Fear and Looting in Finland: Or How Mayra Gomez Got Shortchanged – In and Out of The Ring
By Diego Morilla
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA-If you were already following the developments around Eva Wahlstrom’s planned defense of her WBC super featherweight title and found them confusing and rife with suspicions of foul play, get ready: an already ugly thing is about to get downright nasty.
As reported previously by ThePrizefighters.com, Haitian-American fighter Melissa “Little Tyson” St. Vil was originally slated to face Wahlstrom. Or at least that was the case according to the Finnish company in charge of the promotion, because St. Vil claims that she was never even offered the fight formally and that the fight was cancelled only after she complained about finding out that her likeness was being used for promoting the bout without her consent. (http://theprizefighters.com/2017/05/03/melissa-st-vil-sets-record-straight/ )
Enter Argentine former WBO “interim” titlist Mayra Gomez, a reliable and durable fighter who, unbeknownst to the promotional outfit in charge of staging the soiree, was suspended at the moment by the Argentine Boxing Federation (FAB, in its Spanish acronym) for engaging in a fight under the supervision of the already infamous WPC (“World Pugilism Commission”), an “alternative” local commission at odds with the FAB which also doubles as what the boxing world just needed: yet another “sanctioning body” handing out world and regional titles with gusto. (http://theprizefighters.com/2017/05/04/bad-juju-eva-wahlstrom-mayra-gomez-wbc-title-fight/)
Gomez (18-6, 4KO) traveled to Finland in spite of her suspension, under a “permit” by the WPC to fight abroad even though they are not recognized by Finnish authorities, the WBC or the FAB. When the Finnish boxing commission requested Gomez’s FAB credentials, her “negotiator” (no other title or job description was given or found) Marcelo Di Croce allegedly handed out a bogus temporary FAB travel permit with Gomez’s forged signature in it.
The maneuver was caught and averted by the local authorities, but then the WBC tried to mediate in order to avoid “important problems for the promoter, the champion, and boxing in (Finland)” by sending a letter signed by Mauricio Sulaiman himself to the FAB asking them to cancel the “administrative” sanction to Gomez, at least temporarily, in order to allow the fight to happen.
The fight did happen, finally, and Wahlstrom retained her belt through a lopsided decision win, as expected.
The unexpected, however, started transpiring soon thereafter.
Early on Sunday, Gomez went to collect her purse but was asked first to have her samples taken for the customary post-fight anti-doping procedures. After that, she found out that Di Croce had collected her purse, and sensing an irregularity, Gomez confronted him to claim her money with her cell phone hidden in her clothes in recording mode.
Audio – Gomez vs. Di Croce: https://soundcloud.com/user-406436746/discusion-agresion-de-di-croce-a-mayra-gomez-por-la-bolsa
What ensued was a 10-minute discussion caught in an audio recording in which Di Croce offers Gomez $5000 US dollars instead of the $8000 Euros she was supposed to receive as per her contract. Di Croce, a former welterweight South American champion in his fighting days, claims that the rest of the money belongs to him with confusing and contradicting arguments, and later claims that Gomez “doesn’t know anything about the business” as the conversation heats up.
Towards the end of the recording, a series of insults and thuds are heard, with Gomez claiming that Di Croce pushed her out of his room and punched her in the face at least once during the episode.
Gomez then appealed to Peter Stucki, the WBC supervisor for the fight, and asked him to translate his request to local promoter Pekka Maki, who managed to get Di Croce to give Gomez the $5000 dollars in hand, with the rest of the money being now disputed in a series of lawsuits involving charges such as fraud, “gender violence” and other charges.
“This is not only a scam, it is also an aggression and a case of gender violence, and we are now fighting against that,” said Gomez, who had to endure a two-day trip from Finland in the uncomfortable company of Di Croce and with her trainer Eliana Gamboa as her only support throughout the entire ordeal. Her attorney Miriam Peral de Troski went on to claim that “this entire thing is reproachable, but the episode of violence makes it even more reproachable.”
Di Croce made a feeble attempt to defend himself by declaring that “they just want to ruin my reputation in international boxing without any factual support” to the local La Nación newspaper, but Gomez reaffirmed her intention of going all the way with her complaints.
“I want the truth to be heard,” said Gomez. “I will not allow them to humiliate me like this. I will sink this guy and drive him out of business, so that he cannot take any other boxers to fight abroad anymore.”