News May 2019

Adrian Gonzalez and Jack Catterall talk to Livefight


By @John_Evans79

This Saturday, Carl Froch and George Groves face off on British boxing’s most high profile night of the year. The undercard will showcase some of Britain’s most prominent young stars. The night before however, two more of our most promising – and so far unheralded - fighters will take the latest steps in their development.

Adrian Gonzalez, 7-1 (1 KO), and Jack Catterall, 5-0 (3 KO’s), make their first appearances of the season on Dave Coldwell’s latest show and both of Manchester trainer Lee Beard’s protégés are keen to begin making some noise on the domestic scene.

For 22 year old Gonzales, next weekends fight gives him the perfect opportunity to shed some rust before launching an all out assault on the British featherweight scene in 2014.

“I’m going down in weight,” the 5ft 11in tall Gonzalez told Livefight recently. “I walk around at my current weight [Gonzalez has floated around the super featherweight and lightweight divisions] so with day before weigh ins I’ll be able to make featherweight. I’ll be big for the weight but I’ll be able to get down.”

Much has been made of Gonzalez’s time spent living with Floyd Mayweather Snr and high level sparring sessions in Las Vegas but since returning to Manchester with his step father, manager, and trainer Lee Beard prolonged stretches of inactivity have slowed his progress. Gonzalez readily admits that the time has come to begin using the tools he has been sharpening in the gym.

“Definitely. That’s the plan anyway. I’ve got a few fights coming up and we’ll look where we are after that. I’m fighting on November 22nd and then in Leeds on December 21st [Stuart Hall’s IBF title fight with Vusi Malinga tops the bill].

“You’re only as good as your last fight and the Matchroom fighters are fighting all the time. That’s what I’ve lacked so far in my career. We’re gonna try and put that right. We want a busy end to the year and a busy start to next year, I think once I’m busy people will start to recognise my talents.

“I’ve been through a lot you know. I think that’s only gonna stand me in good stead for the future. I’ve had my setback [a point’s defeat to James Ancliff in April 2010] and don’t have the pressure of carrying an undefeated record. I’m a lot more talented I believe than people think of me at the moment.

“As soon as I get busy, people will see the true Adrian Gonzalez. I’ve been in Vegas sparring with the best and spar with Argenis Mendez and hold my own. We have good hard spars so it can only do me good.”

In contrast to Gonzalez, light welterweight Catterall has been kept active since turning professional 14 months ago and his progress has been rapid.

“I didn’t have much of an amateur career but I’m happy with how it’s gone,” Catterall said. “Since my last amateur fight in March 2012 I’ve been out five times which is more than a lot of fighters and I’ve had a few stoppages and some good wins. The fight in November is my first of the season so I’m looking to start things off well.”

So far, Catterall hasn’t had the opportunity to display his talents on television. Given the reputation the 20 year old from Chorley is building around the gyms of the North West, it is entirely possible that the hard hitting southpaw is the type of fighter who will instantly grab the attention of casual fans once he is granted a wider audience.

“I was on the Amir Khan bill [ v Julio Diaz] at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield but my fight wasn’t shown so if I manage to get on the December 21st bill it’ll be my first one on TV [BoxNation will televise Hall’s bid for world title glory]. We’re talking about fighting for the English title on the show and if it happens, it’ll be in my 7th fight which would be great.”

The likes of Scott Cardle, Tom Stalker and Luke Campbell enjoy relatively huge profiles compared to Catterall but there is no resentment on the part of ‘El Gato’.

“It’s not frustrating [the lack of TV coverage]. Other fighters have been on television way more but I haven’t achieved what they did in the amateurs. I had a short amateur career.

“People might not have seen me much but when you go out sparring and hear people talking and people say good things, you know you’re getting a good reputation.”

Lee Beard is highly respected in the sport and as well as attracting the likes of IBF super featherweight champion Argenis Mendez and the now retired Matthew Hatton to his stable, is able to secure some top quality sparring. Gonzalez and Catterall are both benefitting immeasurably from some high class work in the gym.

“I’m sparring the likes of Mendez, Matt and Adrian,” says Catterall. “Like you say, at the moment I’m possibly learning more from the sparring than the actual fights.”

“I’ve sparred with people like Mendez, Matt and Jack,” Gonzalez adds. “They’re all a lot bigger than me so when I fight people around my own weight they’re gonna be a lot lighter and not as strong. It’s good.

“Mendez is special. I’m quite similar to him and we have quite similar styles. He’s quite tall, fast and is a quite a big puncher. That’s something my record doesn’t show yet but that’s something that people are yet to see.”

The pair harbour lofty ambitions. When asked about potential targets for the next few months, it becomes immediately clear that neither is setting their sights on a slow, steady rise through the ranks. Instead, both fighters instantly mention the top names campaigning in their respective divisions. [IMAGE3]

“The main guy’s obviously Lee Selby,” Gonzalez says. “He’s at the top of the pile at the moment but I think my style would do well against his, doing similar things that he does himself. I think he’s quite tall for the weight but I’m absolutely huge. It’ll be hard for him to stiff arm somebody who’s six foot. I can see frailties in him.”

“Darren Hamilton is the British champion in my division but I have my eye on all of the top ten really,” Catterall states. “I’m not sure if he’ll still be the champion when I’m ready to fight for the title and if I’ll be in a position to fight him.

“People say he [Hamilton] has a horrible style but I think if I carry on progressing and with someone like Lee training me I’ll be more than capable of beating him when the time comes. Like I said though, I look at all of the top ten guys. I don’t think I’m far away from them.”

There is every likelihood that both Gonzalez and Catterall will be fighting for titles on your television screens in the not too distant future. In the meantime, you can watch their latest outings on Coldwell Television this Friday evening. It sounds like it may be worth tuning in for.

Follow Adrian on Twitter – @AGBoxing

Follow Jack on Twitter - @Jack_Catt93

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