Ecuadorian Bomber Carlos Gongora is Gunning for his 17th Straight Win
By: Paul Yates
Rising middleweight Carlos Gongora co-headlines a match at The Encore Boston Harbor this Friday in Everett, Massachusetts. The hard punching Gongora faces Mexico’s Alan Zavala in a scheduled ten rounder. The fight is expected to be an opportunity for Gongora, who is presently 16-0 with 12 KO’s, to showcase his skills and explosive hitting power.
Photo Credit: Joe Gallo
Standing 6’1″ and fighting from a southpaw stance, Gongora ranked among the world’s leading middleweights as an amateur, during which he fought more than several hundred matches. Representing his home country of Ecuador, Gongora boxed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. He also participated in the 2007, 2009, and 2011 World Amateur Championships. Since turning professional in 2015, Gongora has been based in the United States. He currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and is 30 years old.
The lanky Gongora has impressed boxing aficionados with his agility, lightning quick reflexes, savvy ring tactics, and stalking, cat-like fighting style. His ring demeanor is best described as icily composed, or even eerily calm. Gongora packs one-punch knockout power in his left hand, and he often finishes opponents suddenly and unexpectedly with single, explosive shots to the head. The Ecuadorian delivers his left-handed power punch in the form of overhand blows to the jaw, roundhouse shots swung around his foes’ guards, and as uppercuts thrown from long and short distance.
Gongora usually boxes from long range, fully utilizing his height and reach advantages as he spears his opponents with long right jabs to the head and body. So far, Gongora’s defense has shown no flaws, as he effortlessly dodges blows by bouncing backwards on his feet and by leveraging his impressive upper-body maneuvering and agility. Foes who try to bull their way inside Gongora’s firing range are always tied-up and pushed away, or they are battered into retreat by the Ecuadorian’s heavy fisted counterattacks.
The flashy, one punch KO power in Gongora’s left hand, in addition to his height and unusually calm ring demeanor, remind this writer of 1980’s light-heavyweight champion Mike Spinks. Like Gongora, Spinks was a tall, wiry, thin boxer-puncher known for scoring dramatic, one punch knockouts. While Gongora’s money punch is his left, Spinks tended to dispatch opponents with his power-laden right hand, known to fans of that era as the “Spinks Jinx.”
Zavala, the opponent in Friday’s match, has earned a reputation as a strong, bullish, rough fighter who wins by mauling his opponents at close range. He has a professional record of 15-4, including 13 KO’s. Like most Mexican fighters, Zavala frequently unleashes hard, wide left-hooks to the head and body. He supplements his head-first offensive tactics by bobbing-and-weaving to dodge blows, and — unlike most Mexicans — he is not averse to dancing backwards in order to evade punches. At 5’11,” Zavala will be fighting at a height disadvantage against the rangy Gongora.
Although Zavala is regarded as a club fighter, he is distinguished in that he once lasted the distance against Jaime Munguia, the current WBO super-welterweight champion. The Munguia-Zavala match took place in 2015 in Tijuana, very early in the careers of both Mexican boxers. But considering that the hard-hitting Munguia is now regarded as one of the very best 154 pounders in the world, Zavala proved his mettle by finishing that bout on his feet.
Trained by Hector Bermudez and managed by Mike Criscio, Gongora has been promoted by Murphy’s Boxing since 2017. It is very probable that Gongora will eventually be rated among the world’s leading fighters in the middleweight and super-middleweight divisions.
In the main event on Friday’s promotion, NABA super-featherweight titleholder Abraham Nova defends his belt against Luis Ronaldo Castillo in a scheduled ten round bout. Nova is unquestionably the most advanced fighter on this evening’s card, as he is rated 6th worldwide by the World Boxing Association in the 130 lbs division. A native of Puerto Rico who was born to Dominican parents, Nova now lives in Albany, New York. His professional record is 15-0 with 11 KO’s. Nova was a heralded amateur, triumphing in 167 of 178 bouts and winning the prestigious New York Golden Gloves tournament five times. He also won the 2014 USA National Championships and participated in the 2015 US Olympic Qualifiers tournament. Nova is known for his exceptional athleticism, power, and speed of hand and foot. The Puerto Rican’s combination punching prowess, in addition to his ability to quickly alternate between offense and defense, has inspired many boxing experts to predict that he will eventually win a world championship.
Little is known about Castillo aside from his record, which is 20-3 with 15 KO’s. Castillo is 20 years old and has been fighting professionally since 2015. He has fought most of his bouts in his native Mexico. Earlier this year, Castillo fought twice in foreign countries and was knocked out both times. Australia’s Steve Spark stopped Castillo in four rounds in Toowoomba, and shortly after that, he was KO’d in four rounds by Jesus M. Rojas in Puerto Rico.
