The recent run for Puerto Rican boxing hasn’t been a good one. With the island’s biggest star Miguel Cotto going 0-2 in 2012, Juan Manuel Lopez being KO’ed by Mikey Garcia, and recently Jose Gonzalez quitting on his stool against Ricky Burns in a fight most thought he was winning, the stretch has been rough. Add into the mix that mostly every Puerto Rican prospect that has stepped up in competition has failed to pass the test. Well here comes another test for another touted prospect come August 17th when Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez takes on Mexican slugger Giovani Segura in a 112 lb clash for the vacant WBO Latino title.
Gonzalez who is signed to Top Rank and Pr’s Best Boxing is getting his turn to prove his worth. He was a recent guest of ThaBoxingVoice Radio show where he spoke on his opponent Segura. “He’s (Segura) not the same fighter because his record says no but he’s going to come for everything. I’m one of the best prospects in the world and he is coming for a big upset so I fully expect him to be ready. It’s a big step for my career,” said Gonzalez.
Segura made his name of a Puerto Rican icon in the lower weights when he defeated Ivan Calderon twice. Calderon is sort of a mentor to Gonzalez and this fight is even more important to him because of it. “Ivan Calderon is a great friend of mine. We work out together; he’s like a father figure to me. This is going to be a fight I dedicate to Ivan Calderon, if I get the win, it will be big.”
But how big will this win be? “I think after this fight, I will be fighting for a world title on one of the bigger networks. Segura is a big fight and if I win this fight by knockout, then I’ll look at those big fights like Melindo, Viloria, and Estrada.”
The big networks don’t normally showcase the lower weight fighters. Usually you see the little guys on big pay-per-view undercards but Gonzalez says this feels different, especially when a network like HBO is starting to showcase Zou Shiming cards with lower weight fighters like Brian Viloria, Juan Estrada, and Melan Melindo on its HBO 2 platform. Tie that into the HBO’s decision not to work with Golden Boy anymore and you see the need to showcase other fighters. Gonzalez feels he can run with that notion to become a star.
“We don’t have to be anyone’s undercard, Estrada and Viloria and others. If they do Estrada-Viloria 2, it should be a main event not an undercard. It could be an HBO main event but they always put them on the undercard of bigger events. But the problem with that is us little guys can steal the action from the main event.”
His hopes are high and he wants to be the star of the island once Miguel Cotto retires from boxing. “I want to be on that level, I want to be what Miguel Cotto, Tito Trinidad, Wilfredo Gomez, and Ivan Calderon were. I think I could be a big star, I can move up to 122. This is going to be my Michael Carbajal moment. This is the opening of the low weights that we can make millions of dollars.”
But will the pressure but too much like it was for his counterpart Jose Gonzalez a few months ago. But ‘Bomba’ feels he is the total package and his fate won’t be the same as Jose’s. “I had it 87-84 for Jose. I think the pressure got him. He’s in the guy’s hometown and that pressure made him not believe in himself. He went to the guy’s hometown and maybe he was hurt, but that pressure won’t get to me and its sad because he’s a friend and wasn’t received well when he came back home.”