ROMAN GONZALEZ, widely considered the best fighter on the planet, is hoping to become a main event attraction as he prepares to defend his WBC world flyweight title against McWilliams Arroyo on Saturday.
Gonzalez will fight in the co-feature of a Gennady Golovkin main event for the third consecutive time, as the Kazakh wrecking ball defends his IBF and WBA middleweight titles against Dominic Wade at The Forum in Los Angeles, California.
Despite his incredible CV, Nicaragua’s Gonzalez is yet to headline a major event but the 28-year-old hopes to change that very soon.
“I believe that both fighters, Golovkin and myself, are both main events and I hope that after this fight they [HBO, who broadcast the card in the US] give me an opportunity to be my own main event,” he said.
“Due to the fact of my weight class, the purses are not as high. I do believe that after this fight, where Arroyo and I will give such a great fight, that soon I will be receiving the purses that I deserve.”
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions is pleased to see the increased interest in Gonzalez, who made his HBO debut last year when he blitzed Edgar Sosa in two rounds.
Provided Gonzalez continues to impress, as he is expected to against Arroyo, Loeffler remains confident that HBO will invest in the pound for pound leader.
“It’s been a fantastic pairing and the fans really respond when they see these fighters on the same show,” he said.
“We really worked hard to make it happen this time – this is the third time they have been on the same show together. If everything goes the right way, and I mentioned this is a very difficult fight for him [Gonzalez], if everything goes the right way against McWilliams then I think he will have earned the right to be a main event fighter on HBO.”
Although Gonzalez fought formidable former world titlists – Sosa and Brian Viloria – in his last two outings, Loeffler concedes Roman would need a bigger name to face in a main event.
One such name would be WBA & WBO world flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada, who pushed Gonzalez hard over 12 pulsating rounds in 2012.
Since Gonzalez’s stock has risen, so too has the clamor from fans for a rematch with Estrada.
“I think Roman is getting a lot of international media attention and has a lot of momentum behind his career,” Loeffler continued.
“It depends on having someone at the same level and there are a lot of great fighters in the lower divisions. I think it’s possible and the more exposure the lighter divisions get the easier it will be to make that type of fight possible.
“Certainly McWilliams brings a lot of support from Puerto Rico and being the flag-bearer for the Olympic team for his country in 2008 and that’s the type of thing you need to make that type of fight – two very marketable fighters.”
Reflecting on his fight with Estrada, Gonzalez claimed he was not in peak condition when he took on the wiry Mexican, but since decamping to Costa Rica for his fight preparations has come on leaps and bounds.
“I believe that every fighter is different. At the same time, the conditioning I had with Juan Francisco Estrada was not the same conditioning as today,” he said.
“The training camps I have had for the last two fights have put me in great condition for the fights. I know that McWilliams will be prepared for the fight and I have also prepared to the best of my ability.
“The training camps in Costa Rica have gone really well and have put me in top condition for Saturday night.
“There is a lot of media attention in Nicaragua which makes it difficult to concentrate on training. Going to Costa Rica lets me put all my efforts into training for the fight.”