me.”

The fact is Ayala, a tall, rangy counter-puncher fought a good fight and revealed severe flaws in Mora’s game. The final scores were a ridiculous 99-91 for Mora, 96-94 for Ayala and 95-95 for a draw.

Of all the Contender fighters Gomez and Rhode Island’s Peter Manfedo, who fights Jeff Lacy on the Mayweather – Hatton undercard, have emerged as the fan favorites. Both remain tough, good fighters who are willing to step into the ring against the elite of the division. However both fighters have probably plateaued in terms of how far their careers will go. Gomez will get his opportunity so he has the most going for him at the moment. He’s also an engaging personality unlike Mora who has oftentimes come off as a prima donna. Perhaps this latest fight in a rather shaky professional career will humble him and get him back to the basics because he might be the most talented of the three. Or he may just have caught lighting in a bottle on the Contender series and will never become what he had envisioned himself to be, a champion. He’s probably kicking himself for not taking that fight against Jermain Taylor when it was offered to him.

Article posted on 18.10.2007

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