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2010 Hall Of Fame nominations - Who gets your vote?


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Georgie Abrams – Floored champion Tony Zale in failed 1941 middleweight title bid; lost decisions to Ray Robinson, Marcel Cerdan and Fred Apostoli.

 

Horacio Accavallo – Seventy-five wins in 83 career fights; held WBA flyweight title in 1966-67.

 

Joey Archer – Defeated Ray Robinson in Robinson’s final fight; two failed bids against middleweight champion Emile Griffith in 1966-67.

 

Jose Becerra – Seventy-two wins in 79 career fights; held world bantamweight title in 1959-60.

 

Johnny Bratton – Held NBA welterweight title in 1951; went 0-2-1 in three bouts with Kid Gavilan.

 

Jimmy Carruthers – Held world bantamweight title from 1952-54; went 2-4 over six-fight comeback in 1961-62.

 

Jung-Koo Chang – WBA light flyweight champion from 1983-89; 15 successful title defenses.

 

Donald Curry – Held WBA, IBF and WBC welterweight titles between 1983-86; subsequently won WBC title at 154 pounds.

 

Hiroyuki Ebihara – Held WBA/WBC flyweight titles in 1963-64; later held WBA championship in 1969.

 

Tommy Farr – Won 81 of 126 career bouts; dropped 15-round decision to heavyweight champion Joe Louis in 1937.

 

Tiger Jack Fox – Won 153 of 191 career bouts; fought professionally from 1928-50.

 

 

Ceferino Garcia – Won 102 of 142 career bouts; held NYSAC world middleweight title in 1939-40.

 

Betulio Gonzalez – Won 75 of 91 career bouts; three flyweight title reigns between 1972-79.

 

Yoko Gushiken – Won WBA junior flyweight title in ninth career bout; made 13 successful title defenses.

 

Naseem Hamed – Held WBO, IBF and WBC flyweight titles between 1995-2001; went 17-1 with 14 knockouts in 18 career championship bouts.

 

Carlos Hernandez – Held WBA/WBC junior welterweight titles in 1965-66; lost subsequent WBA title bout in 1969.

 

Rafael Herrera – Won WBA/WBC bantamweight titles from Ruben Olivares in 1972; subsequently held WBC championship in 1973-74.

 

Al Hostak – Two reigns as NBA world middleweight champion; stopped twice in title bouts by Tony Zale.

 

Harry Jeffra – Won 94 of 122 career bouts; held world titles at bantamweight and featherweight.

 

Peter Kane – Held world flyweight title in 1938-39; won 88 of 99 career bouts.

 

 

Cocoa Kid – Won 176 of 244 career bouts; held “colored” welterweight and middleweight world championships.

 

Pone Kingpetch – Three flyweight championship reigns; won six of nine career title bouts.

 

Santos Laciar – Two title reigns at 112 pounds, one at 115; won 12 of 16 career title bouts.

 

Tippy Larkin – Won 136 of 153 career bouts; won world junior welterweight title in 1946.

 

Jose Legra – Two reigns as WBC featherweight champion; won 134 of 150 career bouts.

 

Danny Lopez – Held WBC featherweight title from 1976-1980; won all eight defenses inside the distance.

 

Miguel (Happy) Lora – Held WBC bantamweight title from 1985-88; lost WBO championship tries in 1991 and 1993.

 

Raul (Raton) Macias – World bantamweight champion between 1955-57; won one-fight comeback in 1962.

 

Ernesto Marcel – Retired as WBA featherweight champion in 1974; defeated Alexis Arguello in final title defense.

 

Lloyd Marshall – Won 71 of 100 career bouts; defeated Jake LaMotta by decision in 1944.

 

Freddie Mills – Won 76 of 101 career bouts; captured world light heavyweight title in 1948.

 

Rinty Monaghan – Won all four career title bouts; retired as world flyweight champion in 1950.

 

Masao Ohba – Won final 19 bouts; held WBA flyweight title from 1970-73.

 

Sven Ottke – Retired as IBF super middleweight champion in 2004; Won all 22 career title fights.

 

Ken Overlin – Won 135 of 165 career bouts; held world middleweight title in 1940-41.

