Jonathan Gonzalez at Risk of Losing WBO Junior Flyweight Title
It’s never a good thing when a fighter is facing questions about possible deception and dishonesty. But that is the case for reigning WBO champion Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KOs). His alleged underhanded action could cost him both, the WBO belt and a potential unification bout with unified champion Kenshiro Teraji (22-1, 14KO).
On October 24, Gonzalez pulled out of a scheduled October 27 title defense against Gerardo Cabrera. At the time, Gonzalez’s manager, Tuto Zabala, Jr., stated that the WBO champion was suffering from a cough and fever.
PLENTY OF QUESTIONS
However, many in the boxing community questioned whether Bomba was ill. It has raised the eyebrows of the WBO. The sanctioning body has given a November 4 deadline for Gonzalez to provide medical proof of why he pulled out of his match against Cabrera.
If Gonzalez can provide sufficient evidence, he must fight WBO Interim 108-pound champion Rene Santiago within 180 days. Santiago won the Interim title with a twelfth-round knockout over Kevin Vivas on the same card that Gonzalez was to face Cabrera. Should Bomba fail to provide the necessary evidence, he will be stripped of the WBO title.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Word on the street that a possible reason for Gonzalez pulling out of the match with Cabrera was to preserve a possible unification clash with the unified junior flyweight champion, Teraji, in 2024.
A showdown between Teraji and Gonzalez was to have occurred in April 2023, but Gonzalez had to pull out due to injury. With the recent decision of the WBO, that potential clash is now unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, if ever.
The only reason Teraji wanted the fight with Gonzalez was to fulfill his dreams of becoming undisputed at 108. Upon hearing the news about Gonzalez, Teraji made the following post on social media:
Ultimately, this leaves a cloud of suspicion over Gonzalez. If he did try to side-step a fight and game the WBO, the decision has backfired in his face. His latest actions could have put him in the line of fire with the WBO and potentially cost him the biggest fight and payday of his career.