Tokay grad­u­ate on the rise in pro box­ing world

Gio­van­nie Gon­za­lez will box in Stock­ton in Au­gust

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Mike Bush NEWS-SENTINEL SPORTS WRITER

Gio­van­nie Gon­za­lez is pre­par­ing for his 12th pro­fes­sional fight.

Be­fore the three-day La­bor Day week­end ar­rives, the 2008 Tokay High grad­u­ate is sched­uled to have more bouts. Not count­ing a pos­si­ble one against a world cham­pion.

On Fri­day, in a 130-pound, six-round bout sanc­tioned by Ti­juana Box­ing Com­mis­sion of Mex­ico, Gon­za­lez is sched­uled against Kevin Lopez. This is Gon­za­lez’s sec­ond fight that is sched­uled to go six rounds this year. The fight will take place at the Com­mer­cial Cen­ter Arena in Ti­juana Baja.

“We’re in shape,” said Gon­za­lez on Wed­nes­day. “We can’t train too long be­cause it won’t be good in the long run; I’m pre­pared for a 12-round fight.”

Ac­cord­ing to Gon­za­lez, who is pro­jected to make $5,000 for the bout, Face­book is sched­uled to livestream the event.

Since turn­ing pro in 2017, Gon­za­lez has an 8-3 record, win­ning by seven knock­outs, ac­cord­ing to boxrec.com. Lopez has a 2-20 record, and has been knocked out 15 times.

Gon­za­lez said he has lim­ited in­for­ma­tion on Lopez’s box­ing skills and his win-loss record. But like ev­ery fight he’s had in his pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur ca­reer, the Tokay grad­u­ate is not look­ing past his op­po­nent.

“He’s a tough Mex­i­can war­rior, just like ev­ery Mex­i­can fighter,” said Gon­za­lez of Lopez. “I’m just go­ing to go in there. I train very hard, so I will come out vic­to­ri­ous.”

Gon­za­lez’s mind­set is very sim­ple — win.

“That’s why we want to try go in there and take care of busi­ness, fast,” Gon­za­lez said. “I’m con­fi­dent that we are go­ing to go out vic­to­ri­ous.”

Gon­za­lez will have two box­ing matches in up­com­ing weeks. On Fri­day, June 21, he will have an­other six-round bout against Chris­tian Quezada. That match will take place at Big Punch Arena in Ti­juana, and is sup­pose to be livestream­ed and shown on ca­ble in Mex­ico.

On Satur­day, Aug. 3, Gon­za­lez will be en­ter­ing the box­ing ring against Guadalupe Ar­royo, who has a 3-17 record and has been knocked out once. That fight is sched­uled to take place at the Civic Cen­ter in Stock­ton, and will also be six-rounds.

In May, Gon­za­lez, who is re­ferred to as the Golden Bear on the boxrec.com web­site, was sched­uled to take on world cham­pion Juan Manuel Lopez in Puerto Rico. But the fight was post­poned.

The pro­moter of that fight, ac­cord­ing to Gon­za­lez, told the lo­cal boxer’s camp that if he wins Fri­day’s bout, plus the next two, they would like to resched­ule this fall for a 10round bout. That fight would be pay-per-view on Di­rect TV.

“We’ve pretty ver­bally agreed to the deal,” Gon­za­lez said. “There is no con­tract, yet. I spoke to the world cham­pion him­self to clar­ify ev­ery­thing, and he agreed.”

Gon­za­lez’s last fight was on April 12 — which was also his daugh­ter’s fifth birth­day. Tak­ing on Jo­sue Banue­los at Big Punch Arena, Gon­za­lez knocked out Banue­los 40 se­conds into the bout.

But what made that fight tough, Gon­za­lez ex­plained, was that it didn’t start un­til mid­night. Af­ter Gon­za­lez got the win, he and his camp had lim­ited rest, and then flew back to Cal­i­for­nia to cel­e­brate his daugh­ter’s birth­day.

“I got back to Lodi about 12:10 (p.m.),” Gon­za­lez said. “We had a big, birth­day party for her at 2 p.m. So it was pretty hec­tic 48 hours. It was pretty crazy.”

MIKE BUSH/NEWS-SENTINEL

Gio­van­nie Gon­za­lez (right) gets help putting on his box­ing gloves from Marco Ar­royo at East Stock­ton Box­ing Club on May 3. Gon­za­lez, a 2008 Tokay High grad­u­ate, has three pro­fes­sional fights sched­uled in up­com­ing weeks, start­ing on Fri­day.

MIKE BUSH/NEWS-SENTINEL

Gio­van­nie Gon­za­lez works on his punches on a bag at the East Stock­ton Box­ing Club on May 3.

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