Dan Rafael: Frankie Gomez

Up-and-coming bantamweight Ivan Morales, younger brother of Mexican legend Erik Morales, had his fight against countryman Sergio Frias (15-3-2, 8 KOs) scheduled for Friday night’s “Golden Boy Live” co-feature (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 11 ET) canceled on Thursday.

Morales (25-0, 14 KOs) had a visa issue at the U.S. embassy in Tijuana and could not come to the United States for the card at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, according to Golden Boy.

Welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (17-0, 13 KOs) still meets Vernon Paris (28-1, 16 KOs) in the 10-round main event. An eight-round middleweight fight between 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (10-0, 5 KOs) and Ronnie Warrior Jr. (15-8-1, 5 KOs) has been elevated to the new co-feature.

Gomez steps in to face Paris

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
Welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez, a major disappointment thus far despite his unbeaten record, will step up to fight his most notable opponent when he faces Vernon Paris on July 25 (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, Golden Boy has announced.

[+] EnlargeVernon Paris, Zab Judah
Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY SportsVernon Paris, right, who suffered his lone defeat in 2012 against Zab Judah, faces unbeaten welterweight Frankie Gomez on July 25.
Gomez (17-0, 13 KOs), 22, of East Los Angeles, was a terrific amateur and entered the pro ranks with huge fanfare in 2010 but a series of underwhelming performances, conditioning issues and legal problems limited him to just two fights apiece in 2012 and 2013.

Golden Boy, which has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in Gomez, is throwing him in what should be a real fight when he faces Paris in a scheduled 10-rounder that will headline the Golden Boy Live card.

Paris (28-1, 16 KOs), 26, of Detroit, suffered his only defeat when he was stopped by former junior welterweight titlist Zab Judah in the ninth round in March 2012. Paris has won his two fights since.

In the co-feature, bantamweight prospect Ivan Morales (25-0, 14 KOs) will see action in a 10-rounder against an opponent to be determined. Morales is the 22-year-old younger brother of Mexican legend Erik Morales, who will be ringside and will do a meet-and-greet with fans at the show.

Frankie Gomez injury dashes fight

July, 15, 2013
Junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (15-0, 11 KOs), who is just 21, was scheduled to face former titleholder (and now division gatekeeper) DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (39-20-1, 23 KOs) of Washington, D.C., on Saturday (FSN/Fox Deportes) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

However, Gomez suffered a deep bruise in his left knee and will be sidelined for a month, Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez told ESPN.com.

"He can begin sparring right after that," said Gomez, who is not related to the fighter.

Eric Gomez said he hopes to reschedule the fight with Corley, who would be the most notable opponent so far for the prospect and former amateur standout.

The original co-feature of junior featherweight prospect Randy Caballero (18-0, 10 KOs) against Puerto Rico's Miguel Robles (12-2-2, 5 KOs) has been moved up to the main event. Caballero was the draw of the card in the first place. He is from Coachella, Calif., and the crowd favorite at Fantasy Springs, where he has fought 11 of his 18 professional fights.

Also on the card will be a trio of 2012 U.S. Olympians: welterweight Errol Spence Jr., junior featherweight Joseph Diaz and middleweight Terrell Gausha.
50 Cent-Yuriorkis GamboaChris Farina/Top RankPromoter 50 Cent, left, hasn't been able to secure an interim title fight for Yuriorkis Gamboa.
A few updates on some upcoming fights:

• Former unified featherweight titlist and interim junior lightweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa has never fought at lightweight, but when he makes his debut in the 135-pound division he will be fighting for another interim belt.

Gamboa (22-0, 16 KOs), the Miami-based 2004 Olympic gold medalist, meets 2008 Colombian Olympian Darleys Perez (28-0, 19 KOs) on Saturday (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at Bell Centre in Montreal. He will be on the undercard of light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson’s defense against Quebec’s power-punching Adonis Stevenson. But what was originally scheduled as a 10-round nontitle bout became an interim title bout after Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, the rap star and Gamboa’s promoter, paid a recent visit to WBA headquarters in Panama and got the bout sanctioned.

Also on the card, prospect Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (12-0, 8 KOs), a 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian, will face Sergio Villanueva (25-2-2, 13 KOs) of Mexico in a scheduled 10-rounder that HBO Latino will air on tape delay at 12:15 a.m. ET.

