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Arnold Gonzalez is one guy who’s plotting his own course

Arnold Gonzalez is a 28-year-old welterweight who is refreshing, in that he knows where he wants to go and how he wants to get there. The owner of what he describes as “:an educated left hand,” he also owns himself, which is rare in boxing these days.

An enterprising young man who is the consummate self-starter, he moves ahead in his professional career on Thursday, July 29 at Sony Hall as he is featured on the latest card presented by Boxing Insider Promotions.

Gonzalez grew up in Harlem, a graduate of A. Phillip Randolph High School, he contemplated college, and was accepted at John Jay College, with a career in criminal justice in mind.

However, the boxing bug bit him, and so he bypassed the collegiate life. Fortunately, he was able to make his mark in a big way. Gonzalez was a New York Golden Gloves finalist in 2015 and then went higher, winning the National PAL (Police Athletic League) tournament, along with the Sugar Bert national tournament, in 2018.

He picked up a sponsorship from the New York Athletic Club, a prestigious organization which numbers some of the most prominent citizens of the Big Apple among its members.

He also got involved in the fitness industry, and typical of his attitude toward most things, he gave it a balls-out effort, establishing a base through which he gained some financial independence.

Gonzalez was looking to expand his horizons in preparation for turning pro, and toward that end he directed himself to Southern California, and specifically to the now-legendary Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

That, of course, is the domain of Freddie Roach, and when Gonzalez walked in on Christmas day, 2018, he was seeking experience. He actually got more than he bargained for. On this particular holiday, the gym was empty, except for Roach, Gonzalez and its most distinguished resident, Manny Pacquiao. The eight-division champ was getting himself ready for a bout with Adrien Broner, and as Gonzalez explained to Roach that he had a style like Broner’s, Roach decided to put him right into a sparring session.

Gonzalez admits it was “a little nerve-racking” to find himself in the ring with a living legend before his professional career had even gotten started, but in retrospect, he calls it “the best Christmas present I could ever have.”

The sparring was lively, enough that when Gonzalez was ready to leave town, Roach convinced him to stay. So he also helped Pacquiao prepare for his fights against Keith Thurman and Yordenis Ugas. And in this process, Gonzalez relocated himself to Southern California, where he currently trains under Julien Chua. .

PacMan also used his influence to get Gonzalez’s pro career rolling. That career began in February 2019 with a win over Stacey Anderson in Nebraska. He’s also fought four times at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, competing on PBC-promoted cards.

Gonzalez’s lineage is from Ecuador, and he fought several times there as well, including a fifth-round stoppage of Jose Luis Prieto to win the UBO (Universal Boxing Organization) Intercontinental welterweight championship, a title he defended last December with a win over Jesus Bravo.

One of the things that is unique about Gonzalez is the degree to which he has gone about directing his own career. He is self-managed, and that is by no means an accident. It is, for this moment at least, the most efficient way for him to do business.

He understands that it is difficult getting promoters to get on the phone, for example, and talk directly to a fighter, without a buffer (i.e., a manager or an agent) in between. But “all it takes is one conversation with them to know where my head is at.”

“Boxing is a business that’s all about networking,” Gonzalez says. “It’s such a small world that you’re going to wind up running into everybody again.”

That was exactly the circumstance that led him into the July 29 card. Gonzalez had, at one time, sparred with Larry Goldberg at the Mendez Gym in New York. A few years later, as Goldberg became a promoter with his Boxing Insider Promotions, Gonzalez went to a show at Sony Hall, bought a seat in the front row, and re-introduced himself to Goldberg.

And so here we are.

Precisely where this will all end for Gonzalez is anyone’s guess. He says he has a sizable clientele of personal fitness pupils around the Los Angeles area. He has plans to continue managing himself; one of his command decisions is that he will eventually drop from 147 to 140 pounds. At the right time, he will decide upon a team with which he will proceed to higher levels. He expects that at some point in 2025, he’ll be in the top ten and ready to challenge for a world title.

A number of things have to fall into place. But would you bet against that happening? WE wouldn’t.

Tickets for the June 29 show are priced at $95, $125, $200 and $325 and are available through TicketWeb. For information about tables, contact [email protected]. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with first bell slated for 7:30 PM.

Established in 1997 as a premier boxing news and information destination, Boxing Insider has, over the course of the last ten months, transitioned into the promotional business. This will be Boxing Insider’s fifth professional boxing promotion.

Sony Hall is located at 235 W 46th St. in Manhattan, at the bottom of the Paramount Hotel, directly across from the Imperial Theater.

This event will stream free of charge on BoxingInsider.com

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