Wilfredo Gómez

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Wilfredo Gómez
Wilfredo Gómez.jpg
Wilfredo Gómez at Phoenix, Arizona, in 2003
Statistics
Real name Wilfredo Gómez
Nickname(s) Bazooka
Rated at Super Bantamweight
Nationality Puerto Rico Puerto Rican
Born (1956-10-29) October 29, 1956 (age 57)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 48
Wins 44
Wins by KO 42
Losses 3
Draws 1

Wilfredo Gómez (Spanish pronunciation: [wilˈfɾeðo ˈɣomes]; born October 29, 1956), sometimes referred to as Bazooka Gómez, is a former boxer and three-time world champion. Gómez is frequently mentioned among the best Puerto Rican boxers of all time by sports journalists and analysts, along with Félix "Tito" Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Wilfred Benítez, Héctor "Macho" Camacho, Edwin "El Chapo" Rosario, and Carlos Ortíz.[1] His 17 consecutive knockouts in championship defenses is a record for all boxing divisions.

Biography[edit]

Gómez was born in a poor area of Las Monjas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has admitted to newspapers[which?] that, as a little child, he had to fight off bullies on Las Monjas' streets. He has told some Puerto Rican newspapers[which?] that he felt he was born to fight because of that situation. Gómez's father was a taxi driver and his mother was a homemaker. Gómez himself reportedly used a bicycle as means of transportation when he was young, and he sold candy to earn pocket money before becoming an amateur boxer.[2]

Amateur career and professional debut[edit]

Gómez won the gold medal at the 1974 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and 1974 World Championships in Havana, Cuba before turning professional.[3] He also competed in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, getting eliminated by an Egyptian rival in the Olympic's first round of bouts.[4] He compiled an overall record of 96 wins and 3 defeats as an amateur boxer. Because of his family's economical situation, he decided not to wait for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, opting to begin making money right after the Cuban competition instead. Coming from Puerto Rico, he settled for less money and exposure from the American media, and moved to Costa Rica, where he began to tour all of Central America in hopes of finding matches. His professional debut came in Panama City, Panama, where he fought to a draw with Jacinto Fuentes.

Professional career[edit]

After this inauspicious debut, he reeled off a streak of 32 knockout wins in a row.[3] Including wins over Fuentes, who was dispatched in 2 rounds in a rematch, and future world champion Alberto Davila, who lasted 9 rounds before being defeated. His 32 knockout wins in a row make him the world champion with the longest knockout streak in history, placing him in third place behind Lamar Clark (44) and Billy Fox (43) for the all-time knockout streak. Among world champions, Gómez had the longest knockout winning streak; neither Clark nor Fox won world titles.[2][self-published source?]

Gómez's knockout streak caught the eye of the WBC Super Bantamweight champion Dong Kyun Yum of South Korea, who travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to defend his crown against Gómez. Yum had a promising start, dropping Gómez 30 seconds into the bout, but Gómez picked himself up and eventually won the crown, his first world title, with a 12th round knockout.[2][self-published source?] His first defense took him to the Far East, where he beat former world champion Royal Kobayashi in 3 rounds in Tokyo.[2] Kobayashi had lasted 5 rounds vs Alexis Argüello. Next was Ryu Tomonari in a small city of Thailand. He lasted 2 rounds.

Gómez's streak reached 32 knockouts in a row. Those 32 knockouts in a row included what is generally considered to be his biggest victory ever, a five round defeat of World Bantamweight champion Carlos Zarate, who was 55-0 with 54 knockout wins coming into their San Juan bout.[5] Also included in that streak was future world champion Leo Cruz, beaten in 13 rounds at San Juan and Derrick Holmes, knocked out in five rounds in a fight attended, among others, by Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers and Alexis Arguello.[6] After recording his 32nd. knockout win in a row, he moved up in weight to face the world featherweight champion Salvador Sánchez of Mexico. He lost to Salvador Sanchez by 8th round TKO.

External audio
You may watch Wilfredo Gomez fight various boxers, among them Lupe Pintor, here

Hoping to get a rematch with Sanchez, Gómez went back to the super bantamweight division, where he got a dispense from the WBC to make 2 preparation bouts before defending his title again.[7] He did so and won 2 non title bouts in a row, both by knockout in the 2nd round, one over Jose Luis Soto, who was a stablemate of Julio César Chávez back in Culiacán, Mexico. Wins over future world champ Juan 'Kid' Meza, knocked out in six in Atlantic City, and Juan Antonio Lopez, knocked out in ten as part of the Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney undercard followed.[7] But all chances of a rematch with Sanchez were dashed when Sanchez died in a car crash outside Mexico City the morning of August 12, 1982. Mexico's boxing fans and general public mourned their gone champion, and boxing fans across Latin America joined Mexico in their tragedy. Gómez, who was training to defend against Mexican Roberto Rubaldino only 5 days later, took a quick trip to Mexico to offer Sanchez flowers and then returned to Puerto Rico the same afternoon. He beat Rubaldino by knockout in 8 rounds and made 1 more title defense, against the Mexican bantamweight world champ Lupe Pintor in the Carnival of Champions in New Orleans, winning by knockout in 14 rounds.[7] The Pintor contest was the only time a Gómez fight was showcased on HBO, which at the time exclusively showcased the largest boxing fights, much like the Pay Per View system does currently.

