March 7, 2000
Boxing.de: Juan, the temperature in Hamburg is currently zero degree and it's snowing. Do you miss the Cuban sun?
Gomez: Certainly I'm missing the warm temperatures of Cuba. But I got used to the weather in the north of Germany. Currently during my preparation for a fight I couldn't enjoy hot weather anyway. Boxing means work and money to me. After I got past my title defense successfully I can relax in the sun again.
Boxing.de: The reactions on your recent change of trainers were divided. How do you feel after three months of training and one successful title defense with your new coach Torsten Schmitz?
Gomez: I feel very good with Torsten. The work together with Fritz Sdunek was excellent as well. He made me a champion. That was a beautiful time. But now with Torsten Schmitz I feel very good as well. We're a great team and work together pretty well. Together we prepared intensively for my next fight. On March 11 in Lübeck I will show the success of our cooperation.
Boxing.de: Fritz Sdunek is 52 years old. At times he was like a father for you. Your new coach Schmitz is in his mid 30's. Do you feel better with a trainer from your own generation?
Gomez: My former trainer Fritz Sdunek has great experience. It's something Torsten Schmitz naturally doesn't have so far. Still I have the same good feeling working with him. Torsten knows how to talk personally to me and he knows how to handle me. He is also very competent in showing me how to do my work. Like with Fritz before he supports me with my problems and talks to me. Torsten Schmitz was a very successful amateur boxer. That will help me the same way as with Fritz.
Boxing.de: On March 11 in Lübeck you fight against Frenchman Joseph Siluvangi. How were your preparations going?
Gomez: I had a very good preparation. We've had good sparring partners and the fitness training was very effective as well. That's all behind us now and we are currently in the last stage. The only thing left to do this week is to make weight. And already now I'm pretty comfortably inside my weight. And then it's Showtime – It's time to fight!
Boxing.de: What do you know about Siluvangi. What are his strengths?
Gomez: I watched two fights of Siluvangi on video and I believe this will be a very exciting match. He is as tall as I am and works pretty good from a distance. I prepared very good and I guess he has done the same. I will do my best. I want to show a better fight this time than in my last defense. I want to give the spectators the show they come to see.
Boxing.de: You were unsatisfied with your last fight?
Gomez: Not completely unsatisfied. I shouldn't be, because I won. But my opponent was very short and still I didn't use my height and reach advantage the way I could have. The fight was quite dirty and that made me mad. But Torsten and me studied the fight on video and I think my next fight will be much better.
Boxing.de: What will be next after Lübeck?
Gomez: After that fight I want to unify world titles against Fabrice Tiozzo. And in case I won it I want to move up the heavyweights. After my title defense in Lübeck I will talk to my management and tell them that I want no other fight but a unification. I'm sure that I can defeat all other cruiserweight champions and move up to the heavyweights successfully.
Boxing.de: Your mandatory challenger is James Toney, a former world champion at middleweight and super middleweight. How do you think about him?
Gomez: I've seen several fights of James Toney. That would be a very interesting match as well. He is an excellent, very experienced fighter. He fought many world class opponents including Roy Jones. But the most interesting fight for me would be against Tiozzo. I want to accomplish something great like a unification. Once I own two title belts I'm ready to take on Toney.
Boxing.de: How is your family on Cuba?
Gomez: My family on Cuba is fine. Recently we talked on the phone. They expect me to come to Cuba this year. In a couple of weeks I have to go to the embassy in Berlin and meet the consul. Afterwards I know whether I will be allowed to visit Cuba or not. I wouldn't be surprised if they turn me down, because I live in Germany since five years and they always turned me down so far. It would make me sad but life goes on. I have a long career in front of me and I have a lot of aims that I want to reach. Cuba and my family will always be there. It makes me sad that I can't visit them but I'm optimistic that one day I will be allowed to visit my parents.
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The next events of Universum Box-Promotion:
March 11, 2000
WBC cruiserweight world championship:
Juan Carlos Gomez vs. Joseph Siluvangi
WBO middleweight world championship:
Armand Krajnc vs. Jonathan Corn
Alsterdorfer Sporthalle Hamburg
International heavyweight contest:
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Paea Wolfgramm
Estrel Convention Center Berlin
WBO heavyweight world championship:
Vitali Klitschko vs. Donovan "Razor" Ruddock
WBO intercontinental light heavyweight championship:
Thomas Ulrich vs. Cleveland Nelson
PREUSSAG Arena Hannover
WBO light heavyweight world championship:
Dariusz Michalczewski vs. Graciano Rocchigiani
Ticket Hotline: +49 40 696559-59