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News  


Gonzalez confident, calm in US debut


PhilBoxing.com



Israel Gonzalez.

CORPUS CHRISTI. Mexican challenger Israel Gonzalez said yesterday he’s confident and calm in making his US debut against IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas at the Amercian Bank Center here Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila) but declined to predict if it will end in a knockout or go the 12-round distance.


However, Gonzalez boldly declared he will become the first world champion from Cabo San Lucas, a resort city in the southern tip of Baja California, when the final bell rings. The only other well-known fighter from the city is the now retired Saul Montana who fought for the world lightheavyweight and cruiserweight titles but lost in both bids.

Gonzalez, 21, prepared 2 1/2 months for Ancajas, working out in Condor Sanchez’ gym in Jiquipilco, 3,800 meters above sea level and higher than the Otomi mountains where Mexican legends Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales used to train. He sparred over 100 rounds, some with Juan Francisco Estrada who takes on WBC superflyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Feb. 24. Since Estrada is right-handed and Ancajas is a southpaw, Gonzalez sparred only with left-handers in the final stages of his preparations.

Gonzalez, the youngest of 10 children, was introduced to boxing by his godfather Arturo Cota when he was 10. Gonzalez’ grandfather and uncle were prizefighters, too. Cota was the referee in at least eight of Gonzalez’ pro bouts. Cota is in town with the Gonzalez entourage and did the mitts with the fighter in a media workout yesterday. Also in Gonzalez’ traveling party that arrived from Mexico last Sunday are his manager Hector Sanchez, trainer Condor Sanchez and interpreter Raul Garza, Jr.

Gonzalez had a rich amateur career and won several national championships but never made it to the Olympics or World Championships. The Mexican said there are no videos of his fights in the internet not because he pulled them out so he couldn’t be scouted but because nobody cared. “The pressure is on Ancajas, not me,” he said. “I have no name in boxing but I will surprise everyone in the fight. I’ve fought two southpaws so far and had no difficulty beating them. Ancajas will not be an exception.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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