JUAN CARLOS GOMEZ PUTS WBC TITLE ON LINE
On October 3, WBC cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez defends in Augsburg, Germany against Alexei Iliin of Russia. Recently, Gomez was interviewed by European journalist Fabian Weber. And seeing the Cuban is virtually unknown outside of his homeland and Europe, we are reprinting an edited version of the interview for our readers at fighters.com
FW-Juan Carlos, next week you will defend your WBC title for the second time. Your opponent will be Alexei Iliin from Russia. What do you know about him?
JCG-I've seen only one fight of him - the one against Akim Tafer for the European title. Iliin is strong and aggressive, he always comes forward, similar to Marcello Dominguez. Although this style is hard to box, it suits me.
FW-Top competition in the cruiserweight division in Germany is relatively rare. Beside you and the currently inactive Ralf Rocchigiani there is only Torsten May who already suffered two losses, and who wants to make a comeback shortly. What do you think about him?
JCG-If Torsten May wants to continue to box, this is his decision. But basically he said that he wanted to stop boxing, and I believe, this was a good decision from him. I have the feeling, that he has no more power or motivation to fight. But now it's up to him to prove the others wrong. But I don't believe that he will be able to do that."
FW-What are your aims as world champion?
JCG-It's my dream to become world champion at the other world boxing organizations too. I want to win the titles of the WBA and the WBO and unify the cruiserweight division.
FW-Three years ago you left Cuba to make a career as a professional boxer in Germany. How popular are you in Cuba? Do you still have contacts to your home?
JCG-In Cuba I'm almost known to the whole population. I have contacts to my family, my colleagues and my friends. They're all asking me when I'll come back to Cuba. But this is not my own decision. As long as the current Castro-regime is there, I certainly can't return.
FW-When you are fighting in Augsburg next weekend, it's almost exactly one year ago that your former stable mate Ralf Rocchigiani was beaten decisively by the Brit Carl Thompson. Since then many Germans would like to see a fight between you and Thompson, the WBO champion. Would such a fight be a challenge for you?
JCG-I would like to fight Carl Thompson very much. After Thompson defeated Ralf, I walked straight to Thompson and told him face to face: 'All right, I'm next!' I was number one contender of the WBO at that time. But then I became world champion of the WBC, and so the WBO didn't rank me anymore. Unification fights between reigning world champions are hard to put together. But it's my dream to fight Carl Thompson and to prove that I'm the best!
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