by David P. Greisman
You can add the namesake of Golden Boy Promotions to the list of executives disappointed in junior-welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez for coming in tremendously overweight and having his bout with Humberto Soto canceled this past Saturday on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland.
Gomez-Soto was supposed to be the televised co-feature and was also to be preceded by the HBO replay of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. But he said he fell sick two weeks ago. Golden Boy vice president Eric Gomez said Frankie Gomez didn’t inform them until the week of the fight. The weight limit was raised from 141 to 145, and still Frankie Gomez came in at 147.5.
Eric Gomez said he was “very disgusted” and “upset.” Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz told BoxingScene’s Steve Kim that he was disappointed, and that “We need to sit down, and his team needs to start being a little more hands-on and with more authority.”
De La Hoya, speaking Saturday night after Alvarez vs. Kirkland, said he was “extremely, extremely disappointed” but was not yet willing to write off Frankie Gomez.
“It’s heartbreaking because I believe in Frankie Gomez. I believe that he has the ability to become a multi-world champion. I believe that he can eventually fight the very best at 140 and 147 pounds,” De La Hoya said. :I still believe in him. But what he did for this event was heartbreaking for me, because you couldn’t give him a more perfect platform. Fighting sandwiched in-between the replay of Mayweather-Pacquiao and then Canelo-Kirkland, the stage doesn’t get any bigger than that. So it was very, very disappointing. But I’m not going to give up on him.
“He has to learn his lesson. But there’s ways we can go about it,” De La Hoya said. “I told him when we re-signed him that I’m going to take him under my wing and help him out and guide him and talk to him. But not making weight was a big shock to me. I never expected it, but it’s very, very disappointing.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]