Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, Alfonso Gomez (24-6-2, 12 KO’s) and Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-2-1, 22 KO’s) square off in a scheduled 10 round contest headlining a seven bout card from Golden Boy Promotions.
Gomez was a contestant on the first season of “The Contender” nearly 11 years ago. Coming up in weight for the program, his superior skill set allowed him to beat naturally larger opponents and though he didn’t make it to the final match, his heart and ability made him a fan favorite.
The Guadalajara native has come a long way since those days, working his way through the welterweight division with wins over capable opponents like Ben Tackie, Jesus Soto-Karass, and former world champion Jose Luis Castillo. Perhaps his best known victory was a 2007 stoppage of ring warrior Arturo Gatti, who retired following that bout. Though he hasn’t fared well against prime top tier opposition, losing to Miguel Cotto (RTD by 5), Canelo Alvarez (TKO by 6), and Shawn Porter (L 10), he remains a solid competitor with a solid fan base.
A fighter with quick footwork and good head movement, he prefers to fight from the outside but isn’t shy about mixing things up in close when he has to. In his last bout against Ed Paredes last July, his defense made him difficult to hit early on, and despite suffering two (questionable) knockdowns, walked away with a comfortable unanimous decision win.
Yoshihiro Kamegai comes in off a fourth round stoppage win over Oscar Godoy, but it was the fight prior that gained him quite a bit of attention when he and Robert Guerrero put on a fight of the year quality contest in June. The OPBF welterweight champ dropped a 12 round decision, but in that fight showed he was a tough and durable opponent that will still be standing regardless of what you throw at him.
Fighting behind a high guard, The Tokyo based slugger throws effective combinations with every punch coming in heavy. He scores well with the right uppercut and his power is evident, having all but three of his wins come by stoppage. He has the ability to put on a fight of the year performance every time out given the right opponent.
This one has the potential to be a barn burner, saving what otherwise is going to be a light fight weekend.