Manuel Gomez To Replace Jorge Paez on Dec.17

10.12.04 - Former World Champion, Jorge "Maromero" Paez, has withdrawn from his main event bout scheduled for December 17th at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Paez, the former IBF World Featherweight Champion, was scheduled to fight Ryan Maraldo in a ten-round Lightweight contest, one of six bouts on the Miller Lite Texas Title Belt, Professional Boxing Series event..

The Paez vs Maraldo fight is now off and will be replaced by a ten-round Welterweight bout featuring current top ten World Welterweight Contender, Manuel Gomez. Gomez' opponent is close to being closed and should be announced on Monday, according to Lester Bedford, producer of the Miller Lite Series.

"The promoter, Top Rank, has an opponent set for Gomez, but won't be able to announce him until the contract is signed and returned to their offices," said Bedford. "It's just a formality they have to follow with the Texas Boxing Commission. We should be in a position to announce the opponent on Monday, at the latest."

According to Bedford, Paez just felt he wasn't going to be ready to fight.

"Top Rank matchmakers told me Paez recently got the flu and had to stop training for a few days," Bedford explained. "They were hoping he would be OK, but Paez himself decided that he just wasn't going to be close to 100% and withdrew."

Gomez, 27-10-1 of nearby Nuevo Laredo, is currently the #5 World Ranked Welterweight by the WBC. Gomez is a former World Title challenger, losing a close fought battle against "Sugar" Shane Mosley for the WBC World Lightweight Championship in 1997. Mosley stopped Gomez in the 11th round in what Mosley termed his "toughest fight ever as a lightweight."

Despite the entertaining Paez being off the card, Bedford feels Valley fight fans will like what they see in Gomez. "It's unfortunate, but in another sense, we have replaced him with one of the best welterweights in the world in Gomez.

"Paez would have been fun to watch, but to be honest, it's no secret he's past his prime. With Gomez, you have a guy who hasn't lost in four years and is currently one of the most feared punchers in the world. His next fight could very well be for the World Welterweight title on HBO.

"You never like changes, but we're very fortunate to have a fighter like Gomez to now be fighting the main event."

Tickets for the event are priced at $60 (VIP), $40, $30 and $20 and are on sale at the Dodge Arena Box Office and all Dodge Arena outlets throughout the Valley.

Article posted on 10.12.2004

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