Boxing


Mexican Warrior Julio Cesar Gonzalez To Return After Two-Year Layoff?

by James Slater - I'm sure I wasn't alone when I felt for sure the exciting career of Mexican tough guy Julio Cesar Gonzalez had come to and end back in August of 2008. That night, in once again giving his all in a bout, the former WBO light-heavyweight champion took a quite savage beating from the unbeaten Tavoris Cloud, being stopped for the first time in his eleven-year pro career.

Gonzalez was stopped on his feet in the 10th-round, and he had taken some wicked head shots all the way through the fast-paced battle.. This loss was the third in a row for the 34-year-old - with Clinton Woods and Reggie Johnson having out-pointed him in IBF and IBA title bouts respectively - and after dipping to 41-6(25) Gonzalez disappeared. Until now.

According to Boxrec.com, Gonzalez will return to action, after a near two-year break, on July 17th in Mexico. Trying his hand up at cruiserweight, the man who provided us with so many thrills and spills will fight relative novice Felipe Romero, 7-4-1(6) for the Mexican 200-pound title. Sure, it's a long way down from the time when Gonzalez was rumbling with the likes of Roy Jones Junior, Dariusz Michalczewski and Montell Griffin, but the former champ has the right to take a "safe-looking" fight in his initial step back; especially after all the wars he's been involved in.

It's not clear what a win over Romero, a southpaw, will do for Gonzalez - and maybe he is simply looking for a few final paydays before exiting the sport for good - but as fine a servant as he's been to boxing, it's tough not to root for him.

But how much can the man who resides in Huntington Beach, California possibly have left?

Not only did Gonzalez leave a little of himself in the ring when he fought that unforgettable 2001 war with the late Julian Letterlough, he also left the ring a different person after his fierce engagements with Woods (in their second fight) and Cloud last time out. Factor in the hard nights he had against the likes of Jones Junior, Zsolt Erdei, Glen Johnson and others, and it's clear that asking what Gonzalez has left today is a most valid question.

It would be a sad spectacle to witness if a guy with a mere seven pro wins such as Romero did a number on a shot Gonzalez. As with all the other once top level fighters who performed on the biggest stages, Gonzalez deserves no such ignominy. But, again like all the other former champs who insisted on fighting on when past their best, Gonzalez faces such a fate next month.

Maybe he has retained enough of his old stuff to be able to see off the Romeros of the world, but unless he is in dire need of cash, what's the point in him doing so? As I've said, Gonzalez (one of my personal favourites) is a fighter who makes you want to root for him, but I thought rooting for him had come to and end after that painful night against Cloud almost two years ago.

Gonzalez, it seems, is about to add his name to the long list of former champions who were simply unable to walk away from boxing for keeps.

Article posted on 16.06.2010



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