By Rick Reeno
Junior middleweight Jonathan Gonzalez (16-0-1, 13KOs) is looking for a change. He wants new representation on the promotional side, according to his father and manager, Antonio "Tony" Gonzalez. The 23-year-old Puerto Rican fighter is promoted by Gary Shaw, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing and Javier Bustillo of Puerto Rico-based Universal Promotions.
Gonzalez's career was going very smooth - until last August when he badly missed weight for his HBO televised debut. Gonzalez, facing former champion Sergiy Dzinziruk, came in at 163-pounds for a match contracted at a 154 max. Gonzalez and Dzinziruk fought to a draw, although most believe the young prospect should have got the nod from the judges.
Gonzalez learned his lesson, and weighed nearly two-pounds under the limit at 152.75 for his ESPN televised fight with Derek Ennis on January 4th. Ironically, in this fight Ennis weighed well above the 154 limit by coming in at 161. Gonzalez won a majority decision.
Tony Gonzalez is unhappy with the development of his son's career. Among other items, he claims the current promotional trio that handles their future is ignoring his son's development and making him sit on the sidelines while waiting to secure a television date.
"First and foremost, I want to send a direct message to our promoters, which are Gary Shaw Promotions, Warriors Boxing and Universal Promotions - that we do not want to continue with them. We have problems with all three of them," Tony Gonzalez told BoxingScene.com.
"The problem is this, those promoters have a prospect - 23-years-old, 16-0 with 13 KOs, a deep amateur background, an ex-Olympian who has the right ethnicity - and they are not paying attention or giving him the priority that he should be getting. He is not staying active. The fighter made one mistake - he did not make weight for a fight last year. He corrected that mistake. He went to camp in Florida and then weighed almost two pounds below the limit for his next fight. He has done everything that has been asked for and they are still not giving him the attention that he deserves. We are in March, the earliest that he can fight is in June and there is no certainty that he will fight in June. It can't continue like this anymore."
"They are not focusing on developing this kid. They are simply waiting for a television network to give them a date so they don't have to pay anything. They are waiting for money from one of the networks. They are not fighting him in Puerto Rico so they don't have to pay for the fight. And the result is, there is great prospect that nobody is becoming acquainted with in Puerto Rico, because they don't want to put their hands in their pockets to pay for his fights."
"The message for all promoters out there, Jonathan is young and has a lot of potential and committed one mistake in 17 fights. The call is for all promoters out there, to please contact any of those three promoters, negotiate a buyout and try to make a deal. He is training and wants to get far and he doesn't''t believe he will get there with the promoters he is stuck with."
Gary Shaw, one of the three promoters handling Gonzalez, tells BoxingScene he was unaware of these complaints from the fighter and his camp.
Shaw says he tried to get Gonzalez back on HBO - but before that can happen the network wants Gonzalez to have at least three to four more fights to ensure that he is capable of making weight.
Shaw says promoter Lou DiBella tried to pitch Gonzalez as the opponent for Willie Nelson, as part of a planned HBO televised tripleheader on June 29th, and the network rejected Gonzalez as an option.
"I gave him the opportunity to go on HBO and he came in nine pounds overweight. Then he gave what most considered a mediocre effort because of the weight loss. Since that time I have asked HBO to put Gonzalez back on and the answer has been 'no.' They want him to have three or four more fights. He can't blame that on me. I spoke to HBO as early as Monday. And Lou DiBella called me last night and asked me if I had any 154-pounders. I said 'how about Jonathan Gonzalez' and he said 'I already tried with HBO and they said no,'" Shaw told BoxingScene.com.
"Is it my fault that I gave him this wonderful opportunity to shine on HBO and he came in overweight by nine pounds? I don't think so. And as far as going in our pockets. Leon went in his pocket for the last fight and I paid $100,000 to Dzinziruk so the fight wouldn't get cancelled totally. So they can't tell me about going in my pocket because I went in my pocket big time. It's not fair for them to say we haven't gone in our pocket. If someone wants to come and buy me out for the right price, I would certainly consider that."