Photo: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions
Nearly every time the son of a wildly successful world champion enters the boxing ring, he is inevitably bombarded with unreal expectations and unfair criticism. His every move is put under the microscope, and these legends’ sons never live up to the hope and the hype.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who fights Saturday night in El Paso, Texas, knows all about the burden of being a former great’s son. So, too, does Ronald Hearns, Shane Mosley Jr., Antonio Tarver Jr. and Corey Spinks. So did Hector Camacho Jr. and Marvis Frazier. The long list of brothers, cousins and nephews has been equally blasted with cynicism: just ask every Bobby Pacquiao, Buddy Baer, Daniel Judah, Salvador Sanchez II and Rogelio Vargas about the unbearable pressure which fans and media pile upon them.
For some reason, Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. hasn’t had to endure as much of that additional load thus far in his career. The son of Mexican legend “Cobrita” Gonzalez, young Alejandro has quietly amassed a solid 25-1-2 record with 15 knockouts. His father captured the WBC featherweight title in 1995 and defended it a few times before losing to Manuel Medina. In the end, he had a stellar career as a prizefighter.
Maybe it’s because pops wasn’t as much of a Mexican deity as Julio Cesar Chavez or Salvador Sanchez. Maybe it’s because the elder “Cobrita” never quite reached superstar status. Regardless, Gonzalez Jr. continues to plug away and beat up virtually every man placed in front of him.
Tomorrow afternoon, in the main event of the Premier Boxing Champions’ PBC on CBS card, Gonzalez Jr. is set to fight for a world championship for the first time. Usually there would be a media frenzy surrounding him because of that, but, at least in the U.S., all the focus is on his opponent, Carl Frampton. The Belfast native currently holds the IBF super bantamweight title and is expected by most to walk through Gonzalez Jr. en route to a huge fight against Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg or Guillermo Rigondeaux. Gonzalez Jr. is supposed to be a showcase fighter for “The Jackal,” and that’s just the way Gonzalez Jr. wants it.
“I love being in the underdog role, because every time I’ve been in the underdog role, I’ve come out with the victory,” Gonzalez Jr. said this week at a press conference. “I not only win, but I get the knockout. I love everything being against me.”
Gonzalez Jr. understands how good Frampton is and understands the hype surrounding him. But he knows the Irishman isn’t perfect and thinks he can exploit his mistakes.
“I know that he’s a great fighter with a lot of experience and a hard-hitting punch, but nothing that I can’t handle,” Gonzalez Jr. said. “Frampton is a very intelligent fighter who hits hard. He’s too aggressive sometimes because in boxing you have to be more intelligent and try not to get hit.”
Frampton likes to bring the fight to his foes, and that is an element of the game Gonzalez Jr. embraces. Gonzalez Jr. said by his very nature he’s willing to engage in a war if he needs to, that if Frampton wants to trade, Gonzalez Jr. will gladly oblige.
“I’m Mexican, so I like aggression too,” he declared. “It’s going to be a war. I want that title and I know he’s not just going to give it to me. I have to go get it.”
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