Juan Carlos Gomez Decisions McCall, But What Does The Future Hold?
By Chris Robinson (October 17, 2005)
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I remember taking a liking to then WBC Cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez the first time I caught him in action in the late 90’s. I never caught him live, instead opting to pick up tapes of the eccentric Cuban, but it still gave me a good gauge on his skills as a fighter and charisma as a person. Coming to ring dancing to Gloria Estefan’s ‘Conga,’ Gomez couldn’t help but stand out just a bit and in the ring it was no different as his skills immediately set him apart from his competition.

Combining a unique ring generalship, fast hands, great height and reach, along with some solid power, I considered Gomez the man to beat at Cruiserweight for quite some time. I thought he was something special and even though he was fighting in the often looked over Cruiserweight class, I expected him to make a name for himself sooner rather than later. The wins continued to come in but the exposure was still lacking, and it was then that Gomez decided to go after the big boys and the big bucks in the Heavyweight division.

Gomez racked up a couple off-TV wins and eventually landed a gig on an HBO card that also featured Dominick Guinn and Joe Mesi scoring wins in separate bouts. For his part, Gomez outfought and outwit Germany’s Sinan Samil Sam over ten rounds, scoring a decision and showing some nice skills along the way. The win, coupled with the dire state of the Heavyweight division, looked to be the sign of bigger things to come but disaster was right around the corner.

In August of 2004 Gomez would come in a bit heavy and perhaps underestimate his foe, fellow Cuban Yanqui Diaz. This lead to a fast start from Diaz and a first round knockout loss for Gomez, which is still a bit hard to fathom to this day. For whatever reasons surrounding the loss, Gomez’ momentum came to a screeching halt and he had since gone on the backburner.

I thought that Gomez might disappear from the scene completely, but his recent actions have lead me to believe there is still hope for the once-promising southpaw. Last night in Germany, Gomez would pull together enough class to score his biggest win in recent memory, as he out pointed always-rugged Oliver McCall over ten rounds. Going into the match up I had my doubts as to whether Gomez could get by the ‘Atomic Bull’ but the win shows that there is indeed at least a little bit of light at the end of his twisted tunnel.

As fight fans we are drawn to fighters because of their skills and their personality. Every fight of theirs’ seems to take on the magnitude of a Super Bowl for us and we root for them with genuine passion. Juan Carlos Gomez is that type of fighter to me and it looks like he may be coming around yet again. With the state of the Heavyweight division as it is, the doors are wide open for him to make a run at the belts.

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