Juan Carlos Gomez Interview
By Per Ake Persson: I got hold of former WBC cruiser champ and current WBC # 2 heavyweight Juan Carlos Gomez, trainer Freddie Roach, strength and conditioning coach Moritz Klatten after the press release from Universum arrived that cancelled the planned March 8 date against Vladimir Virchis in a WBC eliminator. It began with an internal dispute between Gomezīs management and his promoter, former stablemate Ahmet Oener, then Virchis pulled out and finally Universum pulled the plug on the fight. There has been no new date set yet and the WBC has as of yet not made any decision on how to deal with the delicate situation..
Article posted on 10.02.2008
Q: Whatīs your comment on the Universumīs cancellation of the fight? And what now?
A: It is good because it gives me more time to prepare. However, I would and can still be ready for March 8. I hope to get a new date as soon as possible. I have a great team with Freddie and my conditioning coach Mo. We are in serious training and no matter which day I will fight, I will turn up in great shape.
Q: How did you prepare for Virchis in regards of style, tactics etc?
A: Freddie and I carefully studied Virchis. Virchis is a strong opponent and I think it will be an exciting fight.
Q: Are your problems with Arena out of the way now?
A: My manager is very close to coming to an agreement with Ahmet Oener. So you have to ask my manager and my promoter. I just want to focus on my training now and I can guarantee you that I will definitely take that fight.
Q: How is Freddy Roach as a trainer? Is there anything in specific you work on? How do you compare Roach with say Fritz Sdunek?
A: Freddie is a very good and experienced coach. His personality is very motivating and in the short amount of time we worked together I can already say that I am improving technically. It is hard to compare Freddie with Fritz. Both of them are word class coaches using completely different methods.
Q: Against McCall, the second fight, you hardly you used your jab, you pawed with it and then outboxed him with your left, was this the plan beforehand or was this the way the fight developed?
A: Thats not true, I used my jab quite a lot.
Q: If you look around the top ranks at heavyweight today, what do you think about it? Anyone you would like to fight? You must have spent a lot of time in the gym with Wladimir Klitschko ...
A: The heavyweight division is wide open. I would very much like like to fight one of the Klitschko brothers, but I think they will always try to avoid me.
Q: Of your fights up until now, which have been your best?
A: The second half of the second fight against Dominguez (back in 99; Dominguez was coming on strong, Gomez was under pressure but put it all together winning the last six rounds in an outstanding performance) and the second (fall of 07) McCall fight.
Q: In the first fight against McCall, what is your side of the positive doping test?
A: Peter Kohl and his doctors tried to ruin my a career. I got tested by another doctor independently and then by another doctor and the test was negative. (note: it must be said that the doping tests are conducted independently from both Universum and the German Federation and any of the sanctioning bodies)
Q: Where do you live right now? Germany? US?
A: I live in LA, but Hamburg still feels like my hometown.
Q: In your sole loss, against Azcuy, what happend?
A: I could come up with many excuses, but at the end of the day I just lost the fight. I got knocked out cold. However I learned my lesson to never underestimate your opponent.
Q: Thereīs a lot really good Cuban fighters around, pro and amateurs, and have been for a long time, whatīs your theory on that?
A: In Cuba all the amateur boxers live like professionals. They train, eat and sleep. In most other countries it is impossible to live and train like that unless you are not a professional you have to earn money somehow.
Q: How long do you plan to keep on fighting and what do you see yourself doing after retirement?
A: I will turn 35 soon, and I hope that I will get the chance to fight for the World Championship soon. I think I will still be able to fight at least until 38. After that I am planning to get involved as a manager and coach. I already have a managerīs license and I am currently co-managing Fernando Zuniga.
Freddie Roach on training Juan Carlos:
Q: What are you working on?
A: We're working on how right handed fighters fight southpaws and what to expect.
Q: How do you see Virchis as opponent?
A: Very complete. Great fundamentals.
Q: In general, how do you see the heavyweight division?
A: A little weak right now.
Q: In my eyes former WBA bantam champ Johnny Bredahl fought the fight of his life when he beat Ediy Moya, he was trained by you for that fight, he was a veteran, it was the first time you worked together, what was your input? What did you work with Johnny on? (ringside I could only hear Freddy say "think Johnny think" in the corner)
A: Just his overall game. We had very good sparring partners and conditioning for the fight.
Strenght and conditioning coach Moritz Klatten on getting Juan Carlos in the best possible shape and keeping him there:
Right now we are doing two running sessions and one rowing session per week to improve his endurance. We seldom do any continuous roadwork. Interval training is the key. To increase his strength we are training three times per week alternating betwen upper and lower body. Once Juan starts sparring I cut down the weight training to one session per week only to maintain the strength gained in the previous weeks. I will cut down the volume, but not the intensity until we will get a exact date for the fight to make shure that Juan will peak at the right time.
Thanks to Juan Carlos, Freddie and Moritz!
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