Alfonso Gomez hopes that his fight on Saturday night with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for Alvarez's WBC junior middleweight title goes better than his last world title shot, a 2008 beating at the hands of Miguel Cotto:
"My first try was against another superstar, which was Miguel Cotto. So fighting these megafights, for me, are dreams come true. Unfortunately, I wasn't successful on my first try, yet the experience to be with a great champion like Miguel Cotto gave me a lot of experience and gave me a lot of confidence to pursue that same dream. And so far, I haven't lost since then. So now I get my second try against another superstar like Canelo.
"And for me, that's a dream come true, because if it's about getting world titles, there's ways of doing it against lesser-known opponents. But I think my life story wouldn't have it any other way but to actually go for the biggest fish out there, and in this case it's Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez."
Gomez (23-4-2, 12 KO) is a big underdog against the young Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KO), who has shot to superstardom in Mexico and is on his way there in the United States, too. I don't think there's anyone reasonable or not promoting the fight who would argue the idea that Gomez was contracted for this fight as something of an easy touch. He's a fringe contender at welterweight, and to be honest hasn't fought a really serious opponent in almost two years, when he got a technical decision win over Jesus Soto Karass on the Pacquiao vs Cotto show.
Since then, Gomez has beaten the shell of Jose Luis Castillo (Pacquiao vs Clottey) and club fighter Calvin Green earlier this year. He's fought just 4 minutes and 24 seconds since beating Castillo in March 2010.
So is he really ready for Canelo? Alvarez has already beaten fighters on Gomez's level, and is taking some criticism for again fighting a guy moving up in weight, as he has done with Matthew Hatton and Lovemore N'dou in two of his last three fights. But he faced a legitimate junior middleweight in June when he fought Ryan Rhodes, and he dismantled the British veteran.
Gomez is in a fight he's not supposed to win. He wasn't signed up to win. He's supposed to lose to Canelo, and then Golden Boy keeps the Alvarez promotion train a-rollin'. But if you recall the Cotto fight, Gomez didn't just give it away. He was beaten so badly over five rounds because he stood and fought with Cotto and tried his best. Should this be a fun action fight? Yes. Is it a physical mismatch? Perhaps. Does Gomez have a legitimate shot? That's your call, but I think a win for Gomez would be a shocker or damn close to it.