by Rick Reeno & David P. Greisman
A fight between WBC featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez and former 122-pound beltholder Daniel Ponce De Leon has been confirmed for the Sept. 15 pay-per-view undercard to Saul Alvarez vs. Paul Williams, according to Eric Gomez, Vice President and head matchmaker of Golden Boy Promotions. The card takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Gonzalez-Ponce De Leon will be positioned as the pay-per-view's co-feature. Gomez, whose company at one time promoted both boxers, has been trying to make this fight for several years.
There was one obstacle, with Gonzalez requesting to take another fight before the pay-per-view defense - but Gomez confirms the two boxers are heading straight to the September showdown to avoid the possibility of a pre-fight injury.
And based on their records, Gomez does expect a knockout ending.
"We got it done. [They are heading] straight into the fight. That was one of the obstacles we had because Jhonny wanted to do a fight [before Sept. 15], but because of marketing purposes we can't afford to have Jhonny get hurt. I closed the deal nearly an hour ago. We went over every deal point, we have a confirmation email and they gave us the green light to announce it," Gomez, who handles Ponce De Leon, told BoxingScene.com.
"It's a fight that I've been trying to make for years, back when Jhonny and Ponce De Leon were both with us. They were both champions. Jhonny was the bantamweight champion and Ponce was the super bantamweight champion. I tried making that fight, five years ago or something, but for one reason or another we were never able to make it. This is the perfect time now and the perfect scenario and we were able to get it done."
"I think its going to be a hell of a fight. I think there will be a knockout. I don't know who is going to win, but I think there is going to be a knockout. With that much firepower with both guys, I think there will be a knockout. And that's the kind of fights that we want to do."
Gonzalez, who also held a world title at bantamweight, won the featherweight belt in April 2011 by stopping Hozumi Hasegawa. He’s won 12 straight fights dating back to 2009, with his most recent appearance being an April decision victory over Elio Rojas. The 30-year-old from Mexico is 52-7 with 45 knockouts.
Ponce De Leon has won two straight since suffering back-to-back losses in 2011 — a disputed decision loss to Adrien Broner and a unanimous technical decision loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa. Those victories came in January (a knockout of Omar Estrella) and earlier this month (a decision over Eduardo Lazcano). The 31-year-old, also originally from Mexico, is 43-4 with 35 knockouts.
Another strong consideration for the September 15th undercard is top junior welterweight Marcos Maidana, says Gomez.
"There is a good possibility that Maidana will be on [the show]. We want this to be a big successful pay-per-view. We don't want this to be a small pay-per-view. This is Canelo's debut, headlining a pay-per-view and we want it to be a big success. We have our name behind [this show] and Oscar [De La Hoya] said 'I want the best possible fights' and that's what we're doing," Gomez said.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]