RING, CAGE, OR MAT: THE FUTURE WORLD CHAMPION

Ring, Cage, or Mat, a platform that seeks to bridge the gap between today’s athlete and tomorrow’s enthusiast. Learn the trials and tribulations behind each athletes’ struggle on their way to the top.

Jose Gonzalez, a Puerto Rican boxer who made his debut back in April 2008 is all ready to take the world by storm. Gonzalez who fought for 5 years after his debut exclusively in Puerto Rico, stayed the regional WBO’s undefeated Latino lightweight champion.

Let’s find out a little more about our promising athlete:

Who is Jose Gonzalez? What would you like the world to know about you as a person?

“The future world champ!”

Who do you want to be for the world?

“I want to be the people’s champ… to be known as one of the best fighters of all time.”

Have you had any life changing events, experiences that changed you that you’d like everyone to know about?

“Seeing all the violence in my community, people losing their lives,

…made me want to get involved with a cure to violence.”

What is your involvement with the community and what got you into it?

“I have a boxing program where I train high risk kids and try to inspire them to rise above their environment.

I teach them the basics of boxing for self-defense and how to be aware enough to avoid dangerous situations. I have had friends that have been victims of gun violence, and I know people who have committed acts of gun violence. So, I think it’s important to do what I can to fight against it.”

Jose Gonzalez - At Risk Kids Training

What motivates you, and how can one find the strength and motivation to keep going?

“I am motivated by my family. I come from a boxing family. My cousin Ramon Gonzalez was a world champ and I want to have my name up there to be a part of the family legacy. Having that goal is what keeps me going every day.

The best way to stay motivated is to make sure you set goals for yourself. Without them, all you have are good intentions.”

How did you get into combat sports?

“My dad got me into boxing when I was 5 years old and I fell in love with it.  I was a kid hanging out in Gleason’s gym where my dad is trainer to this day.

I was around greats like Tyson, Zab Judah and Pauly Malignaggi when I was a kid, and back then I didn’t know they were world champs.”

Your inspiration?

“My father was my greatest inspiration for the sport.”

What was the first thing you thought about combat sports?

“…That it was beautiful. I liked it from the start. I knew it would be my sport.”

How has combat sport changed your life and mentality?

 “It is my life. Everything revolves around it and it has allowed me to meet amazing people. And I have had opportunities to go to so many places because of it.”

What has been your biggest struggle in the field of combat sports?

“The biggest struggle in boxing for me has been weight. When you want to eat something so bad and you know you can’t because you have to make weight, and you are still 2 pounds over. That’s the worst part of this sport.”

What’s next, 5-10 years down the road?

“In the next 5 years I am going to be a world champ.

The WBC, and WVO are mine. In the next 10 years I’m going to have several titles and a couple of gyms and combat franchises on the side.”

How many hours a day do you train?

“I’m always training one way or another. All day, every day! If I’m not training physically in the gym, I’m training mentally.”

What’s your least favorite aspect of training and fighting?

“I’m a counter puncher so I love every part of the fight. My least favorite part of training is waking up early in the morning to run.”

What is most important to you before a fight?

“The most important thing to do before a fight is to say a prayer to God, and to go over my notes.”

What is most important to you after a fight?

“After a fight I say a prayer to thank God for the victory, and to make sure I eat a delicious meal or two.”

Does performance anxiety get to you?

“The anxiety is a part of it. Everybody gets anxious. If you don’t get nervous before a fight you aren’t human. It’s fuel for me. I use the energy to perform.”

Do you think MMA and boxing are violent sports?

“Yes boxing is violent, but it’s controlled. And it’s better for people to train and fight in an arena than to be on the streets with that kind of aggression. Boxing and other combat sports help people channel their energy.

A fighter is a special kind of person and it’s important to get this kind of release.”  

Is getting punched in the face? How did you get over the fear of it?

“Getting punched in the face is not fun, but I don’t have to worry about that too much because I’m a counter puncher. I don’t get hit!”

Would you take a broken nose or broken teeth?

“Neither one, bro!”

What advice do you have for people who want to get involved in the sport?

“When I come across young people interested in boxing, I tell them to make sure that they’re ready. I let them know that it’s not easy, and it’s a lot of hard work and dedication, and that you have to be determined. This isn’t basketball or soccer.

It can be cruel and if you really want to do this, you have to bring your A game at all times.”