By Mitch Abramson
Eddie Gomez, the hard-punching, affable junior middleweight from the Bronx, will make his 2012 debut later tonight on the undercard of Marcos Maidana-Devon Alexander in St. Louis.
It’s the first big undercard that Gomez (7-0, six knockouts) will be fighting under, and the 19-year-old is looking forward to showing the local fans what he can do.
“I’m here to prove to [my promoter] Golden Boy that this is where I belong,” said Gomez, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx, currently on winter break for the week.
“They’re getting me this opportunity for me to prove what I can do. A lot of people from St. Louis are going to see how I am, what I’m about. I can’t wait. I want to fight today.”
Never shy to talk about his talents, Gomez was struck with how humble and reserved Maidana was during the pre-fight press conference on Thursday. He liked the way Maidana carried himself and hopes to emulate that approach, he said. Perhaps that’s why he was so deferential in discussing his opponent, David Lopez (3-7-3) on Saturday. Lopez, who makes his home in Idaho, has never been stopped or knocked out, and has lost decisions to five straight undefeated fighters, including the previously undefeated Steven Martinez of the Bronx, who recently dropped a split decision to Denis Douglin in January.
“I don’t know much about my opponent, but they say he has a good chin,” Gomez said. “They say he’s going to be a tough test. I’m not looking to knock him out. I’m looking to box him and if the knockout comes, I’ll be glad to take it.”
Gomez, who last fought in November- stopping Antonio Infante in five rounds- has been in the gym the last six weeks, biding his time and waiting for the phone to ring for a fight, he said. He was notified that he would be on the undercard around the first week in February.
He’s never fought in St. Louis but is familiar with nearby Kansas City, having won the Ringside Nationals there a handful of times as a highly decorated Junior Olympian. Gomez made the trip with his father, Eddie Sr., his longtime coach, Jose Cotto Talavera, as well as a friend.
Gomez surprised a lot of people when he signed with Golden Boy Promotions and opted to turn pro in 2010 after competing in just one senior amateur tournament- the Daily News Golden Gloves, which he won. He anticipates fighting again either beneath Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson on April 28 or on the Miguel Cotto-Floyd Mayweather undercard on May 5.