By the time he was done with the Junior Featherweights, Gómez had established a division record of 17 defenses, and a world record of most defenses in a row won by knockout, all his defenses finishing before the established distance limit.[8]

Featherweight division[edit]

He then re-tried winning the Featherweight title and this time, he achieved his dream, winning his second world title by dethroning Juan Laporte, a fellow Puerto Rican who had won the title left vacant after Sanchez died. He beat Laporte by a 12 round unanimous decision. This time, however, it didn't last that long. Ahead on all scorecards, Gómez was the victim of a rally by Azumah Nelson of Ghana who knocked him out in 11 rounds in San Juan, December 8, 1984.[9]

Gómez wanted either a rematch with Nelson or a shot at Junior Lightweight world champ Rocky Lockridge of New Jersey, whichever came first. Lockridge was first to offer Gómez a try, and the 2 battled a closely scored 15 round bout in San Juan, with Gómez being given a unanimous 15 round decision, which many experts have said Lockridge deserved, but also which in the opinion of most who saw it live, was a justified decision.[7]

This reign also came to an end quick, Gómez being handed his 3rd loss at the hands of young Alfredo Layne by knockout in 9 rounds. Layne lost the title in his own first defense to South Africa's Brian Mitchell, and it became obvious Gómez's best years had gone by, so he retired after this fight.

Last fights and retirement[edit]

Gómez tried a comeback in 1988 and 1989, but after winning 2 more bouts by knockout, he realized boxing wasn't in his heart anymore and retired for good. He later moved to Venezuela, where he ran into drug problems, causing him trouble with the law and spending some months in jail.[10] He attended a rehabilitation center in Colombia. Gómez rebounded and is now back in Puerto Rico, where he has managed to stay off drugs. He helped Hector 'Macho' Camacho with the training of Camacho's son Héctor Camacho Jr., who is a boxer in the Jr Welterweight division. In 1998, Gòmez became a born-again Christian.[11]

On May 18, 2003, Gómez returned to Panama, where he was received by Duran and Eusebio Pedroza, among others. In a message geared towards Panamanians, he expressed thanks to that country, calling it his second country and saying, among other things "I'm very motivated now that I will return to Puerto Rico, and no one should be surprised if I buy an apartment in Panama and move my family here".[12] However, he bought a house in Orlando, Florida in 2006.

Gómez had a record of 44 win, 3 losses and 1 draw, with 42 knock out wins. In 1978, he was named Boxing Illustrated's fighter of the year. He is now a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. In 2003 a biographical film entitled Bazooka: The Battles of Wilfredo Gómez was produced by Cinemar Films, the documental was directed by Mario Diaz and was filmed in New York City.[13][14]

Personal[edit]

Gómez has three daughters Jennifer, Gina and Liz Irina and one son Wilfredo Junior.[15] He is good friends with Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Duran.[6]

Professional record[edit]