Another fighter with a stellar amateur background, Brian Ceballo, will appear on Friday’s card in a scheduled eight rounder. Ceballo, currently 9-0 with 4 KO’s, squares off against Luis Eduardo Florez of Colombia, who is 24-13 including 20 KO’s. Both fighters are welterweights. Ceballo’s amateur accomplishments include winning the 2014 Police Athletic League National Championships, taking first place in the 2016 National Golden Gloves Championships, and winning the US National Championships in 2017. Ceballo finished third in the 2015 US Olympic Trials.
The promotion will be rounded out by several other four round matches. Mansfield’s James Perella (4-0, 3 KO’s) faces Argentina’s Jose Aubel (8-5, 7 KO’s) in a welterweight fight. Perella is a tall, hard-hitting boxer who ranked among the nation’s best during his amateur career. In a cruiserweight bout, James Perkins squares off against Aaron Trecell Smith. Both fighters are from the Boston area and they are making their pro debuts. In another bout between debuting boxers, Brian Urday will face Greg Bono in the 135 lbs division. Both Urday and Bono are Boston area natives. The card will open with Boston’s Jonathan Depina making his pro debut against Michigan’s Robbie Thomas (0-1) in a lightweight bout.
PBC on Fox Sports Results: Plant Cruises to Victory, Grayton and Gongora Win by TKO
PBC on Fox Sports Results: Plant Cruises to Victory, Grayton and Gongora Win by TKO
By: William Holmes
The Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox Sports 1.
Three bouts were televised tonight, and the opening bout was between Carlos Gongora (5-0) and Ronald Mixon (7-0) in the light heavyweight division.
Mixon had a three inch in reach and height on Gongora, but both boxers were the same age. Gongora was a former two time Olympian for Ecuador.
Both boxers tried to feel each other out in the opening minute of the round, but Gongora was able to land a hard straight left hand by the ropes that momentarily stunned Mixon. Gongora followed that up with another straight left hand seconds later and Mixon dropped to the mat.
Mixon struggled to get back to his feet, but he was still clearly shot and struggled to even get to his knees. The referee waived off the fight 1:16 of the first round, giving Gongora a TKO victory.
The next bout was between Kareem Martin (8-0-1) and David Grayton (14-1) in the welterweight division.
Martin and Grayton were former sparring partners and they wasted no time in going after each other. Martin was the better defensive boxer and landed cleaner and harder counters. Grayton, a southpaw, had difficulty avoiding the counter rights of Martin.
Martin’s counter punching was on point in the second round and he was able to open up a cut over the right eye of Grayton. Grayton’s pressure was much more effective in the third round and he was able to walk through the punches of Martin.
There were some very good exchanges in the opening minute of fourth round, but Martin was able to land the harder shots. Martin showed more movement in the fifth round and was able to counter while avoiding risky exchanges.
Grayton came out firing at the start of the sixth round and had Martin backing up and holding on to try to slow the assault down. Martin was able to land a few hard shots, but Grayton took them well and kept up the intense pressure. Martin looked tired at the end of the round.
Grayton was told by his corner to walk Martin down before the start of the seventh round, and he responded to his corner with a high volume of punches to the body and head of Martin. Martin just could not keep up with Grayton.
Grayton jumped on Martin at the start of the eighth and scored a knockdown with a good left hand. Martin got back to his feet but was on wobbly legs and covered up while Grayton unleashed another combination on him.
Martin wasn’t able to answer and the referee jumped in and stopped the bout.
David Grayton defeats Kareem Martin by TKO at 0:41 of the eighth round.
A swing bout between Eric Newell (8-3-3) and Wes Triplett (3-1) in the heavyweight division was also shown. Wes Triplett won it by TKO at 0:27 of the third round.
Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (13-0) squared off against Juan De Angel (18-4-1) in the main event of the night in the middleweight division.
Plant, a Tennessee native, established control of the center of the ring in the opening round and was able to pop shot De Angel with jabs and lead hooks. De Angel was not able to mount much of an offensive attack.
De Angel was a little more aggressive at the start of the second round, but a good left to the body by Plant quickly slowed down De Angel. Plant had De Angel backing up in the third round and his right hand was finding it’s target with regularity.
Plant’s pressure paid off in the fourth round when he scored a knockdown with a left hook to the jaw of De Angel. De Angel was able to get back up before the count of ten and was able to survive the round.
Plant looked extremely comfortable in the fifth round and was battering De Angel from corner to corner while deftly avoiding any counter shots. Plant continued to outbox De Angel in the sixth round and was never seriously threatened. He mixed up his combinations well to the body and head in the seventh round.
De Angel was in pure survival mode in the eighth round and rarely went on the offensive attack. The only question in the final two rounds of the fight was whether or not Plant could stop De Angel, but that stoppage never came.
Caleb Plant won comfortably on the judges scorecards with scores of 100-89 on all three scorecards.