Weigh-In: Vitali 249.1, Gomez 230.4 – News
By Jim Dower: At today’s weigh-in Stuttgart, Germany, World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 35 KOs) weighed in at a solid 249.1. His challenger, Juan Carlos Gomez (44-1, 35 KOs) weighed in at a bulky 230.4. For Gomez, it was 10 pounds more than he usually weighs in for his fights.
Vitali, 37, will be making his first defense of his WBC belt which he won five months ago in a 9th round stoppage over Samuel Peter in October. Gomez, a slick southpaw with excellent defensive skills, looks to be a tough opponent for the 6’7″ Ukrainian.
Vitali will have close to a 20 pound weight advantage over Gomez on the night of the fight, but for Vitali, it’s pretty much par for the course, because he’s used to being much bigger than his opponents. However, normally his opposition isn’t quite as light as Gomez will be coming into the fight. That could actually work in Gomez’s favor, because being the lighter fighter means that he’ll be that much quicker than the slower Vitali, and it could be a huge factor in the fight.
At one time, Gomez, from Cuba and now living in Germany, was a sparring partner for Klitschko years ago. Vitali sees him as a friend. However, Gomez doesn’t feel the same way, saying that he hasn’t spoken to Vitali in years and feels that his speed and ability will enable him to outbox Vitali.
Before moving up to the heavyweight division, Gomez was the WBC cruiserweight champion from 1998 to 2001, and defended the belt 10 times successfully before moving up in weight to make better money at heavyweight. At 6’3″, 230, Gomez remains one of the lightest, most athletic of the current crop of heavyweights.