44 Wins (42 knockouts, 2 decisions), 3 Losses, 1 Draw [2]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 44-3-1 United States Mario Salazar KO 2(10) July 19, 1989 United States Diplomat Hotel, Hallandale, Florida, USA
Win 43-3-1 Mexico Mario González TKO 6(8) July 30, 1988 United States Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Loss 42-3-1 Panama Alfredo Layne TKO 9(15) May 24, 1986 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Lost WBA World Super featherweight title.
Win 42-2-1 United States Rocky Lockridge MD 15 May 19, 1985 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Won WBA World Super featherweight title.
Loss 41-2-1 Ghana Azumah Nelson KO 11(12) December 8, 1984 Puerto Rico Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico Lost WBC Featherweight title.
Win 41-1-1 Puerto Rico Juan Laporte UD 12 March 31, 1984 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Won WBC Featherweight title.
Win 40-1-1 Panama[16] Eladio Santana KO 2(10) December 14, 1983 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 39-1-1 Netherlands Iván Zamuco TKO 3(10) April 23, 1983 Puerto Rico Juan Pachín Vicéns Coliseum, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Win 38-1-1 Mexico Lupe Pintor TKO 14(15) December 3, 1982 United States Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title.
Win 37-1-1 United States Roberto Rubaldino TKO 8(15) August 18, 1982 Puerto Rico Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title.
Win 36-1-1 Mexico Juan Antonio López TKO 10(15) June 11, 1982 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Valley, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title.
Win 35-1-1 Mexico Juan Meza TKO 6(15) March 27, 1982 United States Playboy Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA Won WBC Super Bantamweight title.
Win 34-1-1 Mexico José Luis Soto KO 2(10) February 20, 1982 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 33-1-1 United States José González TKO 7(10) January 9, 1982 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Loss 32-1-1 Mexico Salvador Sánchez TKO 8(15) August 21, 1981 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Valley, USA WBC Featherweight title on the line
Win 32-0-1 Costa Rica Raúl Silva KO 3(10) June 20, 1981 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 31-0-1 Colombia José Cervantes KO 3(15) December 13, 1980 United States Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 30-0-1 United States Derrik Holmes TKO 5(15) August 22, 1980 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Valley, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 29-0-1 Nigeria Eddie Ndukwu TKO 4(12) April 27, 1980 Puerto Rico Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 28-0-1 Colombia Rubén Valdéz TKO 6(15) February 3, 1980 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Valley, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 27-0-1 United States Nicky Pérez TKO 5(15) October 26, 1979 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 26-0-1 Panama Carlos Mendoza TKO 10(15) September 28, 1979 United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Valley, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 25-0-1 Nicaragua Julio Hernández TKO 5(15) June 16, 1979 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 24-0-1 Colombia Nelson Cruz Tamariz KO 2(10) May 21, 1979 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA
Win 23-0-1 Colombia Néstor Carlos Jiménez KO 5(15) March 9, 1979 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 22-0-1 Mexico Carlos Zárate TKO 5(15) October 28, 1978 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 21-0-1 Dominican Republic Leonardo Cruz TKO 13(15) September 9, 1978 Puerto Rico Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 20-0-1 Thailand Sakad Petchyindee TKO 3(15) June 2, 1978 Thailand Main Stadium, Korat, Thailand Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 19-0-1 Mexico Juan Antonio López TKO 7(15) April 8, 1978 Puerto Rico Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón, Puerto Rico Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 18-0-1 Japan Royal Kobayashi KO 3(15) January 19, 1978 Japan Municipal Gymnasium, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 17-0-1 Mexico Raúl Tirado TKO 5(15) July 11, 1977 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 16-0-1 South Korea Dong-Kyun Yum KO 12(15) May 21, 1977 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Won WBC Super Bantamweight title
Win 15-0-1 United States John Meza KO 2(10) February 12, 1977 Puerto Rico Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Win 14-0-1 Mexico José Murillo Medel KO 4(12) October 11, 1976 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 13-0-1 United States Tony Rocha KO 2(10) August 16, 1976 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 12-0-1 United States Alberto Dávila TKO 9(10) July 19, 1976 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 11-0-1 Thailand Sak Lempthong TKO 3(10) May 8, 1976 Puerto Rico Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Win 10-0-1 Philippines Ric Quijano KO 1(10) April 4, 1976 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 9-0-1 Jamaica Cornell Hall KO 3(8) February 20, 1976 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 8-0-1 Puerto Rico Andres Hernández TKO 8(10) December 20, 1975 Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 7-0-1 United States Joe Guevara TKO 6(8) September 19, 1975 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Win 6-0-1 Nicaragua Cleo García KO 3(8) August 2, 1975 Nicaragua Roberto Clemente Stadium, Managua, Nicaragua
Win 5-0-1 Panama Jacinto Fuentes KO 2(8) June 21, 1975 Panama Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama Rematch of first fight
Win 4-0-1 Panama Jose Jiménez KO 1(6) May 3, 1975 Panama Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
Win 3-0-1 Brazil Antonio Da Silva KO 2(8) March 2, 1975 Panama Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
Win 2-0-1 Panama Jorge Bernal TKO 1(8) February 15, 1975 Panama Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
Win 1-0-1 Mexico Mario Hernández TKO 1(6) December 21, 1974 Costa Rica Plaza de Toros El Zapote, San José, Costa Rica
Draw 0-0-1 Panama Jacinto Fuentes MD 6 November 16, 1974 Panama Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama Gómez' professional debut.

