|Interview with Alfonso Gomez
By Danny Serratelli (April 11, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
Gomez: I'm just looking at winning on Saturday, and when I win, there is a re-match clause, so I guess that's what's going to happen!
Alfonso S. Gomez (18-3-2) is very confident heading into his fight on Saturday night against undefeated WBA welterweight champion and one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, Miguel Cotto (31-0-0). Brickcityboxing.com/Doghouseboxing.com had the chance to speak with Alfonso as he was preparing for
another huge opportunity to shine after already pulled off several big upsets in his career. The fight will be broadcasted by HBO, this Saturday, April 12 from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Read on to learn more about the talented Mexican-American fighter from California and just how confident he is going into this fight with Miguel Cotto. Special thanks to Melissa DeVolentine from team Gomez for setting up this interview. For further information on Alfonso Gomez and information about this exciting match up check out www.alfonsosgomez.com .
Danny Serratelli: Alfonso it is a pleasure to speak to you. To me you are a throwback fighter, which coming from me is a huge compliment. I feel it is often overlooked how you took the Contender at 160 pounds even thought you are naturally more of a 140-147 pound fighter. I know a lot of guys who turned it don because it was a weight class or 2 off. I know guys who refuse fights on shows I've promoted because of 2 or even 1 pound�but that's boxing, so much respect to you for not only entering, but doing very well. How did you feel going into "The Contender" with an obvious size disadvantage, and how was
it to pull the big upset against Peter Manfredo in your 1st fight on the show?
Alfonso Gomez: I was going to go into The Contender regardless of weight for the opportunity of $1 million; not for the recognition, but for the money. For the first fight I picked who was supposed to be best and the one that no one wanted to fight. I don't run from anyone or anything, and since he was the best eventually we were going to fight anyway. But it really gave me a "name" for doing that.
DS: After beating Peter the first time, how disappointed were you after the rematch with Peter (which Manfredo won) and what was different in that 2nd fight with Manfredo?
AG: It was a very close fight; I can't say he "beat me beat me" but the judges felt he was better. At the end of the day, the weight caught up to me; I really started to feel the difference in weight/size.
DS: Who are your favorite fighters now, and who did you look up to as a kid when you were in the amateurs?
AG: Now, Manny Pacquiao and Kelly Pavlik, as a kid of course, Julio Cesar Chavez.
DS: As a young fighter when I have seen you, you have always seemed pretty experienced and composed. I usually attribute that to a more extensive amateur background. How many amateur fights did you have, and what was your record?
AG: 90 fights with 80 wins
DS: Entering the Contender did you seriously believe that fighting 2 weight classes over where you were regularly fighting that you would have the chance to do as well as you did?
AG: Yes, I felt I was going to win.
DS: At that point in your career getting the opportunity to compete for a million dollars� that is the attitude you have to have to stand a chance. Have you learned anything or do you feel differently after your recent wins over tough ring veterans like my fellow NJ guy, all time warrior, Arturo Gatti and Ben Tackie?
AG: More than anything, it gave me a boost of confidence as a fighter, and it gave me more confidence that I can go more rounds.
DS: I have been at pretty much all of Arturo Gatti's fights in Atlantic City and I know that it is a special place for Arturo and his fans. You seemed to be in a zone and like everything went your way that night. I'm curious about how you prepared mentally and physically and how you felt fight night pre-fight, during the fight and post fight?
AG: I always prepare physically to best of my abilities, and prepare mentally as well. I don't let anything get in my way. The pressure from fans and media before and at the fight didn't affect me. I was able to stay focused on the task at hand and on fight night I delivered exactly what I trained for.
DS: With that win, you captured the imagination of a lot of fans and silenced a lot of naysayers. Against Cotto, a win would obviously be huge, but even a good showing would earn you more respect and possible big fights down the road. What have you done to mentally and physically prepare for such a momentous night that could shape your career?"
AG: Thank you for that, but I'm not looking for a "good showing." I go to win and I've prepared by training hard like always.
DS: Who is your trainer, and what sparring partners have you used to help you prepare for Cotto's style, or should I say styles?
AG: My trainer is my father Alfonso S. Gomez, Sr., who has been my trainer for my whole career. I've also added a conditioning coach for this fight, so that I have the stamina to go 12 rounds. I've been sparring with Alfredo Angulo and Vardan Gasparvan, who are both light middleweights. They're both strong guys and pressure fighters so I feel like I've gotten very good sparring.
DS: I have always felt Miguel was a tough fighter; however at 140 he sometimes seemed flawed. Since he has moved up to 147 he has looked awesome. In my opinion he has improved a lot over the last few years to become a much more complete fighter fighting at a better weight for him. However, I also how do you feel you match up with Miguel style and strength/size wise, what are your feelings on strength, size and style matchups in this fight.
AG: Strength and size-wise, I'm bigger than him and I've proven I can handle bigger fighters, so the plan is to use the size and strength advantage. I can work on the inside or on the outside depending on what Cotto decides to do.
DS: You already went toBoardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to what they called the house that Gatti built and you were successful. How do you feel about going back to Atlantic City for only the 2nd time in your career to fight Miguel Cotto, who also packs the house in Atlantic City?
AG: I feel good about going back to Atlantic City. I have to do my job right and not focus on where I am or where he is. I focus on the fighter and I don't focus on anybody else.
DS: Do you watch tapes and devise a game plan for fights, does your trainer/dad do it, or do you just go in there and go with the flow and make adjustments?
AG: I watch tapes and make game plans but then I adjust to the other fighter. I tend to match them, so when the other fighter isn't as good, then I don't look as good, but when they are good, then I rise to their level. But I do train differently for each fighter.
DS: That's interesting, because I think that Miguel has seemed to do the same thing in the past, although I saw that more when he fought at 140 pounds. Since you guys both have a tendency to do that, it should make for an exciting fight. He has showed that he can box or brawl. I think you are an underrated fighter and a live underdog. I think you have underrated boxing skills, but I have also seen you brawl effectively. . You do a lot of subtle things in the ring and seem to always be relaxed and keep your composure. What is your game plan?
AG: If he tries to box, them I'll push him back, because he doesn't fight as good backwards as forwards in my opinion. I have a good jab and good timing so I'm going to capitalize on that as well.
DS: Thanks Alfonso, you are a good guy and a solid fighter. I know you are building a fan base in my neck of the woods in the Northeast and I am expecting a good fight on Saturday regardless of the outcome. I want to wish you the best of luck from www.Brickcityboxing.com and www.Doghouseboxing.com . I know you will come to fight and surprise a lot of people. Win or lose where do you want to go from here?
AG: Thank you Danny, and thanks to Brickcityboxing.com and Doghouseboxing.com. I look at it fight by fight. I'm just looking at winning on Saturday, and when I win, there is a re-match clause, so I guess that's what's going to happen.
DS: Sounds like a plan. I truly believe that you and Miguel are two of the good guys in the sport and I think the style match up will assure an exciting fight. Good luck my brother. I will see you after the fight.
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