Talk about a guy who can “take a shot…”

For anyone who feels a need to voice their opinion on the Suns, by all means, take it up with this particular member of the team’s fan base.

Being a 5-foot-11 pro boxer, you can’t argue with new IBF North American Super Middleweight Champion Jesus Gonzalez for sticking up for the eternal “scrappy guy.” A lifelong Suns fan, the Phoenix-born fighter has been a proud follower of the purple and orange for years. After all, he first honed his craft at Willy’s Boxing Studio – just a few miles from the first home of the Suns, Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  

“The Suns have always been my favorite team back to the days when they played Michael Jordan in the Finals,” said the 26-year-old southpaw after his recent title-winning, unanimous-decision victory over Dhafir Smith. “I’ve always been a big Suns fan. I know all their history… Connie Hawkins… all the way back to then.”

Looking over the Suns’ unofficial all-time “tough guy” list, “The Hawk” would certainly be up there, as would Gonzalez’s favorite player growing up – fellow Ring of Honor great Charles Barkley.

“Charles was tough,” he said. “He overcame a lot of obstacles. He was only 6’ 4” and played like a center out there. He was unbelievable. That guy was strong and tough, and that’s why he was such a good player. I was a big fan of Charles Barkley. He would never back down, and he could fight, too.”

Being a fan of tough players, it should be of little surprise that the top-ranked fighter nicknamed “El Martillo (The Hammer)” includes a certain Suns point guard on his personal favorites list. And by the way, he also thinks Steve Nash would make a great prizefighter. There’s no such thing as bad praise from a guy who’s a lifetime 26-1 in the ring.

“I love Steve,” Gonzalez said. “He’s got a lot of heart. You see how small he is compared to the other guys, but nothing holds the guy back. He’s a two-time MVP. He’s a great player… an unbelievably great athlete.”

  • Rich Mancuso

    Great and brief piece Nash is a perfect choice by Gonzalez. As a boxing writer I can appreciate this