Wilfredo Gómez

In today's world, Wilfredo Gómez has become a topic of utmost importance and relevance. Whether for its impact on society, its relevance in history, or its influence on our daily lives, Wilfredo Gómez has captured the attention of experts and fans alike. In this article, we will explore in detail all aspects related to Wilfredo Gómez, from its origins to its impact today. We will analyze the different perspectives, opinions and debates surrounding Wilfredo Gómez, with the aim of providing a comprehensive and complete vision of this topic that is so relevant today.
Wilfredo Gómez
Gómez c.2003
Born
Wilfredo Gómez Rivera

(1956-10-29) October 29, 1956 (age 67)
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
Other namesBazooka
Statistics
Weight(s)
Height5 ft 5+12 in (166 cm)
Reach66+12 in (169 cm)
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights48
Wins44
Wins by KO42
Losses3
Draws1
Medal record
Men's Boxing
Representing  Puerto Rico
World Amateur Championships
Gold medal – first place Havana 1974 Bantamweight

Wilfredo Gómez Rivera (Spanish pronunciation: [wilˈfɾeðo ˈɣomes]; born October 29, 1956), sometimes referred to as Bazooka Gómez, is a Puerto Rican former professional boxer and three weight world champion. He is frequently mentioned among the best Puerto Rican boxers of all time by sports journalists and analysts, along with Félix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Wilfred Benítez, Esteban De Jesús, Edwin Rosario, and Carlos Ortíz.

His seventeen consecutive knockouts in championship defenses as a junior featherweight is a record for all boxing divisions. He was ranked number 13 on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". In 1995, Gómez was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Biography

Gómez was born in a poor area of Las Monjas of Hato Rey in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the son of Jacobo Gómez and Paula Rivera. 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.

Amateur career and professional debut

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. 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. He compiled an overall record of 96 wins and 3 defeats as an amateur boxer. Because of his family's economic situation, he decided not to wait for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, opting to begin making money right after the 1974 World Amateur Boxing championship 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

After this inauspicious debut, he reeled off a streak of 32 consecutive knockouts 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 consecutive knockouts place him in a third place tie with Deontay Wilder and behind LaMar Clark (44) and Billy Fox (43) for the all-time knockout streak.

Gómez's knockout streak caught the eye of the WBC and Lineal 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. His second defense took him to Tokyo, where he beat former world champion Royal Kobayashi in three rounds. Kobayashi had lasted 5 rounds vs Alexis Argüello. Next was Sagat Petchyindee in a small city of Thailand. He lasted two rounds. Petchyndee later became a world champion Thai and kick-boxer and famous actor in Thailand. The bout with Petchyndee was preceded by a large tragedy when a column collapsed inside the stadium before the evening's main event; ten people lost their lives and an estimated 300 were injured, but the contest's organizers nevertheless decided to continue with the day's boxing show.

Gómez's streak reached 32 knockouts in a row, including what is generally considered to be his biggest victory ever, a five-round defeat of bantamweight champion Carlos Zárate, who was 55–0 with 54 knockout wins coming into their San Juan bout. Also included in that streak was future world champion Leo Cruz, beaten in 13 rounds at San Juan and Derrik Holmes, knocked out in five rounds in a fight attended, among others, by Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers and Alexis Arguello. 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
audio icon You may watch Wilfredo Gómez 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 two preparation bouts before defending his title again. He did so and won two non-title bouts, 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. 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. Boxing fans across Latin America mourned the tragedy. Gómez, who was training to defend against Mexican Roberto Rubaldino only five 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 one 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. 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.

Featherweight division

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, he didn't enjoy a lengthy title reign. 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.

Gómez wanted either a rematch with Nelson or a shot at WBA and Lineal Junior Lightweight world champion 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 majority 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.

Around this time, he began a shortly lived career as a boxing broadcaster. He specifically covered the Victor Callejas-Loris Stecca rematch from Italy for Puerto Rico's WAPA-TV, won by Callejas by sixth round technical knockout, and some local matches involving Alberto Mercado and Juan Carazo in Puerto Rico for Tele-Once.

