Carlos Gongora celebrates defeating Ali Akhmedov in the 12th round. Photo by Melina Pizzano/Matchroom
Fringe super middleweight contender Carlos Gongora has signed a promotional deal with Lou DiBella, it was announced Friday.
Gongora will face gatekeeper Oscar Riojas at Memorial Hall in Melrose, Massachusetts, on Saturday night’s Boston Boxing promotion card (Combatsportsnow.com pay-per-view, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT).
“Carlos Gongora is a dangerous, experienced and skilled fighter,” said Dibella, who was recently inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and is president of Dibella Entertainment. “Gongora has proved that he is a threat to anyone in the super middleweight division and I look forward to helping him move up the rankings for a World Championship opportunity.”
Gongora (20-1, 15 knockout), originally from Esmeraldas, Ecuador and now based in Springfield, Massachusetts, scored a crucial upset knockout win over Ali Akhmedov in December 2020. Akhmedov was the favorite and was ahead on the scorecard (107–102, 107–102, and 109–99) before Gongora dropped him midway through the 12th round. Gongora would win by knockout moments later and capture a minor world title belt.
The 33-year-old southpaw fought back four months later, defeating Christopher Pearson in the eighth round. In his last bout on December 18, Gongora lost in a close fight to Leron Richards by split-decision. Richards is currently ranked 9th by The Ring.
An impressive win over Riojas (28-15-1, 16 KO) in Monterey, Mexico on Saturday night could put Gongora back in contention for the world title.
“I’ve always been valued as a fighter,” said Gongora, who is managed by Mike Crissio and coached by Hector Bermudez. “I am a two-time Olympian and love my people in my country Ecuador. As a fighter, I didn’t feel valued in my last fight.
“I’m glad I’m no longer in that position, and very satisfied that my manager, Mike Crissio, was able to make a deal with DiBella Entertainment. Lou’s experience is exactly what I needed. He was able to find those fights.” Will be what I want. The most important thing I see is that he values all his fighters.”
Gongora is the nephew of Segundo Mercado, a contender who fought Bernard Hopkins twice in the mid-1990s.
Also on the card, light heavyweight prospect Juan Carrillo (7-0, 5 KO) of Barranquilla, Colombia will face Mexico’s Victor Fonseca Calderas (18-11-1, 14 KO) in an eight-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. he can be reached by email [email protected] or FSalazarBoxing on Twitter