• East Los Angles junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (15-0, 11 KOs), who is just 21, should gain valuable experience when he faces former titleholder (and now division gatekeeper) DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (39-20-1, 23 KOs) of Washington, D.C., in a scheduled 10-round main event of a “Golden Boy Live” card (FSN/Fox Deportes) on July 20 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. Corley is coming off a decision loss in his previous fight, when he traveled to Russia to face Viktor Postal in October, but in his previous two bouts Corley pulled upsets. He outpointed Gabriel Bracero and then stopped Paul McCloskey in the 10th round in Northern Ireland in a stunner. In the co-feature, junior featherweight prospect Randy Caballero (18-0, 10 KOs) will face Puerto Rico's Miguel Robles (12-2-2, 5 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Caballero, who is from Coachella, Calif., is a crowd favorite at Fantasy Springs, where he has fought 11 of his 18 pro fights.

• Former featherweight titlist Orlando Salido (39-12-2, 27 KOs), who got dropped four times and lost his title via lopsided eighth-round technical decision to Mikey Garcia in January, will be back Aug. 16 in his hometown of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, manager Sean Gibbons told ESPN.com. Salido, 32, suffered a right broken orbital bone in the fight, one of the reasons for the extended layoff. Gibbons said there is no opponent yet, but that Salido will be fighting at junior lightweight, possibly in a title eliminator that would put him in line for a crack at titleholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez.

• Puerto Rican junior middleweight Jorge Melendez (26-2-1, 25 KOs), a Miguel Cotto protege, is on his third opponent for his “ShoBox: The New Generation” main event Friday night (Showtime, 11 ET/PT). Melendez was due to face Mexico’s Luis Grajeda (14-1, 10 KOs) in the scheduled 10-rounder. When Grajeda dropped out -- for no reason other than he decided against taking the fight, according to Showtime -- Lanardo Tyner (30-8-2, 19 KOs) stepped in. However, even though Tyner is coming off a 12th-round knockout win on May 9 in Dallas, he was suspended under the normal Texas rules that say a fighter must be off three days for every round he fought in his most recent fight, which keeps him out until after Friday. So now it’s Nick Brinson (14-1-2, 6 KOs) stepping in on short notice. Puerto Rican bantamweight Jonathan Vidal (17-0, 9 KOs) faces Mario Munoz (13-0-1, 10 KOs) of Mexico in the eight-round co-feature.

• Japan’s Koki Kameda (30-1, 17 KOs) will make his seventh title defense when he faces the Philippines’ Mark John Apolinario (17-2-3, 4 KOs) on July 23 in Tokyo. Odd stat about Apolinario: He’s got three draws in his past four bouts, including back-to-back draws with Roberto Vasquez in interim title bouts.

Golden Boy busy with updates

January, 9, 2013
Golden Boy has a slew of shows coming in the next few months and has been getting things in order. Here are a few updates from CEO Richard Schaefer:

• Super middleweight contender Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KOs) has been added to the Feb. 16 Adrien Broner-Gavin Rees undercard in Atlantic City, N.J. Although the bout is not slated to be part of the HBO telecast, which also features a rematch between heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell, Bika will face Nikola Sjekloca (25-0, 7 KOs). Schaefer said that with champion Andre Ward out of action for several months because of shoulder surgery, Bika-Sjekloca would be for an interim title, with HBO possibly showing highlights of the fight.

Schaefer also said that junior lightweight Vicente Escobedo (26-4, 15 KOs) will be on the card. He has not fought since being wiped out by Broner in July. That was the fight where Escobedo was supposed to challenge for Broner's junior lightweight belt but Broner came in overweight and was stripped. Escobedo was eligible to win the vacant title but was blown away by Broner in the fifth round.

• The Feb. 23 Showtime card headlined by welterweight titlist Devon Alexander against Kell Brook, along with junior middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage facing Ishe Smith, will be hosted by the MGM Grand Detroit and take place at the Masonic Temple Theater in downtown Detroit.

• Junior middleweight prospect Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KOs) has an opponent for his opening bout on the Jan. 26 Showtime card at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas -- Harry Joe Yorgey (25-1-1, 12 KOs), a 35-year-old best known for being crushed in a third-round knockout by Alfredo Angulo in 2009. Interim junior welterweight titlist Lucas Matthysse headlines the card against Michael Dallas Jr. with welterweights Selcuk Aydin and Jesus Soto Karass squaring off in the co-feature.

• The March 2 Showtime tripleheader -- featherweight titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon defending against Jayson Velez, Richard Abril facing Sharif Bogere for a vacant lightweight belt and featherweight Gary Russell Jr. facing an opponent to be determined -- will take place at the famed Apollo Theater in New York.

• Welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (14-0, 11 KOs), 20, getting back on track after outside-the-ring issues kept him out of action for most of 2012, will face Lanard Lane (13-2, 8 KOs) in the main event of a Fox Deportes/Fox Sports Net card on Feb. 2 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Junior featherweight Joseph Diaz (1-0), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will have his second pro bout on the telecast.

Troubles behind, Gomez to return

October, 30, 2012
Frankie GomezCraig 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.