 

 

Gustave Roth – Won 113 of 137 career bouts; held European welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight titles.

 

Lou Salica – Held world bantamweight titles in 1935 and again between 1939-42; lost to fellow nominee Harry Jeffra in final bout.

 

Dave Sands – Won 97 of 110 career bouts; held Australian middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.

 

Petey Scalzo – Won 90 of 112 career bouts; held world featherweight title in 1940-41.

 

Samuel Serrano – Two reigns as WBA super featherweight champion; went 15-2-1 in 18 career title bouts.

 

Yoshio Shirai – Held world flyweight title between 1952-54; lost two subsequent title tries against Pascual Perez.

 

Kid Tunero – Won 97 of 148 career bouts; went 1-6-2 in final nine bouts before retirement at age 38.

 

Wilfredo Vazquez – Held WBA titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds; went 16-3-2 in 21 career title bouts.

 

Myung-Woo Yuh – Two reigns as WBA light flyweight champion; won 20 of 21 career title bouts.

 

Hilario Zapata – Two reigns as WBC light flyweight champion and one as WBA flyweight champion; went 18-5-2 in title bouts.

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2009 International Boxing Hall of Fame Nominees

 

Below are biographical capusles on the 2009 candidates for entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

 

First Time Nominees

 

Santos Laciar

Career: 1976-90

World Championships: WBA Flyweight (March 28, 1981-June 6, 1981; May 1, 1982-May 6, 1985); WBC Super Flyweight (May 16, 1987-August 8, 1987)

Hailed from: Cordoba, Argentina

Record: 79-10-11 (30 KO) Boxrec record*

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 8-5-1 (5 KO)

Champions Faced: Charlie Magri, Peter Mathebula, Luis Ibarra, Juan Herrera, Betulio Gonzalez, Hi-Sup Shin, Prudencio Cardona, Hilario Zapata, Gilberto Roman, Sugar Baby Rojas, Hugo Soto

Champions Defeated: Mathebula (TKO7); Herrera (TKO13, SD15); Gonzalez (SD15); Shin (TKO1); Cardona (KO10); Zapata (UD15); Roman (TKO11)

 

Laciar is one of the unsung greats from the land of Carlos Monzon, Argentina, and one of the more dominant titlists of the 1980s. Possessing both skill and pop, Laciar had a great beard and was never stopped in more than 100 contests. He held the WBA belt twice at Flyweight, with all of his nine successful defenses coming in the second reign. Laciar would win his first belt from Peter Mathebula by knockout, only to lose it in his first defense, versus Luis Ibarra. He bounced back less than a year later to stop Ibarra’s conqueror, Juan Herrera, in thirteen and would hold the title until a move up to Jr. Bantamweight. His move to Jr. Bantamweight brought less time as a champion and an early setback. In the first of three fights with Roman in August 1986, the reigning WBC and lineal champion at 115 lbs., he settled for a draw. Six straight wins set up a rematch just as evenly contested through the first ten rounds, but cuts suffered by Roman awarded Laciar the title in the eleventh round. It would be his last title victory, as Laciar would be soundly outboxed by Rojas in his first attempted defense. He continued until 1990, losing the third Roman fight in 1989 by decisive scores and finally retiring following a loss to future titlist Hugo Soto.

 

Danny "Little Red" Lopez

Career: 1971-1992

World Championships: WBC featherweight (November 6, 1976-February 2, 1980)

Hailed from: Fort Duchesne, Utah

Record: 42-6 (39 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 5-3 (4 KO)

Champions faced: David Kotey, Ruben Olivares, Salvador Sanchez, Sean O'Grady, Chucho Castillo, Bobby Chacon

Champions defeated: Kotey (W15, KO6), Olivares (KO7), Sean O'Grady (KO4), Chucho Castillo (KO2)

 

