Ted the Bull Interviews Alfonso Gomez
By Ted Sares: I had a chance to catch up with Alfonso Gomez who is getting ready for his big fight with Champion Miguel Cotto on April 12. Here is what he had to say.
Article posted on 06.04.2008
The Bull: I have to tell you your match up with Cotto is one of those fights where it is hard to root against either fighter. Both of you guys are true gentlemen who always give 100%, are respectful, and donít engage in trash talk or false hype. Why have you avoided that part of the game?
Gomez: Itís part of my culture. Mexicans are taught to be humble and respectful. I also had those kind of values instilled in me as I grew up. Itís just the way I am. Cotto and I look at this as a business and thatís how we approach it. There is no need for the insults.
Q) Where you born In Mexico?
Gomez: Yes, in Guadalajara, but we moved to Oakland, Calfornia and then to the city of Napa. I graduated from Napa High in 1998.
Q) Recognizing that you have fought very tough opposition almost from the outset of your professional career, you have been something of a career underdog. Do you agree with that perception?
Gomez: Yes. I did not have much of an amature caeer. I won the Blue and Gold Tournament and traveled back to Mexico where I held a national title. I went professional in 2001 and started fast. I fought tough guys like Ishe Smith from the very start and in many instances I was an underdog. But I have never backed down which is one of the reasons I called out heavily favored Peter Manfredo in the contenders. I wanted to fight the toughest guy there and thatís exactly what I did. It just seems to be my karma for people to doubt me.
Q) When you beat him, you were probably the only one who was not surprised.
Gomez: Could be.
Q) How would you characterize your self as a fighter? Your ring IQ?
Gomez: I believe I am a smart fighter who can counter well and use a body attack when appropriate. A lot of people think I am just another Mexican brawler, but that is just the opposite of what I bring to the table. I know my way around the ring and can adjust when necessary. If someone underestimates me, that will prove fatal. Bet on that.
Q) I need not remind you that Cotto has a brutal body attack in his tool chest. What are you going to do to deal with his incoming style?
Gomez: I too can work the body. However, to keep him at bay, the best thing to do is to snap off stiff jabs--and I can do that. Cottoís chin is suspect and his style leaves him susceptible to body punches. Remember, others like Ricardo Torres and ďChop ChopĒ Corley stunned him badly proving he is not invincible. If we get into a furious exchange, and I catch him with a sharp counterpunch, anything can happen. And I certainly donít plan on letting him back me up. He will find I am a lot stronger than he thinks.
Q) I notice your speed and snap was much better when you fought Gatti. Why was that?
Gomez: Well. I am one of those fighters who tends to fight at the level of his opponents and thatís what I did with Arturo. I also worked extremely hard in preparing for that fight. I caught my second wind and my corner told me to go out and finish him and I did. Sometimes, when I fight someone who is slower, I tend to fight at that level myself. Itís just part of my boxerís makeup. Of course, with Miguel Cotto, I intend to fight at his high level.
Q) Many of your fans have asked me to ask you who are your top favorite fighters and who is your favorite of all time!
Gomez: Many Pacquiao and Kelly Pavlik are my two favoriteís right now, and Chavez was my all time favorite as he was a hero and inspiration to the entire country of Mexico.
Q) When will you be coming east?
Gomez: Iíll be leaving this weekend for a press conference in New York and should have no issues adjusting to the three hour time change. It wonít be like when I went to London. Look, I know what is at stake on April 12 and what it can mean. I am ready. March was a big month for upsets, Campbell beat Diaz, Philips beat Spinks and Casamayor took out Katsidis. Hey, even before that, Paul Williams was upset. 2008 will be the year of boxing upsets and I intend to punctuate that in Atlantic City. I do not plan to disappoint my fans.
The Bull: Thank you Alfonso for taking the time to chat with me. Buena suerte, mi amigo.
Gomez: Thank you, Ted, for the interview.
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