Professional championships[edit]

Preceded by
Dong-Kyun Yum
WBC Super Bantamweight Champion
May 21, 1977 – April 1983
Vacated
Succeeded by
Jaime Garza
Preceded by
Juan Laporte
WBC Featherweight Champion
March 31, 1984 - December 8, 1984
Succeeded by
Azumah Nelson
Preceded by
Rocky Lockridge
WBA Junior Lightweight Champion
May 19, 1985 – May 24, 1986
Succeeded by
Alfredo Layne
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg

Puerto Ricans in the International Boxing Hall of Fame
Number Name Year inducted Notes
1 Carlos Ortíz 1991 World Jr. Welterweight Champion 1959 June 12- 1960, September 1, WBA Lightweight Champion 1962 Apr 21 – 1965 Apr 10, WBC Lightweight Champion 1963 Apr 7 – 1965 Apr 10, WBC Lightweight Champion 1965 Nov 13 – 1968 Jun 29.
2 Wilfred Benítez 1994 The youngest world champion in boxing history. WBA Light Welterweight Champion 1976 Mar 6 – 1977, WBC Welterweight Champion 1979 Jan 14 – 1979 Nov 30, WBC Light Middleweight Champion.
3 Wilfredo Gómez 1995 WBC Super Bantamweight Champion 1977 May 21 – 1983, WBC Featherweight Champion 1984 Mar 31 – 1984 Dec 8, WBA Super Featherweight Champion 1985 May 19 – 1986 May 24.
4 José "Chegui" Torres 1997 Won a silver medal in the junior middleweight at the 1956 Olympic Games. Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion 1965 Mar 30 – 1966 Dec 16
5 Sixto Escobar 2002 Puerto Rico's first boxing champion. World Bantamweight Champion 15 Nov 1935– 23 Sep 1937, World Bantamweight Champion 20 Feb 1938– Oct 1939
6 Edwin Rosario 2006 Ranks #36 on the list of "100 Greatest Punchers of All Time." according to Ring Magazine. WBC Lightweight Champion 1983 May 1 – 1984 Nov 3, WBA Lightweight Champion 1986 Sep 26 – 1987 Nov 21, WBA Lightweight Champion 199 Jul 9 – 1990 Apr 4, WBA Light Welterweight Champion 1991 Jun 14 – 1992 Apr 10.
7 Pedro Montañez 2007 92 wins out of 103 fights. Never held a title.
8 Joe Cortez 2011 The first Puerto Rican boxing referee to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame
9 Herbert "Cocoa Kid" Hardwick 2012 Member of boxing's "Black Murderers' Row". World Colored Welterweight Championship - June 11, 1937 to August 22, 1938; World Colored Middleweight Championship - January 11, 1940 until the title went extinct in the 1940s; World Colored Middleweight Championship - January 15, 1943 until the title went extinct in the 1940s
10 Felix "Tito" Trinidad 2014 Captured the IBF welterweight crown in his 20th pro bout. Won the WBA light middleweight title from David Reid in March 2000 and later that year unified titles with a 12th-round knockout against IBF champ Fernando Vargas. In 2001 became a three-division champion.

     = Indicates the person is no longer alive

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sánchez, José A. (November 25, 2012). "Entre leyendas Macho Camacho". El Nuevo Día. 
  2. ^ a b c d Michael Klimes (2007-05-16). "Wilfredo ‘Bazooka’ Gomez, Part 1". East Side Boxing. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Wilfredo Gomez". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  4. ^ George Diaz Smith (2005-03-01). "Boxing:RSR Looks Back at Former champion, Wilfredo Gomez". Ring Side Report. Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  5. ^ Lee Groves (2007-02-28). "Vazquez-Marquez May Add to a Tremendous Tradition". Max Boxing. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  6. ^ a b https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5A1lj2wCcQ
  7. ^ a b c d Michael Klimes (2007-05-17). "Wilfredo ‘Bazooka’ Gomez, Part II". East Side Boxing. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  8. ^ Andrés Pascual (2006-10-20). "El récord impresionante de Wilfredo Gómez en las 122 libras". Diario Las Americas. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  9. ^ Nelson wins title
  10. ^ Gabriel Cordero (2006-11-01). "Los 50 años de Wilfredo Gómez" (in Spanish). Lo Mejor del Boxeo. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  11. ^ Jason Gonzalez (2006-02-21). "Q&A: Wilfredo Gomez!". Fightnews.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  12. ^ Gustavo Ampudia (2003-05-18). "¡Mil gracias, mi Panamá!" (in Spanish). La Prensa. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  13. ^ Robert Dominguez (2003-09-25). "A Boxer's Saga, Blow By Blow". The Puerto Rico Herald. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  14. ^ "Bazooka: The Battles of Wilfredo Gómez". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  15. ^ Scoop Malinowski. "Boxing Legend Biofile: Wilfredo Gomez". Boxing Insider. Archived from the original on 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  16. ^ [1]

External links[edit]