Shared enmity: Humberto ‘Chiquita’ Gonzalez talks about Ricardo Lopez
During the 1990s, Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez and Ricardo Lopez reigned supreme at 108 pounds and 105 pounds respectively. Both enjoyed outstanding careers that saw them later enter the Hall of Fame.
Each man trained under the watchful eye of another Hall-of-Famer, the much-feted Nacho Beristain at Romanza Gym in Mexico City. For many years, having a shared trainer and being friends were believed as the reasons they never fought. That’s not the case, however.
“We are cordial. We say, ‘Hi,’ but we are not friends,” Gonzalez told RingTV.com through translator Paul Landeros. “He’s the only (boxer from Mexico) I don’t have a good relationship with.
“There’s a rivalry. The fight didn’t happen because he was in another weight category; he was a strawweight.
Gonzalez explains, “I think the rivalry comes because Ricardo wasn’t able to accept that I was always part of the main event of the card, not part of the undercard. I was like Terry Norris, Oscar De La Hoya, the big names. I was always starring in the main event and Ricardo can’t accept that he was part of only the undercards.
“Something that used to happen on the cards was the American people only arrived to (watch) the main events, not the undercard fights. Sometimes they didn’t even know who was on the undercards.
“Jealousy comes from him. Sometime, in the past, (a TV program) had an interview with Ricardo and he said his plans were to be part of a card with Mike Tyson fights and then they interviewed me and I told them, ‘I’m not going to be part of the undercard, I’m going to be the main event.’ That’s the kind of difference between us.”
With that in mind, does Gonzalez feel Lopez – who is widely lauded as one of the modern-day greats from Mexico who possessed outstanding technique – is overrated?
“I think he’s overrated,” Gonzalez said, pulling no punches. “I know his record was shaped to fight against specific fighters. The WBC created the strawweight (division) for him.”
The two never sparred and were kept away from each other at the gym.
“My manager, Rafael Mendoza, talked with Beristain and they settled everything,” he said. “I trained a lot with Nacho, (who) would do the schedule and I would do maybe 11 (a.m.)-1 (p.m.) and Ricardo would do 2-4, so we never saw each other.”
In light of Gonzalez’s omission, it’s a shame that these two never shared a ring together.
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