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

Gómez tried a comeback in 1987 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. 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 Camacho with the training of Camacho's son Héctor Camacho Jr., who was a boxer in the Jr Welterweight division. In 1998, Gómez became a born-again Christian.

On May 18, 2003, Gómez returned to Panama, where he was received by friends Roberto 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". However, he bought a house in Orlando, Florida in 2006.

Gómez had a record of 44 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw, with 42 knockout wins and all three losses also by knockout. In 1978, he was named Boxing Illustrated's Fighter of the Year. He is now a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Gómez was voted as the Greatest Super Bantamweight Ever in 2014 by the Houston Boxing Hall Of Fame. The HBHOF is a voting body composed totally of current and former fighters. In 2003 a biographical film entitled Bazooka: The Battles of Wilfredo Gómez was produced by Cinemar Films, the documentary was directed by Mario Diaz and was filmed in New York City.

Professional boxing record

48 fights 44 wins 3 losses
By knockout 42 3
By decision 2 0
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
48 Win 44–3–1 Mario Salazar KO 2 (10), 1:45 Jul 19, 1989 Diplomat Hotel, Hallandale Beach, Florida, U.S.
47 Win 43–3–1 Mario González TKO 6 (8), 1:58 Jul 30, 1988 Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
46 Loss 42–3–1 Alfredo Layne TKO 9 (15), 0:32 May 24, 1986 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Lost WBA and The Ring super featherweight title
45 Win 42–2–1 Rocky Lockridge MD 15 May 19, 1985 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Won WBA and The Ring super featherweight titles
44 Loss 41–2–1 Azumah Nelson KO 11 (12), 2:58 Dec 8, 1984 Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico Lost WBC featherweight title
43 Win 41–1–1 Juan Laporte UD 12 Mar 31, 1984 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Won WBC featherweight title
42 Win 40–1–1 Eladio Santana KO 2 (?), 0:46 Dec 14, 1983 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
41 Win 39–1–1 Iván Samuco TKO 3 (10), 1:45 Apr 23, 1983 Auditorio Juan Pachín Vicéns, Ponce, Puerto Rico
40 Win 38–1–1 Lupe Pintor TKO 14 (15), 2:44 Dec 3, 1982 Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
39 Win 37–1–1 Roberto Rubaldino RTD 7 (15), 3:00 Aug 18, 1982 Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
38 Win 36–1–1 Juan Antonio López TKO 10 (15), 1:02 Jun 11, 1982 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
37 Win 35–1–1 Juan Meza TKO 6 (15), 2:28 Mar 27, 1982 Playboy Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
36 Win 34–1–1 José Luis Soto KO 2 (?), 2:33 Feb 20, 1982 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
35 Win 33–1–1 José González TKO 7 (?) Jan 9, 1982 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
34 Loss 32–1–1 Salvador Sánchez TKO 8 (15), 2:09 Aug 21, 1981 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For WBC featherweight title
33 Win 32–0–1 Raúl Silva KO 3 (10), 0:51 Jun 20, 1981 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
32 Win 31–0–1 José Cervantes KO 3 (15), 1:50 Dec 13, 1980 Miami Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
31 Win 30–0–1 Derrik Holmes TKO 5 (15), 2:29 Aug 22, 1980 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
30 Win 29–0–1 Eddie Ndukwu TKO 4 (12), 1:58 Apr 27, 1980 Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico
29 Win 28–0–1 Rubén Valdéz RTD 6 (15), 3:00 Feb 3, 1980 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
28 Win 27–0–1 Nicky Pérez TKO 5 (15), 3:00 Oct 26, 1979 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
27 Win 26–0–1 Carlos Mendoza TKO 10 (15), 2:29 Sep 28, 1979 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
26 Win 25–0–1 Julio Hernández TKO 5 (15), 2:15 Jun 16, 1979 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC and The Ring super bantamweight titles
25 Win 24–0–1 Nelson Cruz Tamariz KO 2 (10), 1:10 May 21, 1979 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
24 Win 23–0–1 Néstor Carlos Jiménez KO 2 (10), 2:51 Mar 9, 1979 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBC super bantamweight title;
Won inaugural The Ring super bantamweight title
23 Win 22–0–1 Carlos Zárate TKO 5 (15), 0:44 Oct 28, 1978 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC super bantamweight title
22 Win 21–0–1 Leo Cruz TKO 13 (15), 0:21 Sep 9, 1978 Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC super bantamweight title
21 Win 20–0–1 Sagat Petchyindee TKO 3 (15), 2:32 Jun 2, 1978 Provincial Stadium, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand Retained WBC super bantamweight title
20 Win 19–0–1 Juan Antonio López TKO 7 (15), 2:41 Apr 8, 1978 Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón, Puerto Rico Retained WBC super bantamweight title
19 Win 18–0–1 Royal Kobayashi KO 3 (15), 1:26 Jan 19, 1978 Municipal Gymnasium, Kitakyushu, Japan Retained WBC super bantamweight title
18 Win 17–0–1 Raúl Tirado TKO 5 (15), 2:59 Jul 11, 1977 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Retained WBC super bantamweight title
17 Win 16–0–1 Yum Dong-kyun KO 12 (15), 2:40 May 21, 1977 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico Won WBC super bantamweight title
16 Win 15–0–1 John Meza TKO 2 (10), 2:59 Feb 12, 1977 Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
15 Win 14–0–1 José Murillo Medel KO 4 (12), 2:45 Oct 11, 1976 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
14 Win 13–0–1 Tony Rocha KO 2 (?) Aug 16, 1976 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
13 Win 12–0–1 Alberto Dávila TKO 9 (10) Jul 19, 1976 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
12 Win 11–0–1 Sak Lempthong TKO 3 (10) May 8, 1976 Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
11 Win 10–0–1 Ric Quijano KO 1 (10) Apr 5, 1976 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
10 Win 9–0–1 Cornell Hall TKO 3 (10) Feb 20, 1976 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
9 Win 8–0–1 Andres Hernández TKO 8 (10) Dec 20, 1975 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
8 Win 7–0–1 Joe Guevara TKO 6 (?) Sep 19, 1975 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
7 Win 6–0–1 Cleo García KO 3 (6) Aug 2, 1975 Managua, Nicaragua
6 Win 5–0–1 Jacinto Fuentes KO 2 (8), 1:58 Jun 21, 1975 Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
5 Win 4–0–1 Jose Jiménez KO 1 (6) May 3, 1975 Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
4 Win 3–0–1 Antonio Da Silva KO 2 (8), 2:40 Mar 2, 1975 Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
3 Win 2–0–1 Jorge Bernal TKO 1 (8), 2:28 Feb 15, 1975 Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
2 Win 1–0–1 Mario Hernández TKO 1 (6), 2:58 Dec 21, 1974 Plaza de Toros, Zapote, Costa Rica
1 Draw 0–0–1 Jacinto Fuentes MD 6 Nov 16, 1974 Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama

