Q&A with Jonathan "Mantequilla" Gonzalez

Fast-rising welterweight contender Jonathan "Mantequilla" Gonzalez (9-0, 9 KOs) has some very big gloves to fill if he is to live up to his growing reputation.

Gonzalez is regarded by many as no less than the "Next Puerto Rican Superstar" because of his stellar amateur career and the eye-catching power he has displayed at the start of his professional career. Naturally heavy-handed with an aggressive temperament, Gonzalez is crafted from the same mold as his countryman, the great Tito Trinidad..

As an amateur, "Mantequilla" won a silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics, but it is in the professional ranks where the young punisher has found his true calling as a welterweight destroyer. Able to sit down more on his punches, Gonzalez has continued to demolish his opponents, even as their skill levels have increased.

He is next scheduled to appear on a card at the Centro de Convenciones in Guayama, Puerto Rico, on October 29.

Are you finding your style is more suited to the professionals?

Yes, because in the amateurs, movement is more important and I could not properly display my full power. There is too much focus on defense. As a professional, I can fully exhibit my power.

You fought six times last year and plan on doing it again this year. Why do you fight so often?

I want to fight as often as I can. I am finishing opponents and not getting hurt, which allows me to be more active -- and I like it.

You're being called The Next Puerto Rican Superstar... does that make you feel more pressure to be impressive and score big knockouts?

I do not feel any pressure. I work hard at the gym and that opens the door for confidence and for the results that I am having.

Who were some of your idols growing up?

Miguel Cotto, Tito Trinidad and Juan M. López -- All big punchers!

How did you get the nickname Mantequilla?

When I was younger, and was starting in boxing, I was very soft and quick, and would fall to the canvas by myself as I was throwing fast punches, even without being hit! Now I am not soft, but everyone still calls me Mantequilla!

Where do you see yourself in a year?

I see myself very close to a world championship, fighting tough opponents and close to the top.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself bringing a lot of glory to my country while fighting and beating the best out there for my flag.

Article posted on 10.10.2010

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