WENDOVER, Utah — Alejandro "Cobrita" Gonzalez was grinning when he stepped from the ring Sunday. He knows his quest for another world boxing title weaves through places like Wendover, Utah, against scrappy guys like Juan Macias.
After earning the unanimous, hard-fought decision over Macias, the former WBC featherweight champ now answers to "contender" in the beefier lightweight division. The 10-round bout left Gonzalez' face a bit scarlet and puffy. No problem, says the native of Guadalajara, Mexico. Each fight leading to a would-be title shot promises to be a battle.
"We wanted a knockout, but, thanks to God, we won. That's the important thing," Gonzalez said. "Now we're ready for a world championship fight."
With Sunday's win, Gonzalez improved his record to 46 wins against four losses and a draw. The Gonzalez-Macias bout was the main event of Sunday's fight card inside the historic hangar at the Wendover airfield on the Utah side.
Mexican boxing writers gave Gonzalez the nickname "Cobrita" (Cobra) years ago because of the fighter's quick hands that struck fast and hard. He needed all his weapons Sunday against the veteran Macias (26-14-1, 13 KOs) of Mexico.
Gonzalez dictated the pace of the bout from the beginning, often scoring points with quick combinations near the end of rounds. "Cobrita" put Macias down onto one knee in the eighth after landing a big right cross. The bell signaling the end of the round likely prevented Gonzalez from ending the fight. Macias seemed to find a second wind in the remaining three rounds — but never the punches to hurt Gonzalez.
Now "Cobrita" is focused on undefeated WBC lightweight champ "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, a boxer many consider to be among the world's top pound-for-pound fighters.
"I'm waiting for Mayweather to give me a chance, he seems to be afraid of me."
A pair of Ogden heavyweights enjoyed success in their respective bouts.
Willie Chapman (12-11-1, 3 KOs) won a unanimous decision in his 4-round rematch against Cincinnati's Brad Rone despite fighting much of the contest with a fractured right hand. The flamboyant Chapman is earning a loyal band of fans at the Wendover venue. Now he hopes more Utahns will catch the boxing bug and support him and other Beehive State fighters.
"We want to get to everybody to start coming out and being a part of boxing," he said.
Billy Zumbrun (5-3-1, 4 KOs) of Ogden recovered from an opening round knockdown to claim a victory over Detroit's Jakarta Nakuro (0-2). The referee stopped the fight in the third minute of the third round after heavy Zumbrun punches knocked Nakuro through the ropes.
"I was mad at myself for going down," Zumbrun said. "He got me with a clean shot that caught me off guard, and I went down. It just motivated me to fight better."
Zumbrun is a former Weber State middle linebacker who works as a counselor for troubled kids at an Ogden youth center. Like Chapman, he's hoping to make his mark in boxing's most high-profile division.
Promising super bantamweight Jose Aguiniga of Oxnard, Calif., improved his record to 7-0, 5 KOs after knocking out Mexico's Crispin Najera in the second round.
Marinho Gonzalez (10-2-1) of Guadalajara, Mexico, won a unanimous decision in his six-round fight with fellow countryman J. Carlos Covarrubias.
In a women's strawweight contest, Luz Rodriguez (1-1), Mexicali, Mexico, spoiled the pro debut of Canada's Vaia Zaganas, winning a split decision.