By Jake Donovan
From the moment a crossroads bout with Sadam Ali was offered, Eddie Gomez didn’t even bother to ask the price; rather how soon such a fight can take place.
The resurgent welterweight contender is still waiting on a response, without any intention of looking elsewhere for his next ring adventure.
“We’ve been trying to make it happen for years,” Gomez (22-3, 12KOs) told BoxingScene.com of the longtime desire to face Ali (27-2, 14KOs). “Tim (VanNewhouse, Gomez’s manager) ran it by me. We’ve wanted this fight for a long time.
“I’m all in, I’m all for it. We’re both with Golden Boy and same weight class. It should be easy enough to make.”
The pair of New Yorkers have resumed their winning ways, which makes the bout more intriguing than perhaps at any point Gomez had previously eyed such an opportunity.
The 26-year old Bronx native managed to move past his first career loss at the hands of a streaking Francisco ‘Chia’ Santana in 2014, rebounding to win his next three including a hard-fought win over John Karl Sosa in May ’16. A crushing 1st round knockout loss to Rashidi Ellis, however, put his career in a different light.
Gomez has since won three of his last four starts, with a fiercely contested split decision loss to Alejandro Barrera serving as the lone hiccup. Fittingly, his last win came against a Barrera stablemate, as Gomez outpointed Shoki Sakai last October.
Prior to that point, Gomez willingly accepting the B-side role versus rising prospect Keandre Gibson whom he wiped out in two rounds last March. He signed with VanNewHouse and David McWater soon thereafter and once again set his sights on Brooklyn’s Ali.
The timing was ripe for such a fight, as Ali was barely months removed from his upset win over retiring Miguel Cotto to claim a 154-pound title in their Dec. ’17 clash at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Ali’s reign was short-lived, as he was bum-rushed in four rounds by unbeaten Jaime Munguia last May. The 2008 U.S. Olympian and now former titlist has since rebounded with a win over faded veteran Mauricio Herrera last December on the undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s MSG debut.
Alvarez is now due to face Daniel Jacobs in a May 4 middleweight title unification clash in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will stream live on DAZN, with the undercard still being pieced together which is how talks of a Gomez-Ali matchup first surfaced.
Gomez refuses to stop talking about it, at least until the conversation makes its way to written form.
“Sadam’s talking like he’s going to be on the card, he obviously don’t have an opponent though,” Gomez notes. “This is the easiest fight that he can make, if he’s still real about his career, which I think he is. I’ve been eager to return; I was ready when they asked if I wanted this fight and I’m mentally and physically ready to do this.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox