By Jake Donovan
Jhonny Gonzalez knows better than to mistake the scenic surroundings of Acapulco as an upcoming vacation. The reigning featherweight titlist hit the popular paradise location on Wednesday to formally announce his May 24 title defense versus undefeated challenger Clive Atwell.
The bout will air live on Televisa in Mexico.
“It’s always a pleasure to visit Acapulco and it’s a privilege to defend my world title in paradise,” Gonzalez (55-8, 47KO) said of the upcoming bout, the first defense of his second featherweight title reign which came with a shocking 1st round knockout of Abner Mares last summer. “I am committed to giving my all for this fight. I dedicate my (upcoming) win not only to the people of Acapulco, but to all of Mexico and to all who have always believed in me.”
Atwell (12-0-1, 7KO) enters his first title fight, and also his first bout outside of his native Guyana.
Gonzalez enters the fight riding a three-fight win streak, though none bigger than his stunning knockout of Mares, which was hailed by Boxingscene.com as 2013 Upset of the Year. The win put Gonzalez back in the title picture, 11 months after coming up short against Daniel Ponce de Leon to end his first featherweight title reign.
The win over Mares made Gonzalez a three-time champion, having also previously enjoyed a stay as bantamweight titlist.
Gonzalez has not fought since the win over Mares, as he was put on ice waiting for a rematch that never materialized. Mares cited a rib injury as the cause for his withdrawing from their planned sequel earlier this year – the second time the bout was rescheduled before being canceled altogether.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.