By Steve Kim
Trainer Freddie Roach had groused in the past that his junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez, for all his talent, simply didn't spend enough time in the gym in-between fights. Things came to a head last weekend as he failed to come anywhere near the 141-pound weight limit for his HBO debut against veteran Humberto Soto. As he tipped the scales at just over 147-pounds, his fight was eventually scrapped.
"He needs to be here every day and if he does what fighters are supposed to do, I have no problem,"s aid Roach on Monday morning to BoxingScene.com. "He's a great prospect, I think he's the best prospect in the gym and a future world champion but he just needs a little more discipline."
Gomez and discipline have been at odds since the very beginning of his career. Roach was not in Houston this week where this scheduled bout was supposed to take place as the co-feature to Saul Alvarez-James Kirkland, as he was in Fresno with his other prospect, Jose Ramirez. Marvin Somodio, one his assistants was dispatched to Newark, New Jersey to be with Glen Tapia. But they were well aware of Gomez's problem heading into the fight.
"It was a struggle the whole time for the kid but we're all trying to pitch in and help and just making weight's a killer," said the respected trainer.
Roach's absence and Gomez's struggles with weight blindsided officials from Golden Boy Promotions. But Roach insists - "No, no, they all knew."
He says that everyone involved understood what was going on with Gomez's weight - "Yes, of course, especially when he first came back at he was at like 180. We were having trouble back then."
Gomez, according to sources was in the high 150's at the beginning of last week. The 23-year old from East Los Angeles - who has a record of 18-0 (13 KO's) - reportedly battled the flu bug recently. But you don't expect the young man to get the benefit of the doubt given his spotty track record.
So when will 'the Pitbull' be back at the Wild Card Boxing Club?
"To be honest, I expect him in today. I mean...unless I got fired," joked Roach, who wanted Gomez to spar with Miguel Cotto, who's in camp preparing for his June 6th bout versus Daniel Geale.
Roach hasn't given up on Gomez, just yet - "because I like Frankie a lot, I think he likes us a lot. I brag about him so much I have people who want to buy stock in him but I hope we work it out."
When asked if Gomez can actually make the junior welterweight limit of 140-pounds, Roach responded - "Easy."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.