Throughout boxing history New York has provided a long list of great champions such as; Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Graziano, Jake Lamotta, Riddick Bowe, Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson just to name a few. If things go the way he plans, Bronx native Eddie Gomez (9-0 6KO’s) will be adding his name to that list of boxing greats. “I’m looking to be champion, but not rushing anything. Everything comes at its time, but probably in the next 2, 3 years,” Gomez proclaimed.
For the 19 year old Gomez the journey started over a decade ago. Growing up with his father Eddie Sr., being a professional boxer it seemed inevitable he would follow in his footsteps. “I just picked it up. One day we walked into a local gym over here in New York. When we walked in my dad saw the guy that actually trained him. So after that, like the next day, I started boxing. So from then on I’ve been boxing and now I’m going at it for 13 years,” Gomez said. The start of a much decorated run through the amateurs was born that day. Amongst his many accomplishments in the amateur ranks are being a 2 time Jr. Olympic National Champion and a Golden Gloves Championship. After winning those prestigious tournaments, Eddie realized his talents were fitting to compete on a professional level. “Yea after that (Jr. Olympic National Championships) and after I had won the Golden Gloves I knew. I was fighting guys that were older than me. They had the experience as grown men fighting people around their age and I was only 17, just coming up. But I already knew,” Gomez stated.
Finding yourself in a situation where your younger, less experienced in big fights, and your body being less developed then your opponents would strike fear in the heart of most. But that’s the difference between being built for the boxing game or not. Gomez said his confidence never dwindled, “I went to the weigh-in of the tournament and I was like all these guys are bigger than me, their bodies are more tone. But I wasn’t really worried about that. I knew at the end of the day, looking at these guys, that one of them was going to be in the ring with me and they can’t beat me because I’ve got the skills. I’m smart in the ring and I’ve been doing this for so long that i was ready for whatever came my way from all the sparring I’ve had. Sparring with professional fighters when I was 14, 15 years old; all that helped me out when I fought in the Golden Gloves and it’s still helping me out now.”
Not too soon after capturing the Golden Gloves championship he received his biggest opportunity to date. Eddie signed a five year contract with one of his boxing inspirations, Oscar De La Hoya’s promotion company, Golden Boy Promotions. Once he turned pro, Team Gomez consisting of trainer Jose Talavera, Eddie Sr. and Eddie Jr. wasted no time getting right to work. His first 2 fights were 5 weeks apart and he was impressive in each scoring 1st round stoppages. 2 months later he was back in action and Jose Ramon Sanchez fell victim to him via a 2nd round KO.
In his fourth fight, he made his 1st appearance fighting in the U.S. and received a lopsided unanimous decision over Roberto Lopez. Then it was back to back 1st round knockouts followed up by a 5th round KO, all in a four month period. Another blow out unanimous decision victory led him up to his last fight, a controversial split decision victory in Puerto Rico over hometown hopeful Joseph De Los Santos. When you hear controversial decision you assume the loser was robbed, but in this case an easy to score, one sided fight for Gomez turned into a split decision thanks to some home cooking by one of the judges. One would think Gomez would be outraged about the scoring but he calmly stated, “I think it was bad judging. We were in Puerto Rico and being that the boy was from over there, he got the home crowd advantage, that’s all I want to say about that. But I could have done a few more things I wanted to do. I could have thrown some more combinations, but for some reason I couldn’t get off. Every time he saw I was getting a little closer to land a good shot, he would grab me or spin me around.”
Without suffering a loss, Gomez learned that you can’t leave the fight in the judge’s hands, because in boxing you never know what’s going to happen. That’s behind him now and the future is all that matters. Like his career so far he will be quite active over the next few months. Though most Internet sites have his next fight being Oct. 20th at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Gomez cleared things up by telling me he will be fighting at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the Canelo Alvarez-Josesito Lopez under card next month. So is the October Barclays Center fight happening? “That’s definitely going to happen. We have three fights before the year’s end, Sept. 15th, Oct. 20th and Dec. 1st. December 1st will be in Madison Square Garden. When we fight there, Miguel Cotto will be the main event,” Gomez replied.