Personal

Gómez has three daughters: Jennifer (who is Panamanian by birth), Gina and Liz Irina (Venezuelan by birth )and one son, Wilfredo Junior. He is good friends with Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán. and former Puerto Rico Boxing Commissioner and boxing champion Victor Callejas.

Gómez declared that Fighting Harada was his idol as a child.

Gómez is married to Carolina Gamboa.

On April 17, 2015, Gómez was arrested by Puerto Rican police after allegedly hitting his 59-year-old companion, a lady with whom he had been living for ten months. He was released after she refused to raise charges against him.

British boxer Michael Gomez adapted his last name from Armstrong to Gomez as a homage to Wilfredo, who was his childhood idol.

A biographical book about Gómez, written by author Christian Giudice and named "A Fire Burns Within", was released May 9, 2016.

Gómez was hospitalized on May 21, 2018 in Cupey, Puerto Rico, suffering from a pulmonary edema and pneumonia.

On March of 2022, Gomez was rescued by his wife Carolina Gamboa, son Wilfredo Jr., and by friend, fellow former world boxing champion Victor Callejas, from his ex lover, identified as Diana Sevilla Villalobos, who apparently was holding him hostage at his Venus Gardens, Cupey (San Juan) house. Gomez was taken to a psychiatric hospital. Gomez subsequently recovered and returned to his wife by choice.

