Alfredo Gonzales (アルフレド・ゴンザレス lit. arufuredo gonzaresu) is a semi-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
He is a Featherweight Professional Boxer and Makunouchi Ippo's first Mexican opponent (as well as the first non-OPBF opponent), and the second person to defeat Ippo in a boxing ring. People in his hometown and around Mexico think that he will be the next World Champion, in the WBA division.
Similar to other characters in the series, Alfredo grew up in the slums of a dangerous neighborhood in Mexico City where he got involved with street fights. Alfredo was invited to the "Arena México", where the world champion Ricardo Martinez would invite the poor youth to watch his matches. Though, at first Alfredo did not feel the same way when he sat when watching the champion, as in his mind he had the champion as this egotistical rich individual who had it all and was inviting them there just so he could show off. Then, one night, he witnessed Ricardo fighting a strong challenger. The victory was such an inspiration for him that before he knew it, he got up on his feet with both hands up in the air. Following up the moment that struck him the most though was what was said after the match by Ricardo. For the boys of the nation to not forget what true "Machismo" means. Alfredo at that very moment understood instantly Ricardo's intentions, and thus his every day goal had begun, with the only place to meet him being the ring. Climbing the way up with courage and hard work, something which stayed in Alfredo's mind, words like that of an "Aztec God" would say.
From looking at Ricardo's matches, he saw how Ricardo helped people after his matches by interacting with the crowd more than other boxers. Ricardo became the light that helped Alfredo become what he is now. Alfredo always looked up the sky searching for "the light" to guide him.
He was introduced to boxing at a young age by his coach that he met by unknown means. He climbed through the world rankings quite fast, and achieving his childhood dream to be in the same ring fighting against Ricardo. The first time he faced Ricardo he was so tense, riddled with nerves that it barely was a fight. The second time they fought was even worse, taking him the furthest since he reverted to using his original fighting style, forcing Ricardo to actually fight Alfredo seriously, which in return after the match he had woken up in a hospital. He continued his career with the same goal in mind, staying in the world rankings for a chance to come again in the future.
With only two losses against the same opponent, the WBA featherweight champion Ricardo Martinez, his goal is to face the same man again and win. Alfredo is selected to be challenged in Japan from Kamogawa Genji in a match against Makunouchi Ippo for Alfredo's rank, following up one of them to face Ricardo in the process as the preliminary world title challenge. Although negotiations were difficult to make them come to Japan, the match was set ready. The following days Alfredo spoke to the champion himself over the phone, before his training session over at his gym, to tell him straight up he wants another rematch with the condition being if he defeats Ippo, his challenge will be accepted. Ricardo not recalling who that is, Alfredo implies that once he defeats Ippo in that match it's a process to get first ranked for requesting the challenge. Before Alfredo ends the conversation as he gets ready with his boxing gloves, he tells Ricardo it's a little cold of him to not know the name of his sparring opponents and that he will face him again.
At Mexico, where they reside, he and his girlfriend Lisa walk down the crowded market street to reach the park with the great view over the city. Alfredo grabs a young boy who just stole food from somewhere in the place, knowing them, they head together to apologize. A little later when they reach the park's viewpoint, Alfredo tells Lisa that he once was like that young boy, stealing whenever he was capable to and with any disagreement he would resort in violence as if it was natural response. They both overlook the city as Alfredo tells Lisa if she remembers the "Arena México", where he was inspired by Ricardo's words and looked up to him as an idol ever since.
He recalls his first fight against Ricardo, remembering how it wasn't even a fight as he was tense. He then mentions that his second fight, though he was stronger, he was sent to the hospital. Lisa tells him to not obese over WBA, as she believes Alfredo could be a champion in a different federation. Alfredo says he cannot back out as he must face the strongest in the world, that is what "Machismo" means to him, even with knowing how strong Ricardo is. Lisa understanding him, faces front and remains silence, as she grabs his shoulder and leans over him from the side. Alfredo believing he is the only one that can truly surpass Ricardo, with "Machismo" in his heart, he is ready to head to Japan to face Ippo.
