24.01.05 - By Jim Amato: There is a world class light heavyweight among us who is hardly talked about. The 175 pound world has revolved around Roy Jones Jr. and now the men who defeated him, Glencoffe Johnson and Antonio Tarver. What about a fine fighting machine named Julio Gonzalez ? This former W.B.O titleholder is ready to make some noise in 2005!
Julio sports an impressive 37-2 record and he has met the cream of the division. Julio turned pro in the late 90's but emerged as a contender in 2001 when he outscored the brutal punching Julian Letterlough over twelve rounds at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. Five months later Julio was in the ring facing the legendary Roy Jones Jr. for the UNDISPUTED light heavyweight title. Although Julio lost the verdict by a wide margin he showed he was a top caliber contender.
Julio hit the comeback trail with impressive kayoes over Tyrone Armstead, Joe Kiwanuku, Jonathan Young and Thomas Reid. In January of 2003 he met the rugged Glecoffe Johnson. Julio won a spirited fight by majority decision after ten rounds. Nine months later Julio was in Germany facing the undefeated and feared Dariusz Michalczewski. This was the fighter everyone claimed Roy Jones was avoiding. Although it was a split decision, Julio gave Dariusz a boxing lesson as he captured the W.B.O. title. Julio was riding on top of the world and deservedly so.
Three months later he returned to Germany to meet the unbeaten and unheralded Zsolt Erdei. It was a boxing clinic as Erdei lifted the title. Since losing his crown Julio has decisioned Orlando Rivera and scored an impressive KO win over highly regarded David Telesco.
This is a veteran who will turn 29 this July. It appears that he he is entering the prime of his career and is ready and willing to take on all comers. I asked Julio who gave him toughest fight and he answered Letterlough. He conceded that Roy Jones was the best of the fighters I asked him about. In Julio's opinion Jones would have beat Michalczewski if they would have met when there was a high demand for that match up.
Julio said he would like to meet Glen Johnson again. Johnson is the MAN right now and Julio does hold a win over him. Plus his recent KO of Telesco should make Gonzalez a viable contender. Remember his name, Julio Gonzalez. He is still a force to be reckoned with !