I have to confess, I didn’t follow the second Contender series at all nor did I see the first series through to conclusion. The television schedule was continually changed and I missed key episodes and the fighters’ stories passed me by. However, one fight I did see – and it’s preceding story – was the opener between series favourite Peter Manfredo and baby-faced Mexican Welterweight Alfonso Gomez. It may have been the slow-motion replays or the editing but I fell in love with the game Gomez. Love in the affectionate, platonic sense, but in love all the same.Over the specially selected distance of 5 rounds, designed to ensure a victor in every bout and to preserve the competitors for frequent competition, the Mexican with a patchy record and giving away natural weight peppered the motionless Manfredo and took the decision. The back story of the Guadalajara born fighter was an appealing one and his closeness with his family, though over-sugared for the purposes of television, seemed genuine and sincere. Weighing just 143 pounds for that fight, outweighed, giving away height and reach, experience and renown to Manfredo he battled through tough moments to prevail on points.
He immediatley became the type of pluck underdog I can’t help following. Soon he will fight Martin Concepcion at a catchweight of 152 pounds and for the most part I’ll be pulling for him over his British opponent. It strikes me as the most interesting bout on the card; although establishing what Rob Reid has left versus Jesse Brinkley will also make compelling viewing.
The always on the spot BritishBoxing.net carry a full interview with the visiting fighter. Click Here