Troubles behind, Gomez to return
October, 30, 2012
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Craig Bennett/FightWireImages.comUnbeaten junior welterweight Frankie Gomez looks to rebound from issues outside of the ring.When junior welterweight Frankie Gomez signed with Golden Boy Promotions in February 2010, he was one of the most sought-after amateurs in the country.
He was 18 at the time, had won a 2009 U.S. national amateur championship and then won a silver medal in the 2009 AIBA World Boxing Championships -- not bad considering he was still a teenager and competing in his first open tournament.
Golden Boy's Oscar De La Hoya was thrilled to sign a kid with such huge potential, especially considering that Gomez was, like De La Hoya, from East Los Angeles and they shared the same Feb. 4 birthday.
Fast-forward nearly three years later and Gomez (12-0, 9 KOs), although still unbeaten, has been anything but a breakout prospect, especially when you consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars Golden Boy has invested in him.
Gomez has had several uninspired performances, had problems with his conditioning and has shown a lack of dedication, which was so bad that at one point he got a stern dressing down from Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer during a meeting in his office.
It got worse in January when Gomez wound up in Los Angeles County Jail after being arrested for an outstanding warrant. I'm not sure what the original offense was, but Gomez clearly was not in the gym working at his craft.
He has not fought since last December because of the problems, but they are supposedly straightened out.
Gomez, now 20, has been training for months at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Calif., and is finally set to fight again.
Gomez will face Manuel Leyva (21-8, 12 KOs) in the scheduled eight-round welterweight main event of the "Solo Boxeo Tecate" card on Saturday night (Telefutura, 11 ET/PT) at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, Calif., Golden Boy announced.
Leyva, a southpaw who has lost seven of his last eight fights (including three in a row by knockout), is supposed to be easy pickings but is a reasonable enough opponent for a guy who has not fought in nearly a year.
Also on the card, 22-year-old lightweight prospect Jamie Kavanagh (11-0-1, 5 KOs), another Roach fighter, faces Ramon Valadez (11-2, 6 KOs), also 22, in a scheduled eight-rounder.