Friday, February 03, 2023  |


Q&A: Jhonny Gonzalez




Jhonny Gonzalez (right) lands his shocking first-round fight-ending hook to Abner Mares on Aug. 24, 2013 in Carson, California. Photo by Harry How / Getty Images

Mexican bragging rights are on the line when WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez meets for-division titleholder Jorge Arce on Saturday.

The two veterans have traded barbs for several months before finally their respective promoters were able to put aside their differences and come together to broker a deal between the popular fighters.

Gonzalez (56-8, 47 knockouts) will look to make the second defense of his title in Arce’s (64-7-2, 49 KOs) hometown of Los Mochis.

“I will be going into his backyard,” Gonzalez told last week. “That will put me under more pressure to go out and knock him out.”

On paper the bout looks like a can’t-miss blood-and-guts shootout.

“It’s going to be a war,” agreed the 33-year-old boxer-puncher. “I wish him the best but in the ring I’m not losing. I will come at him from first bell.”

Gonzalez-Arce will be broadcast in America on beIN Sports Espanol, which is on a fantastic run of late having already shown the two Fight of the Year frontrunners in Francisco Rodriguez Jr-Katsunari Takayama and Orlando Salido-Terdsak Kokietgym.

Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on fighting Arce?
Jhonny Gonzalez – It’s a huge bout, especially in Mexico. It’s for honor, for glory. Arce and his promoter Fernando Beltran insisted on the bout, so we agreed to make history.

AW – You’ll have watched him many times. What do you feel he brings to this fight in terms of strengths and weaknesses?

JG – He is very strong, he risks all, he gives his heart out, but he is very much open to receiving punches and that’s his weakness.

AW – Earlier this year you won a technical decision over Clive Atwell. Tell us about that fight?

JG – I had almost a year without fighting because Golden Boy Promotions and Abner Mares kept postponing (our rematch) until finally Abner chickened out. So that got me ring rust and I over-trained.

AW – Can you tell us about your younger days growing up in Pachuca, Mexico?
JG – I was born in Mexico City but raised in Pachuca. My dad and uncle where boxers, so I started training as a kid.

AW – Your first name is Jhonny. It’s spelt an interesting way. Why is that?
JG – My dad says the spelling is not an error he just wanted my name to be different.


AW – How did you become interested in boxing?
JG – My dad, uncle, cousins were all boxers. I just grew up (around it) and liked it.

AW – If we look through THE RING magazine ratings at featherweight, could you share your comments on each listed boxer.
1 – Jhonny Gonzalez – I will be one of greatest.
2 – Abner Mares – Very disappointed (in him). Mexicans don’t act like him. He chickened out 100 percent.
3 – Nicholas Walters – Tremendous fighter. He might even get a surprise win over Nonito.
4 – Nonito Donaire – Let’s do it.
5 – Evgeny Gradovich – Very strong and very tough, but lacks technique.
6 – Vasyl Lomachenko – Amazing, bouncing back to (win) a world title and no (pro) experience.
7 – Simphiwe Vetyeka – Very surprising (his victory over Chris John), you never know what he will bring to the table.
8 – Ronny Rios – Excellent young star coming up. Don’t know him too much.
9 – Lee Selby – Really don’t know him.
10 – Marvin Sonsona – Important to keep an eye on him, hits hard. Don’t miss him.

AW – How do you see Donaire-Walters?
JG – Great matchmaking. Walters, win or lose, will earn people’s respect.

AW – You’re a two-weight world champion. What goals do you still have in boxing?
JG – I want to convince (fans) in the U.S. (that I’m one of the best) and also become a 130-pound world champion.

AW – Away from boxing tell us about your life?
JG – I am very much a family guy. I like to go the movies and be with my kids most of the time. They make me very happy.

AW – In closing do you have a message for Arce ahead of this fight?
JG – It’s going to be a war. I wish him the best but in the ring I’m not losing. I will come at him from the first bell.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at