By Elisinio Castillo
This past Saturday night at Windsor Park in Belfast, WBC flyweight world champion Cristofer Gonzalez (29-3, 19 KOs) entered the lion's den and scored a fourth round knockout over local hero and Olympian Paddy Barnes.
"I expected to knock him out in the seventh or eighth," Gonzalez told La Prensa.
"When we arrived in Belfast we asked for a gym and they never took us in, on the day of the conference they made me go up and down some very steep stairs because they did not want us to ride the elevator, [there was no per diem for food either]. I am prepared for everything and I do not make an excuse."
Gonzalez, at 23, is hungry, pocketed $ 80,000 in his first defense and would like to fight in Nicaragua, but if it does not materialize, he is thinking of unifying in Japan.
"I was impressed [with my knockout of Barnes] because I expected to eliminate him in the seventh or eighth. He wanted to imitate the Latin fighters and we were very shocked, he wanted to look like [a Latin fighter] and it was his mistake that he committed - Barnes has little power and he had never faced someone who harassed him like me," Gonzalez said.
"I did not want to fall into his game of going to follow him all the time. I had already told him that I hoped he would come forward. We were focused on knockout. I had the tools to finish before the 12 rounds.
"I am ready to fight against anyone. I would like to face a Japanese boxer, they offer you a better fight, the treatment is better, it is very different to go to Japan than to the British countries. Although I would also like to make a fight in Nicaragua before finishing the year with a 10 rounder.
"I had planned to go up in the next fight, do a preparation and then go for the title in the hands of Rungvisai, but my coaches advised me to continue in 112 and I'm going to do it, it does not cost me the weight. As far as Rungvisai, it be an honor to face him."