Arnold Gonzalez on the scales. Photo by David Algranati/The Fight Photos
After fighting on the road for most of the past three years, there can be no sight more welcome than home for Arnold Gonzalez.
The 28-year-old welterweight prospect has fought just one of his last seven bouts in his hometown of New York City. Now he will get the opportunity to reacquaint himself with his hometown fans this Thursday, when he faces Colombian banger Alejandro Munera in a six-round bout.
Fighting at Sony Hall, right in the middle of Times Square, is right where he wants to be, even if the opponent isn’t who he was hoping to face.
Munera (8-7-4, 7 KOs) has won his last two bouts by stoppage, but has fallen short each time he left his home country. Gonzalez had originally been scheduled to face the better traveled Issouf Kinda (18-6, 7 KOs) of The Bronx before that fight fell through.
Eric Bottjer, the matchmaking extraordinaire who is putting fights together for Boxing Insider Promotions, found a replacement within the day. Gonzalez weighed in at 150.6 pounds at Wednesday’s weigh-in while Munera was 146.2 pounds on the scales.
“He comes forward a lot so I’m looking for him to give me good rounds, but I’m looking to stop him and make a highlight reel off this guy,” said Gonzalez (11-0, 6 KOs) of Harlem, N.Y.
Gonzalez, a 2018 National PAL Champion, got his first taste of international exposure after stints as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. He last fought in December of 2022, stopping Jesus Bravo in four rounds in Quito, Ecuador, the capital city of his parents’ home country. The last time he fought in New York was in May of 2022, when he won a split decision over Tracey McGruder in Brooklyn on the Gervonta Davis-Rolly Romero undercard, in an early preliminary that was buried deep on the card.
This fight will be the third of five bouts in a more intimate setting, which will allow Gonzalez’s hometown fans to enjoy the show better. The show will be headlined by unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Kurt Scoby, who faces former title challenger Hank Lundy in an eight round bout.
Gonzalez will be accompanied by his small but trusted team, which includes his Los Angeles-based trainers Justin Chua and Chris Wong, plus his mentor Rob Peters, best known for his time as head of security for Pacquiao’s team.
Gonzalez says he had been hoping to get a step-up opponent in his last two bouts. As a self-managed boxer without a promoter, those opportunities have been hard to nail down. Gonzalez feels he’s at the point where he will need a manager or promoter, if only so he doesn’t have to coordinate his own medical appointments or ticket sales while also training for his own bouts.
His mission for Thursday is to shake off any rust before he focuses on bigger horizons to come.
“I feel like I’m at a point where I can fight these guys and I know I’m better than them. I just need them to take the fight. I think with a bigger promoter behind me they’ll take it because the offers will be better,” said Gonzalez.
Kurt Scoby 143 pounds, Hank Lundy 139.8 pounds
Brian Ceballo 154.8 pounds, Mitch Louis-Charles 153.2 pounds
Raymond Cuadrado 130.8 pounds Yeuri Andujar 131.4 pounds
Mathew Gonzalez 140.2 pounds, Terell Bostic 139.8 pounds
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