Boxing


Jhonny Gonzalez To Defend WBC Featherweight Title Vs. Rogers Mtagwa - Sept.14th In El Paso

By James Slater: A potentially exciting title clash will take place in El Paso, Texas on September the 14th, as Mexican warrior Jhonny Gonzalez will defend his World Boxing Coincil (WBC) 126-pound title against Tanzanian tough guy Rogers Mtagwa. The fight will be promoted by Goossen Tutor.

29-year-old Gonzalez (who saw his first name misspelt on a fight poster early on in his career and decided to keep it as it was ever since), will be making the second defence of his crown. A former WBO super-bantamweight champ as well as a former WBC 122-pound title challenger, Gonzalez seems to have been around forever. A pro since 1999 (he lost his first two pro outings), Jhonny has picked up a ton of experience.

Over the years, Gonzalez has given us some great action fights - against the likes of Israel Vazquez (L TKO10), Fernando Montiel (WS12) and Gerry Penalosa (L TKO7). After a fairly quick TKO loss to Japanís excellent Toshiaka Nishioka in a failed WBC super-bantam challenge (TKO by3), Gonzalez moved up to featherweight and he has not lost since. Enjoying a new lease of life, the man from Mexico City captured the WBC belt with a 4th-round TKO win over another Japanese fighter, in Hozumi Hasegawa, in Japan, back in April.

Since then Gonzalez has retained once (a 4th-round stoppage of Tomas Villa) and now he is no doubt looking forward to a rumble with Mtagwa - the fighter who gave then WBO super-bantam champ Juanma Lopez such a fierce war in October of 2009.

Since that surprisingly competitive fight (one that Mtagwa came close to winning), the 32-year-old with the ordinary-looking, but deceiving 27-14-2(19) record has been blown away by Yuriorkis Gamboa inside a couple of rounds (in a WBA featherweight title challenge) and he has won a tune-up type affair against the 26-12 Pedro Navarrete - an 8th-round TKO win earlier this month. How much does Mtagwa have left to offer today?

The Gamboa blow-out aside, Mtagwa has shown a pretty good chin. Orlando Salido stopped him in the 5th back in 2006 and before that Rogers was halted by Valdemir Pereira (8th-round TKO back in 2004). Aside from those three losses, Mtagwa has picked up some close, debatable points defeats, a number of them coming in his early days.

If he has another great fight left in him similar to the kind he gave Lopez, Gonzalez could be in for a rough night. But that Gamboa loss did make Mtagwa look like a faded, perhaps even finished fighter. How will his punch resistance hold up against the 49-7(43) Gonzalez? Will Mtagwa be able to cope with the championís vicious body work?

Mtagwa can punch some himself of course, and in the Lopez fight (really his finest hour, despite losing) he kept coming and coming. But that incredible effort took a lot out of him; the question is did it take everything out of him?

Mtagwa knows this is his last big chance and he will try and make the most of it. Gonzalez is in no mood to give up his belt as he seeks greater paydays. We may well get a good idea of how this one will go as soon as Gonzalez tags his challenger with a good shot. If Mtagwaís chin holds up, the war will be on!

I go for Gonzalez to win an exciting fire-fight via a middle-rounds stoppage.

Article posted on 17.08.2011



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