He had him. Had him dead to rights. Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., the virtually unknown-outside-of-Mexico son of a former champion, had reigning titlist Carl Frampton down twice in the first round.
He had him down, and he let him off the hook.
“I had the fight in my hands, but I let it go,” Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. says. “I knew if [it] went to a decision I was going to lose. I knew the only way I could win was knocking him out, and even maybe if I knock him out, it’s going to be a draw. I know how boxing is. I’m not complaining. I gave a good performance.”
He shouldn’t have any complaints. Gonzalez (25-2-2, 15 KOs) is 22 years old, and announced himself on an international stage with a performance that was half chin, half hands and all guts. Now he’s ready to prove it wasn’t a fluke when he gets in with former European 118-pound champ Karim Guerfi (22-3, 6 KOs) on Tuesday night at Austin City Music Hall in Austin, Texas (Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Gonzalez weighed in at 118, and Guerfi at 118.5 for their 118-pound tilt.
“I’m just going to fight him smart,” Gonzalez says. “Just make him pay for every mistake he makes. I know it’s going to be difficult for the first six rounds, but after the first six rounds, I know he’s going to calm down.”
As Frampton learned when he fought Gonzalez, European fighters can sometimes face a difficult adjustment when they tangle with their North American counterparts.
“They’re used to only fighting in Europe,” Gonzalez says. “For me, I’m a warrior. It doesn’t matter if I have to go to France, Ireland—I’ll be the same person. Not only me, but I think all the Mexicans, we’re used to all this, but they aren’t used to it.
"The level they have over there is way different than the U.S. The U.S. has a lot of boxing levels. It’s way different than anyplace, including Mexico.”
Gonzalez is planning for Guerfi to be on his bike from the opening bell, but he expects to be able to cut the ring off and wear down the Frenchman by the midpoint of the bout.
A victory not only would vindicate Gonzalez's strong showing he had against Frampton, but he hopes it would put him in the mix for a fight against the likes of Randy Caballero or Lee Haskins.
“The people know what I can do with my hands,” Gonzalez says. “I’m pretty sure in one or two more years, I’ll be world champ. I’m still young. I have a lot of boxing to go.”
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