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Forgotten Warriors: Marcos Geraldo

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A middleweight and light middleweight from Mexico who gave Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard tough fights and was the Mexican middleweight champ, Marcos Geraldo was a big middleweight at 5'11, with a big reach of 76 inches and a rather big frame, for a late 70's and early 80's middleweight. He had power, was very game and came to fight. He however did have a rather weak chin and was stopped in one round several times, most notably by Thomas Hearns. 

Born 28 September 1954 in Guaymas, Sonora state, his full name is Marcos Antonio Lopez Geraldo. He fought out of Baja California for most of his career. He had his first pro fight in September 1970 and won on points, before losing by KO 1 in his next fight against Eddie Parks. He would also lose this way to Billy Ray, before avenging the loss right away on points. Early on, he fought mostly at 154, but in January 1974, he fought the Cuban welter veteran Angel Robinson Garcia. After dropping Garcia in the second round, Geraldo was knocked out in the fourth. In April that year however, he surprisingly scored a majority decision victory over seasoned top fighter Armando Muniz, who would go on to fight Jose Napoles for the world title twice and also Carlos Palomino once for the WBC title. After that, Geraldo suddenly moved up to 160, but suffered another bad loss by KO 1 against Jean Mateo in his third fight there. He was YET again knocked out in 1 round by Jose Baquedano in August 1975. 

After suffering another knockout loss, this time in 6 rounds, against Jose Figueroa, things started to go better as Geraldo knocked out Emeterio Villanueva in 2 rounds to win the Mexican middle title, 22 October 1977. After defending it once by TKO 5, he went on to fight for the Californian title against the 39-4 George Cooper and won by TKO 6 in Sacramento, 9 September 1978. He defended that title once as well, stopping Renato Garcia by another TKO 6 on 3 March 1979, before fighting against Sugar Ray Leonard, who would soon become a world champion at 147. The fight happened on 20 May same year, at Baton Rouge and Geraldo was outboxed by Leonard but also gave him a tough fight (Leonard later called it his toughest fight yet) and cut him over the right eye in round 7. He lost by the scores of 7-2 and 6-3 twice in the 10-round fight. After defending his Mexican title one more time by TKO 2 against Lorenzo Benitez, he got a major fight against another world champion to be, Marvelous Marvin Hagler. They fought at Caesars Palace on 17 May 1980 and Geraldo used his height and reach advantage well, giving Hagler a tough fight, but Hagler was just too good and found the way to negate that advantage, like all great fighters do. The fight went its 10-round distance and the scores were 97-93, 97-94 and 97-95 for Hagler, while the Associated Press had it 98-96 Hagler. 

Geraldo was now ranked as a top ten fighter by both the WBC and WBA, but his next fight would ruin that ranking. On 11 September, he fought the unremarkable Caveman Lee, who came in with a record of 13-2 and would later fight Hagler for the undisputed title. His poor chin was yet again exposed as he was knocked out in one round in Chicago. Lee would ironically himself get stopped in one round by Hagler. After another debacle, Geraldo scored three knockouts before landing another big fight against Thomas Hearns, who was on comeback trail after losing his WBC welter title to Leonard and was looking to reinvent himself at 154. The fight was at the Aladdin in Vegas on 27 February 1982 and Hearns hit Geraldo with several lefts and rights which put him out of the game after 1 minute and 48 seconds. Geraldo would never fight at 154 again. He went all the way up to 175 and had several wins, among others against the experienced Ron Wilson (71-33-7), whom he defeated by KO 3. On 18 May 1983, he fought against Fred Hutchings for the California State middle title but lost on points. On 27 August 1985, he fought Michael Nunn, then a rising contender at middleweight, and was stopped by TKO 5. On 13 June 1987, he fought another soon-to-be champ, light heavyweight Virgil Hill, and was knocked out in 2 rounds. 

His last victory came in December that year, when he took on the unknown 7-0 Korean Jae Ok Kim in a middleweight fight and won by KO 7. After being stopped against Antoine Byrd and Ramzi Hassan, he retired in 1991, but came back one more time in 1995, as a cruiserweight, and was stopped by Leonardo Aguilar by TKO 6. That was the end of his long and tumultuous career and he retired with a record of 71 wins, 50 by ko, 28 losses and 1 draw. His son Marcos Antonio Lopez is now a professional boxer himself. Marcos Geraldo was a quality fighter, but his glass chin stopped him from achieving much. He however had a long career and never gave up, despite all the bad ko losses and setbacks and for that he is A FORGOTTEN WARRIOR!



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