The December 4 Top Rank Latin Fury pay-per-view is filling out quickly, reports FanHouse's Lem Satterfield. In the main event of the evening, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will meet Alfonso Gomez. Also on the card, Nonito Donaire will face Wladimir Sidorenko, and Humberto Soto will be back to defend his 135-pound title.
Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KO) has been fighting at 160 after a couple of years of fighting at 154. Gomez (22-4-2, 11 KO) is a welterweight who will be giving up a lot of size. At 5'9" with a 69-inch reach, Gomez will give up three inches of height and four inches of reach against the bigger, younger man. It's really not much of a fight at all for Chavez, simply another win on the record. Gomez is gritty and tough, and has made some fans over the years because he's sort of a perennial underdog type, especially when he was fighting as a fish out of water middleweight on the first season of "The Contender," coming out as probably the show's most popular fighter.
But any dreams about Gomez's actual talent level were dismissed when he was torn to pieces in an April 2008 shot at Miguel Cotto. That fight, which was mercifully stopped after five one-sided rounds (and could have been stopped after three), came nine months after Gomez retired an extremely shop-worn Arturo Gatti.
Since the Cotto fight, Gomez has signed with Top Rank and been used as a PPV undercard staple recently. After 13 months out of the ring following the Cotto fight, he took a couple of bounce-back fights before moving on to fighting Jesus Soto Karass (W-TD-6) on the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard, and earlier this year he dominated an old and shot Jose Luis Castillo (W-RTD-6) on the Pacquiao-Clottey show.
As decent and scrappy as Gomez is, he's likely out of his depth at 154, 160, or whatever max weight is against Chavez. Chavez is simply too big, too young, and showed the type of improvement under Freddie Roach to assume he'll have zero problem with Gomez. Chavez basically beat a bigger version of Gomez (John Duddy) in June of this year.
Donaire (24-1, 16 KO) is still not getting that big fight he's been allegedly looking to land, but Sidorenko (22-2-2, 7 KO) is no easy task. After spending the last few years fighting guys who simply weren't even close to good enough to challenge him, Donaire will be facing a polished boxer who, like many of the Ukrainians, just doesn't make many mistakes and is always there to present at least a challenge.
Sidorenko won a bronze medal as a flyweight at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, beating Daniel Ponce de Leon and Omar Narvaez along the way. (Vic Darchinyan and Jose Navarro also competed that year.) He was also the gold medalist at the 1998 and 2000 European championships, and a silver medalist at the 2001 World Amateur Championships in Belfast. He had an amateur record of 290-20 over 13 years. He turned pro in late 2001 and won the WBA bantamweight title in 2005. He successfully defended it five times, going 3-0-2 with two draws against Ricardo Cordoba and a win over Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. He lost two straight to Anselmo Moreno in 2008 and 2009, and now at 34, is definitely past his prime. It's a should-win for Donaire, but Sidorenko has the base skills to trouble "The Filipino Flash" if Donaire takes him lightly.
As for Soto (53-7-2, 32 KO), no opponent has been named, but Bob Arum said they have one already. The contracts are waiting to be signed. A lot of people would love to see Soto take a challenge from Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon, who have been discussed as possible opponents from one another for the card.