Fading Jhonny Gonzalez hires Nacho Beristain

Jhonny Gonzalez has hired famed Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain to guide his career. Is it the right move? (Photo via www.tigerboxing.com)

Former junior featherweight world champion Jhonny Gonzalez has hired trainer Nacho Beristain, the most famous and respected of all the Mexican trainers at this point, to guide a career that has been up-and-down ever since his epic 2006 loss to Israel Vazquez.

Gonzalez (41-7, 35 KO) is an old 28 after a lot of wars. After the Vazquez loss, he rebounded to knock out Irene Pacheco, which was the last time Pacheco ever fought, and then looked pretty good against Gerry Penalosa before a body shot put him down for the count in the sixth round back in 2007. He rattled off six wins in a row following that loss, and then in May of this year met Toshiaki Nishioka for Nishioka's WBC 122-pound title.

Gonzalez had home field advantage in Mexico and knocked Nishioka down in the opening round, but was stopped in the third. He won a fight in September to rebound.

Hiring Beristain has become the sexy thing to do for wayward fighters of Mexican descent, it seems, but honestly if you don't have it anymore, Nacho isn't going to fix you. Nacho got nothing out of Oscar de la Hoya last December because Oscar just plain couldn't pull the trigger against Manny Pacquiao.

Jorge Arce hired Beristain after a devastatingly one-sided loss to Vic Darchinyan in February, and he came back with a KO-3 win over Fernando Lumacad in June. But when Arce met up with a good opponent in September (Simphiwe Nongqayi), he lost big again.

And not that it had anything whatsoever to do with Nacho, but Juan Manuel Marquez just got shut out by Floyd Mayweather. If you judge a trainer by his fighters' records -- which is stupid, but let's be stupid for a second -- then Nacho isn't looking so great right now.

He's a world class trainer, though. It's not that Gonzalez has made a bad decision, just that if Gonzalez is worn out, he's worn out, and Beristain isn't going to help that. Gonzalez is a heck of an action fighter, but he's been iffy ever since the Vazquez fight, and I just don't see it changing. He'll return to the ring in November with Nacho in his corner. Best of luck, Jhonny.

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