By Jake Donovan
For the third time in as many fights this year, Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez has been tabbed to kick off a new season of Boxeo Telemundo.
The resurgent flyweight contender—who scored victories in the spring and summer premiere of the long-running boxing series—will grace the marquee for the first show of the fall season. Gonzalez will face two-time 108-pound title challenger Juan ‘Pinky’ Alejo in a scheduled 10-round regional title clash on November 16 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
“Bomba Gonzalez has been a terrific edition our Boxeo Telemundo series, and it’s only right he gets to once again introduce a new season,” Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr., head of All Star Boxing Inc. told BoxingInsider.com. “He provided tremendous entertainment value in his wins over (Ricardo) ‘Meserito’ Rodriguez and Julian Yedras. We have no reason to doubt he will once again rise to the occasion in perhaps his toughest fight yet.”
A familiar series theme comes in the fall season premiere, with the matchup extending the long-running in-ring rivalry between Puerto Rico (Gonzalez) and Mexico (Alejo). Each of Gonzalez’ last two appearances have contributed to the cause, scoring decision wins over Mexico-based flyweights Rodriguez and Yedras in February and July, respectively.
Overall, Gonzalez (21-2-1, 12KOs) has won three straight and eight of his last nine starts, but steps up in competition for his third bout of 2018.
Alejo (24-5-1, 14KOs) stumbled out to an unflattering 0-3 career start, but has since forged out a career as a bonafide contender. The 34-year old from Guadalajara, Mexico has won 24 of his past 27 starts, with his only two losses in that span coming in major title fights.
A 20-fight win streak propelled Alejo to an Oct. ’15 title challenge versus the excellent Donnie Nietes, dropping a spirited—albeit lopsided—decision in their blood-soaked affair. Six fights later, he found himself back on the title stage, only to suffer a 10th round stoppage at the hands of Puerto Rican knockout artist Angel Acosta.
The bout—for a vacant 108-pound title—took place at Madison Square Garden in chief support to the final fight of Miguel Cotto’s historic career (a decision loss to Sadam Ali). Alejo was ultimately outgunned, but nevertheless game for the cause despite fighting in front of a partisan crowd.
“Pinky Alejo has never run scared from a challenge, no matter the odds,” Zabala Jr. points out. “Look, he’s never had it easy in his career, and that’s only made him tougher. He didn’t care about fighting Acosta in a pro-Cotto crowd, and didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to fight in Gonzalez in the most populated Puerto Rican (metropolitan) area in the country.”
While not guaranteed, the series’ history suggests that the winner of such a bout could land a title shot in 2019, which would currently come in the form of a lucrative crack at unbeaten Kosei Tanaka.
The televised co-feature will offer a familiar face to Boricua boxing culture, in the form of Christian Camacho—son of the late, legendary Hector “Macho” Camacho—who faces Mexico City’s Isaac Cerda (6-2,1KO). The scheduled six-round featherweight bout will mark the Telemundo debut for Camacho (7-1, 1KO), who appeared in this very venue this past July.
Also on the show, 2016 U.S Olympian and local favorite Antonio Vargas (8-0, 3KOs) will appear in a six-round bantamweight bout versus a yet-to-be-named opponent.