Upon arriving at the airport, he is greeted by the press as they all notice his outfit is that of training, meaning he is already in battle mode. Immediatelly right after, he is taken to the Otowa Boxing Gym, where he spars with ease the opponents he is given. He shows them the difference between a national ranker and him being second ranked in the world, with only expressing his flawless left to them. Alfredo thanks his sparring partner as the gym's coach calls him a gentlemen, although the gym's top boxer Imai Kyōsuke unsure if that's really the case. As Alfredo shadow boxes in the ring, Imai glares towards him and Alfredo responds with an intense look at him, but nothing happens as Imai is not focused for that. Later that night at his hotel, Alfredo expresses his need to land a right, saying that all the sparring partners were weak with the exception of that man looking at him who looked very promising. He tells his coach to spar with him the very next morning, with his coach replying to save it for now since all the stress and power will explode in the main match.
At the day of the weigh-in, Alfredo meets Ippo right at the entrance, clinching his fists itching for battle. Alfredo is asked right after Ippo by reporters what does he think of his opponent, Ippo, with his 8 national title defences, in which he replies the exact same words of what Ricardo would of said, "I wouldn't expect too much from him". Alfredo straight up leaves the room with the message that once the round starts they will all know what he means.
Time for the battle between Ippo and Alfredo. Alfredo prepares in his wait room to be called, then his coach comes in as it is time for battle. His coach asks him if he was able to focus, only to reply that he was already calm and focused due to the Japanese people and atmosphere being wonderful, adding in that its people might be soft naturally. Calling Ippo a soft and naive kid, Alfredo heads out of the wait room, with the determination to not let Ippo reach and face Ricardo.
Making his way into the ring right after Makunouchi Ippo, Alfredo Gonzales is called the "Aztec Death God", "Mextli", in other words the "Mexican Grim Reaper" has arrived in Japan to face the Wind God that stands in the way. His appearance in the ring is intense, as the crowd slightly calms down as said by the commentator. Everyone noticed, that just by looking, Alfredo is strong. Both fighters are in the center of the ring, as they are told by the referee the rules, and everyone awaits the bell to ring for this fight that will likely lead to a world title match as they discuss of the many possibilities and differences between the two fighters. Alfredo at his corner is told by his coach to stay in control, replying "Esta Bien".
The bell rings, the match has started, they touch gloves very fast as they are both ready to battle. Alfredo is focused to stay in control, as he recognizes the style that his opponent Ippo is doing, the Peek-a-Boo Style. Alfredo observing very carefully Ippo, prefers not to go first for the hit because of that style, the match continues quietly. Alfredo proceeds with firing a sharp fast left at the right shoulder side of Ippo, the impact is enough to sent him off to the left a bit, everyone is impressed by Alfredo's incredible reach but it's to be expected from a Mexican that high ranked.
Alfredo picks up the gear and starts moving more, putting a steady footwork, as he throws another left which Ippo can barely see. Ippo backing up a bit, begins to move his head even more, picking up his gears as well, Alfredo notices that he started bobbing his head and thinks that it's a bit difficult now to get a clean shot there. Alfredo continues though to throw his sharp lefts at Ippo, but even more of them since he cannot aim now that Ippo has a lot of head movement, more and more of them, Ippo blocks them all. Alfredo is slightly impressed, saying that this boy will continue pressing on unless of getting a direct hit. Ippo manages to close in, ceasing his lefts, but Alfredo watches closely in the process.
Successfully defeated Ippo in the 7th round by KO.
|24||WIN||22-2-0||1998-03-21||Makunouchi Ippo||Tokyo, Japan||7(10), 1:17||TKO||"GO TO THE WORLD!"|
|?||LOSS||?-2-0||199?||Ricardo Martinez||Mexico||?(12)||KO||WBA Featherweight Title Match|
|?||LOSS||?-1-0||199?||Ricardo Martinez||Mexico||?(12)||KO||WBA Featherweight Title Match|
Alfredo is slim, pale-skinned, with sleek black hair. His forward bangs are parted on the left side. He has a long straight nose and sharp eyes, whose brows are always slightly furrowed.
