Saturday, April 12, 2008

Alfonso Gomez

Every once in a while a fighter comes along that just tugs at your heart. Alfonso Gomez is one of those fighters. You can't help pulling for him, and guys like him. Gomez is one of those regular Joes that make up the world of boxing. Nothing spectacular about him in the grand sense, in the way guys like Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard,Marvin Hagler, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Shane Mosley or Oscar De La Hoya and so many others were. Right off the bat these guys were groomed for greatness (with the possible exception of Hagler), not that they didn't earn it or deserve it and they are all among my personal favorites, but a guy like Gomez might have spent his career in boxing obscurity if not for The Contender's television show.

Somehow he earned a spot on the show and he made the most of it. He must have known that this was his one shot. Here was Gomez, a welterweight really, in a middleweight competition. I don't think anyone really gave him any consideration. His chance came when he fought and beat Peter Manfredo, it came when he stepped up to fight Manfredo and said "If I can't beat the best than I don't deserve to be here". He proved that he did indeed belong there. He was the smallest guy on the show but he had the biggest heart and that is what carried the day for him. His "Rocky" like heart, and you can take your pick of Rockys; Marciano, Graziano or Balboa, is what got him here. The kid has heart and that is the boxing trait that I admire above any other.

I have no idea if Gomez is going to win his fight with Miguel Cotto tonight. I know that he is fighting one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world tonight. I know that in reality he is a big underdog and it would be a huge upset if he won. I know the odds are against him, just like they were against Buster Douglas on February 11, 1990, when he fought and destroyed Mike Tyson. I know that there are times when a huge heart just will not be denied. Maybe tonight will be one of those times.

I wish the kid luck tonight. I'll be pulling for him to fulfill his dream for himself and for the rest of us who never quite made it.

1 comment:

brian said...

Of all the fights,I made it in time to catch the last couple of rounds of Gomez-Cotto.Alphonso has nothing to be ashamed of.Cotto was simply at his best;he knew this could've turned into a 'Rocky' sequel.I think Gomez looks a little stronger at 154.

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