By Keith Idec
The prevailing opinion is that Alfonso Gomez simply doesn’t possess the power or speed to make his fight against Saul Alvarez much different from his lopsided loss to Miguel Cotto.
The game, overmatched Gomez got dropped three times against Cotto, who stopped the popular former star of “The Contender” in the fifth round of their WBA welterweight title fight in April 2008 in Atlantic City. He has won each of his five fights since Cotto clobbered him, but none of those wins came against a fighter as young or as strong as the 21-year-old Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KOs), who will defend the WBC super welterweight title against Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KOs) at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“For my first try against Miguel Cotto,” Gomez, 30, said, “like I say, I never create excuses. But having a broken hand during training really didn’t prepare me properly for that fight. Nevertheless, in this instance I’m 100-percent healthy, I’m 100-percent motivated. And I feel like this is going to be a way for me to erase that loss that I had against Miguel Cotto, since a lot of critics and a lot of media have said that the outcome of this fight is going to be similar to the outcome of the Miguel Cotto fight.
“But they don’t know what was behind that loss, so for me it’s not going to be the same thing. It’s going to be different. It’s going to be action-packed. It’s not going to be a one-sided fight. I believe that this is a great opportunity for me to show that on that Miguel Cotto night, it was just a bad night for me. And like I say, I’m training really hard, there’s no injuries, no mishaps. So far the training has been excellent and I have no doubt that [Saturday] night is going to be 12 rounds of exciting boxing, and I know I’m going to be the world champion.”
The Alvarez-Gomez match will headline the Staples Center portion of an HBO Pay-Per-View split-site doubleheader that’ll feature the WBC welterweight title bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs) and Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) in Las Vegas. A sizeable crowd is expected because the fight will take place the day after Mexico’s independence day and Mexico’s Alvarez already has helped attract large crowds in the Los Angeles area.
The Mexican-born Gomez also resides in nearby Anaheim, Calif.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.