• By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Golden Boy

Frankie Gomez: "I'm Ready for This Fight

East L.A’s undefeated welterweight Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez (19-0, 13 KOs) returns to action as he takes on veteran Silverio “Chamaco" Ortiz (29-16, 15 KOs) of Yucatan, Mexico. This Friday, February 5 at the Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino Events Center in Indio, California live on Boxeo Estelar on Estrella TV. We caught up with Gomez and his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood, California.

"I am ready for this fight, I have been training hard weight has been good," Frankie Gomez told Southern California Boxing.com

Gomez has been in camp sparring with up and coming prospect Joel Diaz Jr. as he prepares for the scrappy and rugged Ortiz.

"Training is good, working out 2-3 times a day. I have been sparring with Joel Diaz he is a tough sparring partner," Gomez said.

"I have been away but Marvin has been switching it up, I have been in camp a little for a little bit. Overall everything is going really well, we had a really good workout, he looks sharp. I have been checking on him, I could see him at training through my phone, if I’m in Canada or in China," Roach said. "He weighed in at 144 yesterday, he is happy about that and he is fighting at the where he should be at," Roach added.

His opponent Ortiz, a veteran of 50 fights dropped a unanimous decision in his last fight at the hands of former world champion Pablo Cesar Cano in his last fight this past December. He has also faced former world champions Marcos Maidana, David Diaz, Mike Achondo, Steve Forbes, and Jorge Paez. Ortiz has also been in the ring with Gomez’s last opponent Jorge Silva stopping him in seven rounds.

"I know it’s going to be a war he is a tough fighter and is durable. He is going to come out to fight and I will do my best to come out with the win," Gomez said about his opponent.

For Gomez he is coming off a unanimous decision over Jorge Silva this past October in Fantasy Springs. Gomez suffered a cut from a clash of head in his only fight of 2015.

"It was hard for me to come down in weight it took a toll in the fight, I felt sluggish in that fight. It was a war. I expected it to be a good fight, he is tough fighter and wouldn't stop coming. I go the clash of heads, it was my first cut ever in my career, it didn't bother me at all I just took care of business,” Gomez said.

"He looked very sluggish in that fight,” Roach said. "He did go a little high on that, like to 180. So coming down was really difficult but he did weigh in yesterday at 144," Roach added.

One of Gomez biggest set backs last year was a high profile HBO fight against Humberto Soto being cancelled because he couldn’t make weight.

"I think I am my own worst enemy. I get into trouble or don't show up to the gym sometimes. I am about to be 24 on Thursday so I am growing up already," Gomez said.

Roach in part takes some responsibility for that in part because of his full time focus on Manny Pacquaio’s camp in preparation for his mega fight Floyd Mayweather. In which that fight took place one week before Gomez’s biggest fight up to date.

If there is a fighter that Roach is high on that would be Gomez. Having worked with him for some time now, Gomez has served as one of Manny Pacquaio’s main sparring partners as he will join Pacquiao for training camp in preparation for his farewell against Timothy Bradley.

"I am going to the Philippines with Manny I am excited about it," Gomez said.

"I really like Frankie a lot, I think he is a great prospect I think he will be world champion at the end of the year," Roach said. "I am a little hesitant on bringing him to the Philippines because they have wars. It's very competitive and it may not be what I am looking for in this point of Manny's career. But if Manny wants to compete at the high level he will have to do that. He will learn from Manny in that training camp," Roach added.

Growing up in the rough streets in the East L.A. section of Boyle Heights, Gomez has come a long way and has struggled in the process. As an amateur he had a record of 120-8 and accomplished great things in winning the Junior Olympic National Championship in 2007 and was the USA Amateur National Champion in 2009.

"The streets are tough I live in a tough area. I think I was able to overcome all that," Gomez said. "I could have gone to the Olympics but I wanted to see what it was like to fight without a headgear. The money wasn't bad either," Gomez said with a grin.

2016 looks to be a year of redemption for the East L.A fighter, getting in the ring early to start the year. Gomez plans to stay more active this year as his promoter Oscar De La Hoya/Golden Boy Promotions has high hopes for him.

"The goal is to stay more active I am taking it fight by fight," Gomez said.

"The reason he only had one fight last year is because he kept getting pissed at Golden Boy. They would bring in one opponent and then another opponent. There was always a different style sparring partner but I told him this is boxing, he is just young. Some times he is very young," Roach said. "It's like telling them your going to change opponents, I am going to gain some weight. It wasn't a good trade off. He reminds of me of James Toney. James was the same way he would get frustrated and do stupid things but it’s just the mentality of the fighter. He is learning but learning the hard way like most talented people do," Roach added.

Gomez vs. Ortiz is a scheduled ten round and will serve as the co-main event headlined by former world champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero vs. Ruben Garcia, as Gomez returns to Fantasy Springs looking to make a statement in beginning the year.

"It's going to be a war, don't miss it. I know that guy is tough and durable," Gomez said.

Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla