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Carlos Gongora signs with Lou DiBella, will face Oscar Riojas on Saturday

Carlos Gongora celebrates after knocking out Ali Akhmedov in round 12. Photo by Melina Pizano/Matchroom
Fighters Network

Fringe super middleweight contender Carlos Gongora has signed a promotional deal with Lou DiBella, it was announced Friday. 

Gongora will face gatekeeper Oscar Riojas Saturday night at Memorial Hall in Melrose, Massachusetts on a Boston Boxing Promotions card ( pay-per-view, 6 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m. PT).

“Carlos Gongora is a dangerous, experienced and skilled fighter,” said DiBella, who was recently inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and is the President of DiBella Entertainment. “Gongora has proven that he is a threat to anyone in the super middleweight division and I look forward to helping him advance up the rankings toward a world championship opportunity.”

Gongora (20-1, 15 knockouts), who is originally from Esmeraldas, Ecuador and now resides in Springfield, Massachusetts, scored a significant upset knockout win over Ali Akhmedov in December 2020. Akhmedov was the favorite and was ahead on the scorecards (107-102, 107-102, and 109-99) before Gongora dropped him midway through the 12th round. Gongora would win by knockout moments later and capture a minor world title belt.

The 33-year-old southpaw fought four months later, knocking out Christopher Pearson in the eighth round. In his last bout on December 18, Gongora lost by split-decision to Lerrone Richards in a close fight. Richards is currently ranked No. 9 by The Ring.

An impressive win over Riojas (28-15-1, 16 KOs), who resides in Monterrey, Mexico, Saturday night could bring Gongora back into world title contention.

“I have always been valued as a fighter,” said Gongora, who is managed by Mike Criscio and is trained by Hector Bermudez. “I’m a two-time Olympian and very much loved by my people in my country of Ecuador. The only time I didn’t feel valued as a fighter was in my last fight. 

“I’m happy that I’m no longer in that situation, and very content that my manager, Mike Criscio, was able to land a deal with DiBella Entertainment. Lou’s experience is what I need. He’ll be able to find the fights that I want. Most importantly, what I see is that he values all of his fighters.”

Gongora is the nephew of Segundo Mercado, a contender who twice fought Bernard Hopkins in the mid-1990s. 

Also on the card, light heavyweight prospect Juan Carrillo (7-0, 5 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia will square off against Mexico’s Victor Fonseca Calderas (18-11-1, 14 KOs) in an eight-round bout. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing


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