Re: Wilfredo Gomez at Featherweight
I think he was obviously still a very good fighter(or would have made a very good feather had he fought someone of lesser talent and won) around the time he fought Sanchez, but my own thoughts are Gomez was a natural sized Bantam without the punch-resistance to be truly great at Featherweight.
His lack of dedication is well known, but he was like that all through his career.In a way i think he would be better remembered had he kept his weight down that slight bit and fought at Bantam, but instead he went for the weaker weightclass that allowed him more leeway in making weight.
Basically still a very good fighter circa Sanchez that had lost a notch physically and technically(but hardly enough for it to be made a big deal of at the time, or not to be favoured in many peoples eyes).
Lost a couple more notches after the Sanchez beating and was done as a very good fighter after Pintor, which was a last hurrah and awesome "gutcheck in presence of diminishing skills\athleticism" fight.
When he then moved up and fought Laporte i've always thought he looked faded, strained and unconvincing.Laporte was truly awful that night, if he just choked against a national hero or was cowed by Gomez still carrying formidable power(doesn't seem likely considering his chin and other fights imo) i can't fully say, but he was basically a heavybag.
Took a fairly long layoff and then looked similarly unconvincing against Nelson, who just casually wore him down and brutally finished things off.
Gomez in those fights(and in most of his post-Sanchez 122 fights) had the look of a precision boxer-puncher who was just unravelling at the seams.nothing in his highly intricate style working quite as it used to, with his balance and legs nowhere near what they were in the 70s.
So in a nutshell i'd say he was initially likely to have enough to be a very good featherweight, but was unlucky to run into and be destroyed by a great one.In later forays at the weight he was nothing particularly special.Comparable to the Curry that was still able to beat guys like Aquino and Rosi.
Even if he had been able to establish himself at feather at some point without a talent the level of Sanchez there to intrude, i don't think he would have ever been truly great at the weight.Just didn't have the chin or legs to carry that style at the higher weight on his small frame.We might have got a better idea at how well his power carried up though.I'm still unsure how hard he actually hit at 126, but i don't imagine it was too special.