Lopez was a study in perseverance, both inside the ring and in life, as he rebounded from early adversity to become one of the greatest lower-weight champions of the 1970s. Raised on an impoverished Indian reservation in Utah, Lopez turned to boxing as his escape and enjoyed instant success with 21 consecutive knockouts and 22 in his first 23 fights. Lopez then hit a rough patch when, in an eight month stretch, he lost three of four (two by knockout) to Bobby Chacon, Shig Fukuyama and Octavio Gomez. But instead of listening to critics who thought of him as washed up, Lopez wouldn't lose again for another five years. He began that 18-fight span by knocking out former champions Olivares and Castillo and future Lightweight champion O'Grady and avenging his defeat to Gomez to earn a crack at WBC champ Kotey. Before 100,000 Kotey supporters at a soccer stadium in Accra, Ghana, Lopez decked Kotey in the 11th en route to a commanding 15-round decision. Over the next three-plus years Lopez powered his way to eight successful defenses, none of which went the distance. His combination of enormous power and painfully leaky defense allowed him to join Matthew Saad Muhammad as his generation's most sensational "TV fighters." Lopez often overcame early knockdowns to register knockout victories and his thrilling 15th round TKO of Mike Ayala was named Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year for 1979. Lopez's incredible run of success ended with back-to-back KO losses to future legend Salvador Sanchez, and his career concluded in 1992 with a two-round KO loss after an 11-year layoff.

 

Sven Ottke

Career: 1997-2004

World Championships: IBF Super Middleweight (October 24, 1998-March 27, 2004); WBA Super Middleweight (March 15, 2003-March 27, 2004)

Hailed from: Berlin, Germany

Record: 34-0 (6 KO) Boxrec record

Record Against champions and Hall of Famers: 8-0 (1 KO)

Champions faced: Charles Brewer, Glen Johnson, Silvio Branco, Anthony Mundine, Byron Mitchell, Robin Reid, Armand Kranjc

Champions Defeated: Brewer (SD12, SD12), Johnson (UD12), Branco (UD12), Mundine (KO10), Mitchell (SD12), Reid (UD12), Kranjc (UD12)

 

Immensely popular in his native Germany, Ottke had a style for the purists to admire. Using quick combinations and deft head movement, Ottke was a master of space who befuddled more lethal opponents. Of his 34 contests, 22 were waged for the IBF title en route to setting a consecutive-title-defense record of 21, later matched by Wales’ Joe Calzaghe. Prior to turning professional, Ottke amassed a remarkable amateur resume, representing Germany at three consecutive Olympic Games and winning a Bronze Medal at the 1989 World Championships. Fighting outside of Germany only once in his career, Ottke was often perceived as receiving the benefit of the doubt in scoring. His wins over Mads Larsen, both wins over Brewer, and a late career win over Robin Reid, marred also by questionable officiating, were all fraught with controversy. His failure to face Calzaghe also is a knock on his ledger. To his credit, wins over Johnson, Branco, and against Mitchell to add the WBA belt to his waist, were hard fought and well-earned. In perhaps his most surprising performance, Ottke trailed to future WBA titlist Anthony Mundine only to summon a single shot to save the title. Ottke briefly flirted with a comeback, but to date remains retired and still admired in his home land.

 

Return Nominees

 

Horacio Acavallo

Career: 1956-67

World Championships: WBA Flyweight (March 1, 1966-August 12, 1967)

Hailed from: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Record: 75-2-6 (34 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 5-1

Champions faced: Salvatore Burruni, Hiroyuki Ebihara, Efren Torres

Champions defeated: Burruni (W8, UD10); Ebihara (UD15, MD15); Torres (UD15)

 

One of the best of the 1960s, the southpaw Accavallo never lost in his native Argentina. Of course, fighting mostly in Argentina meant a lot of non-descript opposition, but he squeezed in a fair share of quality. Accavallo won two of three non-title affairs against Burruni, all of them going the distance, with wins in Burruni’s native Italy and his own Buenos Aires. In 1966, he traveled to Japan to narrowly outpoint Katsuyoshi Takayama for the vacant WBA belt and then brought one of Japan’s best home three fights later, posting a unanimous decision over Ebihara in his first defense. A couple of years before Efren Torres would begin his epic rivalry against Chartchai Chionoi, Accavallo gave him his first shot at gold, retaining via unanimous decision. In a shocker, Accavallo would follow the Torres win with a non-title sixth round TKO loss in Japan. It would be, in his 81st professional start, the only stoppage defeat in his career, which would hold only two more starts. In his farewell bout, Accavallo would retain his crown for the second time against Ebihara, a debated split decision in Buenos Aires which convinced Accavallo to hang up his gloves just shy of his 34th birthday.

