Battling Age

By Wrigley Brogan on September 24, 2018
Battling Age
“My body knows what to do. I do not have to tell it anything, just let it work.” (Brogan)

Gonzales looked the fighter of old, although a bit slower. He surprised Fuentes with his power, his will, and his determination…

Unfortunately the crowd had not yet filled up the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, September 15, during the Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez-Moises Fuentes battle on the undercard of the Alvarez/Golovkin rematch. They were busy partying outside the arena, dancing to mariachi music, drinking Tecate and Budweiser beer and downing free shots of Hennessy whiskey. They missed what might be the comeback of the former consensus pound-for-pound boxer Gonzales.

Gonzalez (47-2, 30 KOs) is a super flyweight athlete of pure beauty and grace backed up with a punch capable of knocking out most middleweights. He glided into the ring like a wave on a California beach and ready to show he is back after suffering his first loss to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1) by decision, then, in a rematch, suffering a knockout in the 4th round.

The knockout was so brutal that the California State Athletic Commission suspended him indefinitely. Injured boxers usually get a one or two week suspension as a precaution. The commission felt he needed more and they would not reinstate his license until he had a decent rest and a through neurological examination. The result was a long layoff before this fight.

His skills had seemed to diminish slightly in the Rungvisai fights, not because he no longer possesses them, but because they are being captured by time. Time is the ultimate opponent for any athlete and one that can be occasionally delayed, sometimes skirted, but eventually wins. This is especially true for lighter weight boxers. Their careers are often half as long as those of heavyweights.

His opponent was Moises Fuentes (25-6-1), a former minimumweight champion. Fuentes felt he had a decent chance to beat Gonzalez because Gonzalez was coming off two defeats, a long layoff, and because he had to lose 30 pounds for the match. All that would be too much for Gonzalez to overcome. Fuentes felt that Gonzalez had also lost his punch, his resistance, and his determination.

Apparently, Gonzalez did not agree. Gonzalez is a world champion in 4 divisions and is 16-2 in title bouts. He is also Nicaragua’s youngest champion. He has beaten some of the world’s greatest boxers including Edgar Sosa, Manual Vargas, Omar Salado, Omar Soto, and Brian Viloria. How much those battles have taken from him will be determined in future fights.

He has never lacked determination. He often trains with Golovkin at Big Bear, 7,000 feet high where the air is clean and thin and the lungs scream for oxygen until they become accustomed to suffering and adjust.

Gonzalez, whether he knows it or not, believes in the Taoist theory of actionless action. He has trained his body so finely that he does not have to think and tell it what to do. “My body knows what to do,” he says. “I do not have to tell it anything, just let it work.”

Gonzalez first entered the gym at the age of eleven. He quickly caught the eye of champion Alexis Arguello, one of the world’s greatest boxers: all class, all skill, and all power. Arguello’s attempt to become Nicaragua’s first 4-division champion was thwarted in two upsets against Aaron Pryor. Pryor could not be hurt in those fights because he was filled with coke, not Coca-Cola. Had he not been high he may well have been destroyed by Arguello, a much more skilled boxer.

To honor Arguello, Gonzalez was determined to win the 4 championships. He accomplished that by unanimous decision against WBC Super Featherweight Carlos Cuadras in a fight of the year candidate.

Gonzalez could have accepted a much easier opponent than Fuentes to start his comeback. He wanted to make a statement against Fuentes, to show he is not yet finished as a world-class boxer and to start to make his climb for another shot at a title. Fighting one of the best puts him at the top of the heap.

Gonzales looked the fighter of old, although a bit slower. He surprised Fuentes with his power, his will, and his determination. Fuentes had certainly underestimated him. Gonzalez took him out in the 5thround. As the crowd started to slowly filter into the arena, Fuentes slowly walked out. So did Gonzalez, only his hands were dancing above his head in victory.

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  1. fan 08:14am, 09/25/2018

    Boxing should have more ages fights with same stamina.

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