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Jose Luis Castillo vs. Alfonso Gomez Fight Preview and Prediction

Jose Luis Castillo vs. Alfonso Gomez Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, March 13, 2010
Where: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas
TV: HBO PPV at 10:00 EST
Weight Class: Welterweight: 10 Rounds

By Scotty L of Predictem.com

Jose Luis Castillo, 60-9-1 (52 KOs), Mexicali, Mexico. Vs. Alfonso Gomez, 21-4-2 (10 KOs), Guadalajara, Mexico.

Betting Odds: Jose Luis Castillo (+175), Alfonso Gomez (-215)
Over/Under: Over 8.5 (-105), Under 8.5 (-135)

Fight Analysis:  Jose Luis Castillo and Alfonso Gomez will tangle on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey on March 13. Castillo, 36, has been around forever and you might remember Gomez as a star on the first season of Contender. Castillo twice fought Floyd Mayweather, and has a pretty reasonable claim that he should have won their first fight. Pacquiao has used him as a sparring partner and is now using him on his undercards. It seems like Team Pacquiao is trying to stick it to Mayweather by helping keep Castillo in the public eye.

Castillo, a rare modern entry into the “50 Knockouts Club,” has an incredible resume and has been in unforgettable fights, especially his once-in-a-lifetime war with Diego Corrales. When looking back on Castillo and Gomez 20 years from now, there is no question who will be regarded as the better fighter. Castillo has a borderline Hall of Fame career under his belt, while Gomez is a contender-type who is unlikely to ever break that mold.

Gomez, 29, isn’t a world-beater, but he is a capable welterweight who is a threat to beat all but the best. At 29, he is by far the fresher fighter and he still takes his boxing very seriously. He notched a nice win in his last outing, a technical decision over gritty contender Jesus Soto-Karass. That fight was on the Pacquiao-Cotto card, so Gomez should at least be comfortable fighting on a big card. And we know the bright lights won’t bother the veteran Castillo.

The problem with Castillo is that he appears to be so far past his peak that he would need a telescope to see it. He has spent the last year fighting in Mexico while trying to get his confidence back. Four straight wins against mediocre opponents may have helped him get his bearings back, but there are red flags. A few years ago, he appeared fortunate to get a decision against Herman Ngoudjo. Then he was absolutely blown out by Ricky Hatton, whose subsequent knockout defeats didn’t help Castillo look very good as a result. Then in July 2008 he clearly lost to fringe contender Sebastian Lujan. Ngoudjo and Lujan are fighters a prime Castillo would have dominated, and the conclusion that he is shot seems to be beyond debate at this point.

There are those who feel an even-shot Castillo stands a chance against the unexceptional Gomez. If he has managed to regain a modicum of his confidence, perhaps he can still fight well. The signs are not good, however. When a fighter with that much mileage slips, he almost never reverses the inertia. If Castillo were meant to rise to the top again, he wouldn’t have lost to Sebastian Lujan. Now at 36, he’s going to suddenly reverse form and become the fighter we once knew? I doubt it.

Gomez is still trying to extract some glory out of his career and he knows he must beat Castillo to have any chance of doing that. He’s bigger than Castillo, having acquitted himself well against good middleweight fighters in the past, while Castillo is really a blown-up lightweight. Gomez can be very active in the ring. He is never going to be mistaken as being a great fighter, but he has decent speed and puts his punches together well. He is tough too, and while Miguel Cotto made mincemeat of him, Castillo at this point is not Miguel Cotto.

Gomez destroyed another big-name veteran who was at the end of his career when he fought Arturo Gatti. I suspect Castillo has a bit more in the tank than Gatti did, but I think there are parallels between the two fights. Gomez is like a truth machine—if you’re a fighter who is cut out to be champion, you will beat him, but if not, Gomez will probably beat you.

Scotty's Pick to Win:  I think Castillo will be competitive early knowing this is his last hurrah. Gomez will be quicker and fresher and it will begin to tell in the mid-rounds. While there is a chance that Castillo can hypnotize his body into hanging in there competitively for 10 rounds against Gomez, I think Gomez will begin to nose ahead around the 4th or 5th round. Gomez should win 7-8 rounds and cruise home a clear winner. Bet on Alfonso Gomez to win.

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Each week, Big Scotty L makes picks on upcoming boxing matches in an attempt to make a punching bag out of his bookie. Scotty is a GREAT boxing handicapper who offers tremendous insight on the fights and his knowledge isn't just limited to boxing matches in the USA. He has a broad knowledge of international fights as well.

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