Georgie Abrams

Career: 1937-1948

World Championships: None

Hailed from: Roanoke, Virginia

Record: 48-10-3 (9 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 7-4-1

Champions faced: Fred Apostoli, Lou Broulliard, Marcel Cerdan, Izzy Janazzo, Sugar Ray Robinson, Billy Soose, Teddy Yarosz, Tony Zale

Champions defeated: Yarosz (W10, W10), Soose (W10, W10, W8), Janazzo (W10), Broulliard (W10).

 

Abrams – whose middle name was “Freedom” – was a top middleweight contender during the early 1940s who used mobility and excellent defensive maneuvers to offset his lack of power. Sugar Ray Robinson once said that Abrams had given him one of his toughest fights as he took the reigning welterweight king to a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6 split decision in May 1947 – a decision that, according to the Associated Press, “was accompanied by a solid round of boos.” He was the opponent in Cerdan’s American debut in December 1946 and took him 10 bloody rounds before dropping the decision. Besides the men listed above, Abrams defeated tough contenders like Cocoa Kid and Steve Belloise during his decade-plus in the game.

 

Joey Archer

Career: 1956-1967

World Championships: None

Hailed from: New York City

Record: 45-4 (8 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 3-2Champions faced: Sugar Ray Robinson, Denny Moyer, Dick Tiger, Emile Griffith

Champions defeated: Robinson (UD10), Moyer (UD10), Tiger (SD10)

 

Though he lost twice on close decisions to Emile Griffith for the world middleweight championship, he was nonetheless a classic boxer, well-schooled in the New York City gym system of the 1950's. The lack of a substantial punch proved a hindrance in gaining a crown, but his ring skills made up for much of his natural disabilities. His craftiness and ring generalship were first-rate, and though he would have been lost in the shuffle of today's more eye appealing TV sluggers, he was a captivating student of the sweet science. His points win over the famed left hooker Rubin “Hurricane” Carter is a testament to his “wise owl” approach. Joey was a mainstay of The Friday Night Fights of the 1960's who had wins over Don Fullmer and Jose Gonzalez and may be best remembered for retiring the great Sugar Ray Robinson

Jose Becerra

Career: 1954-1960

World championships: World Banatamweight (February 4, 1960-August 30, 1960)

Hailed from: Guadalajara, Mexico

Record: 72-5-2 (43 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 3-1 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Mario D’Agata, Alphonse Halimi, Eloy Sanchez

Champions defeated: D’Agata (KO10), Halimi (KO8, KO9)

 

Turned pro at 17, Becerra underwent an apprenticeship that encompassed six years and 55 fights. He first earned world-level attention by upsetting the more experienced Manuel Armenteros over 10 rounds in January 1957 before notching three decision victories over perennial contender Jose Medel. Becerra then stopped former bantamweight champion Mario D’Agata in 10 rounds to earn a crack at D’Agata’s conqueror, Halimi, three fights later. Beccera broke open an even contest by decking Halimi twice in the eighth to post a TKO and capture the belt. Following three non-title wins against Frankie Duran and Walt Ingram (who died of his injuries two days later), Becerra met Halimi again, overcoming a second round knockdown to stop Halimi in nine. Just as Becerra was gaining popularity in Mexico and a solid foothold as a champion, Eloy Sanchez stopped Becerra in eight and at 24 he announced his retirement. Perhaps sparked by his memories of the Ingram fight, Becerra made one final ring appearance a six round win over Alberto Martinez, at a charity event for Rudy Coronado who had been seriously injured in a recent contest.

