Last night, Saturday, March 18th, the Coliseo Mario Quijote in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico hosted an eleven fight boxing card that saw the featured fight air on Direct TV in the United States. The vacant NABO and WBC FECARBOX belts were on the line at Flyweight as Johnathan Gonzalez (18-1-1) faced Joebert Alvarez (14-1-1).
Gonzalez was the favorite heading into the fight, as the 24 year old Puerto Rican fighter had the home field advantage and was deemed ready for the next step. Gonzalez had a long amateur record that had seen him represent Puerto Rico successfully, and he is loved on the island. The lone loss of his professional career prior came at the hands of veteran champion Giovanni Segura back in 2013 and he is considered much improved since then.
But the Filipino fighter Alvarez had other plans, as he proved to be stronger than Gonzalez at every turn. Alvarez dropped Gonzalez with a combination in the second round, and he survived being bloodied in one exchange during the early going. Gonzalez fought back hard but he could not hurt Alvarez, who applied pressure in every round. Alvarez sent Gonzalez down again in the sixth round to earn the stoppage and go home with the belts.
For Alvarado, it was a major win. He had been off for more than a year since his last fight, which saw him take a loss to Juan Francisco Estrada (30-2) in Mexico in a fight that was much closer than the judges scored it. Estrada was the WBO and WBA world champion at the time, but the match was a non-title affair. Alvarez, known as “Little Pac-man” is trained by the father of Nonito Donaire, the “Filipino Flash”, the four division world titleholder who currenty holds the WBO World Super Bantamweight title.
In the end, the pair of regional belts are heading home to the Philippines with Alvarez, who is now 15-1-1 overall. Several outlets are reporting that Alvarez will fight next on July 9th against a yet to be determined opponent.