Jesus “Chuy” Gutierrez expected to be fighting more than every eight months.
But the undefeated lightweight from Las Vegas can’t seem to find enough work. And he’s getting frustrated.
“I’ve had at least two fights fall out on me,” said Gutierrez, who last fought Sept. 20 in the rain outdoors at Sunset Station, where he won an eight-round majority decision over Rashad Ganaway. “I want to keep improving. I want to fight more fights. But the business side of boxing is very tough to deal with, and this is the time of my career where I should be busy.”
Gutierrez (13-0, four knockouts) finally will return to the ring Friday, fighting Angel Hernandez (9-4, five KOs) of McAllen, Texas, in an eight-round bout on an outdoor card at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center adjacent to the D Las Vegas. The fight is the co-feature of the Richard Commey-Bahodir Mamadjonov 10-round lightweight main event that will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
For Gutierrez, who won his first title — the World Boxing Council’s United States National Boxing Championship lightweight belt — by defeating Ganaway, the one upside of not fighting often is that he is fresh and has had time to work on his skills.
“I’m trying to stay busy in the gym,” Gutierrez said. “I’m working on my defense and my footwork, but I don’t want to be known as a boxer. I want to be a fighter and take it to my opponent. I’m more comfortable when I fight that way and I’m attacking.”
Gutierrez, 26, said he is drawing interest from a few promoters, but no concrete offer has been made.
“Hopefully that will change soon,” he said. “We’ve been approached by a lot of people. But we want to make sure if we sign with someone that we do it the right way. I’ve been fighting virtually for free, and I’m tired of it. I feel like I’ve paid my dues, and I want to be respected in the sport.”
Roy Jones Jr., whose Square Ring Promotions is co-promoting Friday’s card, would love to work with Gutierrez.
“I think Chuy’s an exciting fighter who the fans love to see fight,” Jones said. “I’d definitely be interested in having him. But let’s see how things go Friday.”
Gutierrez said he’s not going to get discouraged.
“It’s not the way I envisioned my career going, but the business side of boxing can be tough,” he said.
The first bell is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on twitter: @stevecarprj.