 

Johnny Bratton

Career: 1944-55

World Championships: NBA Welterweight (March 14, 1951-May 18, 1951)

Hailed from: Chicago, Illinois

Record: 59-24-3 (33 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 1-9-1 (1 KO)

Champions faced: Chalky Wright, Ike Williams, Sammy Angott, Beau Jack, Joe Brown, Kid Gavilan, Johnny Saxton

Champions defeated: Brown (KO4)

 

Bratton was the sort of fighter who lost more than he won to the best, only to work out as a compliment to the men who beat him. A popular attraction is his day, “Honey Boy” possessed ending power and ring savvy which kept him afoot in all but three of 87 contests. At the height of his prowess, Bratton defeated perennial contender Charley Fusari in a rugged affair to capture the NBA share of the Welterweight title vacated by Sugar Ray Robinson in 1950. He would not hold the distinction long, losing the crown to Kid Gavilan in his first defense. On his way up the ranks, he faced some of the best Lightweights of any era, managing a knockout of future champion Joe Brown, and later held Gavilan to a draw in a non-title rematch of their title affair.

Jimmy Carruthers

Career: 1950-1962

World Championships: World bantamweight (November 15, 1952-May 2, 1954)

Hailed from: Paddington, New South Wales, Australia

Record: 21-4 (13 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 2-0 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Vic Toweel

Champions defeated: Toweel (KO1, KO10)

 

Carruthers was a member of Australia’s 1948 Olympic team but had to withdraw before the quarterfinal round after sustaining an eye injury. Upon turning pro he achieved instant success by winning the Australian bantamweight title in 1951 and added the British Commonwealth title the following year. A highly skilled southpaw speedster, Carruthers became Australia’s first universally recognized world champion with a startlingly savage assault against longtime champ Vic Toweel, who he dispatched in 139 seconds. Carruthers repeated the triumph four months later and registered defenses against Henry “Pappy” Gault and Chamroen Songkitrat before retiring as an undefeated champion (19-0, 11KO). The Songkitrat defense remains famous due to the monsoon-like conditions that forced them to fight in bare feet. Carruthers launched a six-fight comeback seven years later and lost four of six fights before hanging up the gloves for good.

 

Jung Koo Chang

Career: 1980-1991

World Championships: WBC junior flyweight (March 26, 1983-June 27, 1988)

Hailed from: Pusan, South Korea

Record: 38-4 (17 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 12-4 (5 KO)

Champions faced: Sot Chitalada, Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez, Muangchai Kittikasem, Alfonso Lopez, Hideyuki Ohashi, Isidro Perez, Hi Sup Shin, Katsuo Tokashiki, German Torres, Amado Ursua, Hilario Zapata

Champions defeated: Chitalada (W12, L12), Lopez (KO3), Ohashi (KO8, KO 5), Perez (W12), Shin (W4), Tokashiki (KO9), Torres (W12, W12, W12), Ursua (W10), Zapata (KO3)

 

Along with Myung Woo Yuh, Chang is considered the greatest fighter boxing-rich South Korea ever produced. His immense speed and footwork along with his swarming attack coined the nickname “The Korean Hawk,” homage to Aaron Pryor. Only 19, Chang lost a hotly disputed split nod to Zapata in his first title shot but whipped the weight-weakened Panamanian in three rounds in the rematch. He reigned for nearly six years. His 15 defenses surpassed Yoko Gushiken’s divisional record and he became the first South Korean to break into Ring’s pound-for-pound rankings. Chang led a strong division that included Torres, Zapata, Tokashiki and Chitalada but never met WBA champ Yuh, though their reigns overlapped for a time. Retired with the title but financial troubles forced a comeback that saw him lose title shots to Gonzalez, Chitalada and Kittikasem (who he dropped three times before tiring and losing by TKO with 24 seconds on the clock). Chang retired for good at 28 following the Kittikasem loss.

Donald Curry

Career: 1980-1997

World Championships: WBA welterweight (February 13, 1983-September 27, 1986), WBC welterweight (December 6, 1985-September 27, 1986), IBF welterweight (February 4, 1984-September 27, 1986), WBC super welterweight (July 8, 1988-February 11, 1989)

Hailed from: Fort Worth, Texas

Record: 34-6 (25 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 6-5 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Lupe Aquino, Lloyd Honeyghan, Rene Jacquot, Mike McCallum, Milton McCrory, Michael Nunn, Terry Norris, Gianfranco Rosi, Carlos Santos, Marlon Starling

Champions defeated: Aquino (W12), McCrory (KO2), Rosi (KO9), Santos (DQ5), Starling (W12, W15)

