Little invokes interest in an undercard scrap more than a bit of local needle and a feud is starting to boil up between Manchester lightweights Adrian Gonzalez and Jon Kays.
The former, the cocksure 24 year old adopted son of globally regarded coach Lee Beard, has caught the eye amassing an 11-1 (3) slate. The latter, a 32 year old plumber from Ashton-Under-Lyne, is a battle hardened ex British and Commonwealth super-feather challenger.
The pair is primed to exchange leather at the Manchester Arena on October 10th and it seems they’re not overly fussed on one another.
‘He’s been saying stuff but it’ll be me who dictates,’ insists the California-born Gonzalez who sizzled whilst dispatching Hungary’s Gyula Tallosi inside a round in his last gig in July.
‘Though we never sparred, we both trained out of Bobby Rimmer’s gym for a while. Some of dad’s lads have sparred him and we’ve tapped into their knowledge.
‘Jon’s got an aggressive style; gets himself fit and will have a proper scrap. No doubt he’ll try and make it ugly. But I’ll be prepared for whatever he brings.
‘Sure, he’ll come flying out but he’ll slow down. He’s a big drinker and you can’t abuse your body in this sport. He’s not the biggest puncher, doesn’t have much of a chin and you can’t miss him, his defence is so poor.’
It’s bold talk from a tyro who is yet to venture past session six and whose entire pro career comprises just 46 rounds.
Conversely, his grizzled opponent , known as ‘Two Smokes’ is a veteran of 26 paid battles – five at title level – and the one-time English champion has already seen round ten on a fistful of occasions.
But 5ft 11in globe-trotter Gonzalez – a former California Golden Gloves finalist – claims that thus far the public have witnessed just a small fraction of his attributes.
‘I often got bored fighting journeymen, early in my career,’ says the man who has sparred world champions like Joan Guzman, Argenis Mendis, Stevie Forbes and Omar Figueroa in US gyms.
‘I’ve always, always maintained that longer fights will suit me more. I’m very relaxed, very confident in my defence. I’ll determine the pace, not Kays.
‘I’ve always needed a camp like this. I’m flying in the gym and, six weeks out, I’m already sparring 10 rounds. But we’ll not overcook it. I’ve been around gyms since I was eight and I’ve witnessed guys do too much and ‘kill’ their bodies. You’re better to be less fit than over trained. We’ll get it right.
‘People won’t value how good my defence is until they see me operate in good class against opponents who punch back. I’ve always said no amount of money is enough to get punched in the face so you minimise the possibilities.
‘Hopefully, I’ll also get a chance to show how good my boxing brain is, how I can pace a fight. And I want people to see my power. I want to hurt him. I’ll win however I need to but I’d be very disappointed if I don’t take Kay out. I’m better in all areas; defence, strength, power, chin …. The fight will go how I want it to go.’
He is unfazed that what is unquestionably the stiffest test of his seven year pro innings might get lost deep down a mega bill that includes three world title fights.
He concludes: ‘It’s going to be a top night. Last fight I sold over ten grand of tickets and I’ll better that easily this time. Tickets are flying out.
‘Hopefully, I can be on early, win in style, then just chill out and enjoy a fabulous night’s boxing.’
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