In preparation for his next fight against a still to be announced opponent, Team Gomez stepped up the level of intensity during camp. “We added a personal trainer in for the next three fights and working it to see how it goes with him. He’s a good trainer so I’m hoping everything turns out good. Over these next three fights I’m trying to impress,” Gomez said; that new addition to the team being Mike Spiegel.
Gomez also added, “He added in a little bit of everything. For more power, more speed, more flexibility, mobility in the waist, moving my head more and being able to throw more combinations. Also making sure the conditioning is always right so that we look the same when we start the fight until the end of the fight.” This different approach to training is something that will definitely show up while in the ring. He admits that it’s been “torture your body’s got to get used to”, but also that the long term benefits outweigh the pain he endures during the workouts.
Fighting on a Canelo Alvarez undercard, regardless of who he’s going to battle with is big exposure for a fighter on the come up. “That’s a major card, that’s a nice show right there, I’m excited,” Gomez said. As he mentioned earlier being impressive is needed to open up eyes and a card like this is the perfect stage. 3-4 miles of roadwork at 8am, 2 hour midday workouts with his personal trainer and a few hours in the ring every night seem like minor sacrifices for the reward of publicity he will receive by winning Sept. 15th.
Along with his fight in Vegas he will be fighting in front of his New York home crowd for consecutive fights to close this year out. Again both are big time cards. On top of being featured with defending WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi, opening the Barclays Center up to its first fight night is a privilege all in itself. “I’m very excited. All of my people are going across the bridge, they are going to go to Brooklyn and enjoy themselves. Have a good time enjoying a good fight and that I’m fighting in New York again. The last time I fought in New York was Aug. 19th of last year. Now so far this year, I haven’t had the opportunity to fight in New York but being that I’m coming back Oct. 20th, everybody is looking forward to me fighting; December 1st at MSG, they are looking forward to that also. So everybody is really excited, I’m excited, my mom is coming, my dad is coming, nieces, nephews, family, and friends; everybody is coming over. That’s a good thing for me and its extra motivation for me to train,” Gomez pronounced.
An excited and overly eager to impress fighter can lead to fighting reckless. Intelligence and poise is always needed when in the ring and primarily a level of maturity in a boxer is required. Not just a level of physical capability is necessary but also the mentality of a seasoned veteran, a growth throughout the years. “I feel the difference, before I had the mentality of going in there and knocking somebody out. But now I take my time, I box, I wait for the opponent to make a mistake, use my jab more, move around, I’m a smarter puncher, a smarter fighter. A lot of maturity has set in since I turned pro, it all depends on the opponent. If I see a guy that can’t take my power, why would I waste my time and go 3 or 4 rounds when I can just take care of business quick and make it an easier night. But when there’s an opponent that’s durable, tough and has a good chin, I’m breaking him down little by little, “Gomez mentioned. Having six knockouts in nine fights shows power to end the night fast but being a student of the game he puts the proper game plan in effect when needed. “We don’t rely on the power to much. We box our way to the victory and if we get the knockout we get the knockout, if we don’t, we don’t,” Eddie declared.
En route to becoming a world title holder, Gomez plans to take a road that some of his boxing idols like Roy Jones Jr, Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya took. He has aspirations to fight in more than one weight-class. Though they went from lighter to heavier, within the next year or so Gomez will be leaving the Jr. Middleweight division for the welterweight division. Usually that’s a weird change to decrease in weight and when asked if a skill deficiency was the reason why Gomez exclaimed, “I’m a short fighter, 5’6 1/2, 5’7. The guys in that weight-class are actually around the same height and I figured that if I’m fighting dudes at 154 and I’m doing damage, I can only imagine the damage I can do at 147”. He also stressed that the weight change will happen in due time, again showing off his intelligence. If Team Gomez keeps making the right decisions it will only be a matter of time for Gomez.”
An exciting fighter like Eddie will be on televised cards very frequently, so get ready to watch a budding prospect bloom into a serious contender. In closing Gomez wanted to say, “I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to sign with them and prove to them I’m good enough to be down with Golden Boy Promotions. I want to give thanks to my team, Team Gomez and everybody that supports me. Just be on the lookout, we are on the rise. Between this year and next year we should be knocking walls down to let people know who we really are.”