Gomez backs son for world title

  • By: Simon Crawford
  • Last Updated: July 27 2014, 10:32 BST

Michael Gomez believes his teenage son, Mikey Jr, will follow in his footsteps and become a world champion after his impressive winning debut on Saturday night.

  • Michael Gomez Jr celebrates his winning debut
  • Michael Gomez Sr held British and world honours 

Gomez Jr, 19, halted vastly experienced Slovakian Elemir Rafael - a veteran of over 100 professional contests - in the third round to delight his army of sombrero-wearing fans in the Manchester Arena.

His dad, a former British and WBU world super-featherweight champion, is backing his son to go all the way to the top.

"I'm so proud of him - your debut is never easy but he handled it well and to get the stoppage was brilliant," Gomez (nee Armstrong) senior told sportinglife.com at ringside.

"He is better than I was and I genuinely think he can be a world champion - it's all down to him because he has all the skills he needs.

"I've been a nervous wreck all week. The wife and I have not been able to sleep because we've been so worried but he's just taken it all in his stride.

"She used to come to all my fights but she can't bear to watch Mikey in the ring. It is so hard to watch because it's out of my hands. I can't do anything when he's in the ring.

"When he asked me if he should turn professional I actually said no at first because I know only too well what a hard game it is.

"But it was his decision and the whole family are right behind him."

Gomez Jr nailed his awkward southpaw opponent with sustained hooks to the head and body that forced the referee to halt the contest.

The Mancunian admits that boxing was not originally his first love, despite having a world champion dad.

"I was more into football and I actually played for Manchester City when I was younger," said Gomez Jr.

"But I got into a fight at school and then started going down the gym. I was enjoying it but then I lost heart in the amateurs and I stopped training.

"The only way I was going to carry on was if I turned professional so that's what I did."

Gomez Jr claims there were no pre-fight nerves, but he was delighted to claim his first victory in the paid ranks.

"I've been fine this week, unlike mum and dad, but I wanted to win this fight so much," he said. "I wasn't bothered how it came as long as my arm was raised at the end of the fight.

"I think it was a good debut. I made some mistakes but I'm only 19 so you expect that. I'll go away and watch it back and see what I can improve on and look to put it right next time.

"He was a good fighter, very experienced and awkward being a southpaw which not many people get on debut. A couple of opponents had pulled out so this ended up being a good test.

"I know people will want to compare me to my dad but I'm me. It's great to have him there for advice and I know he'll always be there for me."

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