Honors

Both the Wilfredo Gómez boxing gym and the Complejo Deportivo Wilfredo Gómez (Wilfredo Gómez Sporting Complex) in Guaynabo are named after him.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b No radicarán cargos contra exboxeador Wilfredo Gómez, El Nuevo Día (2015-04-18). Retrieved on 2017-07-14.
  2. ^ Sánchez, José A. (November 25, 2012). "Entre leyendas Macho Camacho". El Nuevo Día.
  3. ^ Eisele, Andrew (2003). "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers". About.com. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  4. ^ a b c Michael Klimes (2007-05-16). "Wilfredo 'Bazooka' Gomez, Part 1". East Side Boxing. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  5. ^ a b "Wilfredo Gomez". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Wilfredo Gómez – Lineal Jr. Featherweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  8. ^ Sagat Petchyindee. Siamfightmag.com. Retrieved on 2017-07-14.
  9. ^ "Wilfredo Gomez vs. Sakad Petchyindee - BoxRec".
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved on 2017-07-14.
  12. ^ a b c d Michael Klimes (2007-05-17). "Wilfredo 'Bazooka' Gomez, Part II". East Side Boxing. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  13. ^ Andrés Pascual (2006-10-20). "El récord impresionante de Wilfredo Gómez en las 122 libras". Diario Las Americas. Archived from the original on 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  14. ^ Nelson wins title. Nytimes.com (1984-12-10). Retrieved on 2017-07-14.
  15. ^ "Wilfredo Gómez – Lineal Jr. Lightweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Jason Gonzalez (2006-02-21). "Q&A: Wilfredo Gomez!". Fightnews.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  18. ^ Gustavo Ampudia (2003-05-18). "¡Mil gracias, mi Panamá!" (in Spanish). La Prensa. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  19. ^ Robert Dominguez (2003-09-25). "A Boxer's Saga, Blow By Blow". The Puerto Rico Herald. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  20. ^ "Bazooka: The Battles of Wilfredo Gómez". Internet Movie Data Base. 24 September 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  21. ^ Scoop Malinowski. "Boxing Legend Biofile: Wilfredo Gomez". Boxing Insider. Archived from the original on 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  22. ^ "Boxing in Japan | Japan Experience". www.japan-experience.com.
  23. ^ VIOLENCIA DOMESTICA: – Archivo Digital de Noticias de Colombia y el Mundo desde 1.990. eltiempo.com (1994-06-22). Retrieved on 2017-07-14.
  24. ^ SMASH-HIT GOMEZ FITS THE BILL. The Mirror. London, England. (February 12, 2000)
  25. ^ Giudice, Christian (2016) A Fire Burns Within: The Miraculous Journey of Wilfredo 'Bazooka' Gomez. Pitch Publishing. ISBN 9781785311154.
  26. ^ "Hospitalizan al exboxeador Wilfredo Gómez". El Nuevo Día. May 22, 2018.
  27. ^ ""Nadie tenía acceso a él": Luvi Calleja señala que pareja de Wilfredo Gómez lo aisló de sus seres queridos y amistades". 3 March 2022.
  28. ^ "WILFREDO GOMEZ QUIERE QUEDARSE CON SU ESPOSA Y NO CON SU HIJO" – via www.youtube.com.
  29. ^ "Inauguran bulevar del deporte en Guaynabo". Primera Hora. February 18, 2011.
  30. ^ "Google Earth". earth.google.com.

External links

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
Preceded by WBC super-bantamweight champion
May 21, 1977 – May, 1983
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Jaime Garza
Inaugural champion The Ring super-bantamweight champion
March 9, 1979 – May, 1983
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Paulie Ayala
Preceded by WBC featherweight champion
March 31, 1984 – December 8, 1984
Succeeded by
Preceded by WBA super-featherweight champion
May 19, 1985 – May 24, 1986
Succeeded by
The Ring super-featherweight champion
May 19, 1985 – May 24, 1986
Awards
Previous:
William Lee vs.
John LoCicero
Round 5
The Ring Round of the Year
vs. Lupe Pintor
Round 3

1982
Next:
Larry Holmes vs.
Tim Witherspoon

Round 9