On April 30, 2014, eighteen fighters ranging from Featherweight to Light Heavyweight took center stage at Hialeah Park and Casino to weigh in for ESPN’s Thursday Night Fights.
First to weigh in were Texan Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (34-3, 22 KOs) and his scheduled opponent, Dominican Victor “Mermelada” Cayo (32-4, 23 KOs). First, Roberto Garcia played to the crowd a bit, flexing and mugging for cameras. After taking a minute to remove all of his jewelry, he weighed in at 146.2 lbs., or 3.8 lbs. under their 150 lb. contract weight. However, things did not go as smoothly for Victor Cayo.
First, Cayo awkwardly approached the scale with his back to the audience and cameras. After being turned around twice, he weighed in a few ounces over the 150-lb. contracted weight at 150.6 lbs. . Pursuant to the rules that contemplate such a discrepancy, Cayo was given two hours to re-weigh. He left the stage and returned minutes later to re-weigh. This time, Cayo stood on the stage naked as the day he was born, but still weighed 150.2 lbs.
As Victor Cayo ran around Hialeah Park hoping to shed a couple more ounces of water weight, Puerto Rican former Olympian Jonathan “Mantequilla” González (17-0-1, 14 KOs) and the more professionally experienced Mexican pugilist Rogelio “Porky” Medina (32-5, 26 KOs) approached the scales.
Gonzalez weighed in at 162.8 lbs. which placed him below the contract weight. Conversely, Medina weighed in at 166 lbs. Famed ring announcer Thomas Treiber announced that Medina was over the contract weight and that he would similarly have two hours to re-weigh. Although the contracted weight was not announced, reason dictates that it is somewhere between 163-165 lbs.
As Medina met with his camp to address his weight, the remaining 14 fighters all made weight without incident. It is unknown whether Medina ultimately made weight or what the contracted penalty for failing to make weight will entail.
After the weigh-in, Jonathan Gonzalez discussed his amateur experience, fighting style, and professional ambitions with East Side Boxing. Through an interpreter, he identified himself as an outside mover/boxer, more in the tradition of Ali, Leonard or Robinson than Frazier, Hagler or LaMotta. A former Olympian, Gonzalez has a deep amateur pedigree that includes over 135 fights.
Gonzalez is not one to watch old films of fighters as Mike Tyson and Cus D’Amato were known to do, nor does he model his boxing after any particular boxer before him. However, Gonzalez has drawn inspiration in the sport from both Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad, two of Puerto Rico’s all-time greatest boxers.
Since abandoning his remarkable amateur boxing career, Gonzalez as accrued an equally impressive professional record of 17-0-1 with 14 KOs. When asked how he was able to make the amateur-to-professional transition that has obstructed the career paths of so many fighters before him, Gonzalez says that his style of boxing as an amateur was that of a hard-hitting body puncher. This style, Gonzalez correctly concludes, makes for great professional boxing.
Doors open at 6:00 on the evening of May 1, 2014 and the first fight is scheduled to begin at 7:00. ESPN2 will begin broadcasting live at 9:00.
Bill Barner is a former certified “USA Boxing” Judge, Referee, and Trainer. He is a former sparring partner for several amateur and professional fighters and currently practices law in South Florida for BarnerRossen PA. He is a regular contributor to East Side Boxing.