As for his training look, he wears sharp-style sunglasses.
|WRITE ABOUT HIS TRAINING AND RING APPEARANCE|
When he first arrived at the gym in Japan, he was polite to his sparring partners and also really calm. He even said that Japanese people are really polite and good, but it turned out that his politeness was masking an aggressive and ruthless personality.
By the 6th round during his match against Ippo, the look on his face changed completely to a highly aggressive look, about right after Ippo started using the Dempsey Roll. He showed his hidden side, the bad habits of his, the so called Mexican grim reaper "Mextli".
Alfredo is a well-rounded hybrid boxer with an effective, long-range jab. His main strategy is to use his jab to both distance himself from his opponent and stay on offense via counter punching. When the situation calls for it he can in-fight effectively. With the experience he possesses from two world title matches, he is adept at outsmarting his opponents with world-class boxing strategies, such as using his jab and short upper to set up a one-two, to later execute a long hook (when the opponent is not expecting an attack from the side). It is said that his boxing is a mirror image of Ricardo's, and that he would likely be the world champion already if Ricardo wasn't in sight.
Alfredo has "bad habits" which he forcefully seals away in his boxing matches. They are essentially a tendency to want to brawl. "Mextli" takes over when Alfredo is overcome with rage and anger from extreme exhaustion such as fighting very closed. According to his trainer, in this mode Alfredo's offense is greatly increased, but his defense is lowered considerably, making him vulnerable to attacks. The problem with this style is that Alfredo is not a naturally tough boxer like other brawlers. Despite this, "Mextli" enabled Alfredo to push Ricardo in his rematch although it ended up sending him to the hospital, as Ricardo also has a vicious style which is his real form that is more controlled than Alfredo, which it's only used for worthy opponents.
Though Ippo never exploited any weaknesses in Alfredo, it is mentioned by Alfredo's coach that he is a fragile fighter. For this reason his all-out offensive bad habits is actually a "double-edged sword."
- His nickname, "Mextli" or more commonly known as "Huītzilōpōchtli", means god of war and bringer of storms, the patron of Aztecs, in other words the Mexican Grim Reaper.
- In the English fan translations, his nickname was mistaken as "Metztli", which actually means the moon god or goddess.
- Alfredo vs. Ippo is the longest match in the Hajime no Ippo series, spanning 38 total chapters and 11 months (38+ Weeks) of releases.
- He shares alot of similarities with real life professional boxer Juan Manuel Márquez, when he was younger as a ranker in the featherweights. Most similarities are of being a natural counter puncher, known for being fast, highly technical fighter and also his aggressiveness at fights time to time. Not to mention that Alfredo looks alot like younger Márquez. He also has similarities to boxer Rosendo Alvarez, who was the only man to draw with Ricardo Lopez, whom Ricardo Martinez is based on.
- His KO victory against Ippo resembles the KO Juan Manuel Márquez gave to Manny Pacquiao in their fourth fight; curiously it was also a Mexican vs. an Asian.
- In Round 1015, Alfredo mentions that Martinez used to invite poor kids to watch his matches. In the manga, the image shown looks like Alfredo watched Martinez vs Date I match, where Martinez broke Date's nose leaving a scar. Alfredo mentions "The challenger was strong that night...", even though Date ended up losing in the 2nd Round.
- For Alfredo's ring entrance for his match with Ippo, he was wearing a sombrero hat and poncho. Martinez wore the same thing during his first match with Date.
- The area that was shown where he was with his girlfriend Lisa, seems to resemble a bit real life Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, although it can possibly be any other location because some scenes had a vast sea in the backround, or could of been just an illustration method.