LOS ANGELES (April 6) – Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez hosted a special roundtable on Thursday, April 2 at The Belasco Theater, with members of the media to discuss his upcoming bout against Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto, which will serve as the co-main event for Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland on May 9 at Minute Maid Park, Houston. Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions and Peter Nelson, HBO Sports Vice President of Programming were also in attendance.
Below is what they had to say at the roundtable:
FRANKIE GOMEZ, Super Lightweight Contender:
“I would like to thank Golden Boy Promotions and HBO for giving me the opportunity to show the world what I can do in the ring. I plan to conquer the 140 weight class and May 9 is a great way to show the fans my strengths as a fighter.
“Soto has a lot of experience, he is a former world champion, and I know our fight will be exciting. I like the pressure of this fight. It motivates me to train harder.
“I am training at 100 percent to make sure I am ready for May 9. This is not going to be an easy fight. I will plan to go 10 rounds against Soto.
“After Soto, the next step is take on world champions. I am ready and I know I have to train with the best and be disciplined. By the end of this year, I think I will be ready for someone like Danny Garcia, but it also depends on the plans that my manager and Golden Boy Promotions have for me.
“I have trained with both Lucas Matthysse and Ruslan Provodnikov, and I can’t decide who will win the fight on April 18. They are both great, aggressive fighters. Ruslan keeps coming at you, he is relentless and Lucas is a fast, hard puncher. It’s going to be a tough fight.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions:
“We are announcing the return of Frankie Gomez; we are all excited to see a young fighter with so much talent take on a tough fighter like Humberto Soto on May 9. Soto is a dangerous fighter who is undefeated since 2012 and beat John Molina last year.
“We are happy and grateful to HBO for the opportunity to show this tremendous, action-packed fight. HBO is about bringing the best fights to the fans, everything else is just boxing.
“140-147 pounds is the weight class for Frankie. It’s an exciting weight class that is full of talented fights and world champions. The weight class has young and veterans fighters and Frankie will challenge the very best. We believe in Frankie and support him 100 percent..
“Canelo vs. Kirkland is the perfect spot to showcase the next generation, the next world champion, and Frankie is the future. He will be fighting in front of 40,000 roaring fans and it’s the perfect launching pad for Frankie. We know he is ready and we know he wants this.
“The audience will be watching a young fighter who is the whole package. He is smart, aggressive, fast and has explosive punching power. People will love him. May 9is just the beginning for Frankie.
“Frankie has a hunger, humility and passion that are missing in a lot of fighters today. I have seen him in the ring during his fights and during his training and I can see that there is passion and fire in his style. There is something special about Frankie and it’s just a matter of bringing it out. We need to guide him towards his goal to becoming a world champion.
“Freddie Roach is a genius. He knows how to bring out the best in a fighter. He is an aggressive trainer that will get you in great shape but at the same time Freddie is smart and teaches a fighter to be smart. I think he is the perfect trainer for Frankie. I know he will guide him in the right direction.”
PETER NELSON, HBO Sports Vice President of Programing:
“We are privileged to have him on the network against the great Humberto Soto. This will be one of the best shows on May 9, in Houston, Texas. We know this is a major step in his career.
“We believe that Frankie has the potential to carve a name for himself in the sport. He comes from a great amateur pedigree.
“I saw him sparring with Ruslan Provodnikov at Wild Card Boxing Gym, and he was impressive.”
A stellar amateur who won the 2009 United States Championship and earned a silver medal in the 2009 World Championships, East Los Angeles’ Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez (18-0, 13 KOs) has impressed every step of the way since then. Owner of 12 knockouts in three rounds or less, Gomez can also box when he wants to, as shown in his near-shutout victory over longtime contender Vernon Paris last July. Gomez is ranked eighth in the world by the IBF. On May 9 as the co-main event for Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, Gomez will attempt to make the move into the title picture with a victory over Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto. Gomez is under the tutelage of multiple winner “Trainer of the Year” and International Boxing Hall of Famer Freddie Roach.
Tickets for May 9 Canelo vs. Kirkland are priced at $350, $150, $100, $50, $25 and $10, plus applicable fees and service charges, and are on sale now and available for purchase at Astros.com/boxing, the Minute Maid Park Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com. There is a 19-ticket limit per household.
Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland is a 12-round super welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions, SMS Promotions and Leija*Battah Promotions. The fight will take place Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico – Live it to Believe it!, Fred Loya Insurance and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. CT and first bout starts at 2:10 p.m. CT, the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
An all-new edition of 24/7 Alvarez/Kirkland debuts Tuesday, May 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.