Return To The Ring
Gomez found himself once again drawn to boxing after watching a fight between Alex Arthur and Carl Johanneson, and resumed training. In May 2007, fifteen months after his fight with McDonagh, he returned to the ring to face Daniel Thorpe at the Altrincham Leisure Centre, Manchester.
Gomez had left the Phoenix Gym and was now training at Bobby Rimmers' Boxing Academy in Stalybridge, Manchester, and had returned to fight in the super featherweight division. The fight was billed as "The Last Stand", and the venue was sold out with fellow fighters Ricky Hatton and his brother Matthew Hatton cheering him on from ringside. Gomez won the fight with a stoppage in the third round. The following month Gomez also beat Youssef Al Hamidi, again with a third round stoppage. Following two comeback fights against journeyman opposition Gomez was rumoured to be in line for fights against many of Britain and Ireland's top level super featherweights and lightweights including Kevin Mitchell, Amir Khan, and Carl Johanneson; Gomez himself was seeking a rematch against Peter McDonagh.
He then signed up to face Leeds's Johanneson on 19 October 2007 at the Doncaster Dome, Doncaster, England for the British super featherweight title. Johanneson had just come off his second defeat to Armenian Leva Kirakosyan, whom Gomez had knocked out in October 2004. Before the fight, Gomez was confident, stating "You can't outbox me. I'll jab your head off. If he comes to have a fight with me it is going to be early Christmas for everyone because I don't know who's going to go but someone's going to go and it's not going to be me." At the pre-fight press conference in Doncaster both fighters squared up to each other and promised to knock each other out; during the highly charged face off both fighters had to be kept apart by their promoter and trainers.
As many expected, the highly anticipated domestic clash was a savage brawl from round one. Gomez won the opening rounds and threatened to overpower Johanneson from the opening seconds. The Leeds fighter then gained the upper hand as the fight went on, flooring Gomez in the sixth round only for the "Irish Mexican" to rise from the canvas. Soon after, with Gomez appearing unsteady on his feet, referee Mickey Vann stopped the fight. Gomez said that Vann had stopped the fight early, adding, "When the stoppage came, I wasn't wobbling or staggering, and I only dropped my hands in the fight to show Johanneson that he couldn't hurt me. But the referee simply got the wrong message. It was bad refereeing. I told him straight away I was fine, but he insisted on showing me to my corner." The former champion was clear that he wanted another opportunity to fight for the British title.
Read more about this topic: Michael Gomez
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