Giovani Segura targets Roman Gonzalez
Roman Gonzalez’s arrival on the HBO airwaves last weekend has brought new attention and the potential for greater paydays to the flyweight division. As devastating as Gonzalez looked in his second round knockout of former junior flyweight titleholder Edgar Sosa, there are bound to be brave challengers willing to take the risk.
Giovani Segura, a former RING junior flyweight champion, tells RingTV.com he is likely the next challenger for the RING flyweight champion on an HBO card in August or September.
“My manager told me that it’s almost official,” said Segura (32-4-1, 28 knockouts) of Bell, Calif. by way of Guerrero, Mexico.
Segura hasn’t fought since losing by 11th round technical knockout to WBA/WBO titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada in September but says he’ll likely fight an eight or 10-round bout in June to get back in the win column.
A source at HBO declined to comment on the matter, citing a long-standing policy against discussing fights that have yet to be announced. Carlos Javier Blandon Vidaurre, Gonzalez’s manager, told RingTV in an email that Segura may not necessarily be next.
“Segura should worry of his June fight. Roman is ready to fight whoever and whenever but no negotiation has been made with Segura or has any document been signed.”
However, Segura says he’s excited that the major networks are finally giving a spotlight to the lighter divisions of the sport.
“I think we do better fights than the big names out there, the ones that are winning a lot of money. Just the fact that we’re small doesn’t mean that we don’t give big fights,” said Segura.
Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua has won championships in three divisions and has stopped 14 of his last 15 opponents (with Estrada being the only fighter to go the distance in that stretch).
“The fact that he goes forward and I go forward, he’s not like a fighter that moves around. It’s always an advantage for me because I know I’m a strong fighter and he’s a strong fighter. That fight, I see it definitely not going the distance,” said Segura, ranked No. 8 by RING at 112 pounds.
Segura, 33, had been ranked among the best fighters in the world, pound-for-pound, by RING after scoring two knockouts of Ivan Calderon, but has been less consistent since moving up to 112, losing to Brian Viloria, Sosa and Estrada.
“It motivates me more having this big challenge where everybody thinks I’m gonna lose,” said Segura. “I go back when I fought Ivan Calderon, when I fought [Hernan] Marquez, when I fought Jonathan Gonzalez. Everyone was talking the same thing and here we go again.
“I’ve been through this. I’ve fallen and I’ve gotten up from it. I have been through hell already and I know what I need to do to get that victory.”
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.