 

Nicknamed “The Cobra” for his lightning quick and powerful counters, Curry survived a challenging early gauntlet (Mike Senegal, Bruce Finch, Adolfo Viruet and Starling) to earn a crack at the WBA belt vacated by the retiring Sugar Ray Leonard. After outclassing fellow unbeaten Jun Suk Hwang, Curry zoomed up the pound-for-pound rankings with six defenses and five knockouts. He stopped Roger Stafford, the 31-0 Elio Diaz, the 59-1 Nino LaRocca, perennial hard man Colin Jones, Pablo Baez, and added an impressive decision defense over Starling. Curry unified the belts with an electrifying two round destruction of WBC champ Milton McCrory. Curry was poised to challenge Marvin Hagler for pound-for-pound supremacy but a weight-weakened Curry was overwhelmed and stopped by Honeyghan in one of the decade’s most shocking upsets. After rising to 154, he was stopped by McCallum in a challenge for the WBA belt but beat Rosi for the WBC belt. He lost it in 1989’s Upset of the Year to Jacquot. Curry lost subsequent title challenges to Nunn and Norris before launching a two-fight comeback in 1997 in which he went 1-1.

 

Hiroyuki Ebihara

Career: 1959-1969

World Championships: World Flyweight (September 18, 1963- January 23, 1964); WBA Flyweight (March 30, 1969-October 20, 1969)

Hailed From: Tokyo, Japan

Record: 63-5-1 (34 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-5 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Fighting Harada, Chartchai Chionoi, Pone Kingpetch, Alacran (Efren) Torres, Horacio Accavallo, Bernabe Villacampo

Champions defeated: Kingpetch (KO1), Torres (SD12, TKO7)

 

Ebihara became the second Japanese boxer to ever win a world title with a first round knockout of Kingpetch. This durable champion may have lost five times, but he was never stopped, going fifteen rounds in defeat on four occasions, two coming in relatively close decisions to Horacio Accavallo in Buenos Aires. His style was entertaining, something that the rather unsophisticated early Japanese fans appreciated in its bang for the buck.

 

Tommy Farr

Career: 1926-1940, 1950-1953

World Championships: None

Hailed From: Clydach, Wales, United Kingdom

Record: 81-30-13 (24 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 3-3

Champions faced: Tommy Loughran, Bob Olin, Max Baer, Joe Louis, James J. Braddock

Champions defeated: Loughran (W10), Olin (W10), Baer (W12)

 

Tommy Farr was an icon of the United Kingdom boxing world back in the 1930's. He was always on the front line of the sport in those days. An idol of the Welsh people, Farr was a tactical man inside the ring. Though he dropped four straight bouts to Louis, Braddock, Baer, and Lou Nova, Tommy went the full route in each of them. After a ten year retirement, he came back and won the Welsh heavyweight title at age 37. He had also held this title in 1936.

 

Tiger Jack Fox

Career: 1932-1950

World Championships: None.

Hailed From: Spokane, Washington

Record: 152-23-12 (95 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 5-3-1 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Lou Brouillard, Maxie Rosenbloom, John Henry Lewis, Bob Olin, Melio Bettina, Jersey Joe Walcott

Champions defeated: Brouillard (TKO7), Rosenbloom (MD10), Walcott (KO8, W10), Olin (TKO2)

 

Learning his trade on the barnstorming circuit, “Tiger” often fought like one; cunning and quick. Along with a clowning style, you could say he was difficult to pin down on a good night. He was also known as a counter puncher with a tight defense. Though he fought many of his bouts in Spokane, Jack wasn't one to fear going on the road. He was the kind of world-class fighter of the era who was a bonafide opponent. His winning record against top fighters proves that.

 

Ceferino Garcia

Career: 1923-1945

World Championships: New York State Athletic Commission World Middleweight (October 2, 1939-May 23, 1940)

Hailed from: Manila, Philippines

Record: 102-28-12 (67 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 3-10-2 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Henry Armstrong, Fred Apostoli, Anton Christoforidis, Young Corbett III, Lloyd Marshall, Ken Overlin, Barney Ross, Billy Soose, Freddie Steele

Champions defeated: Apostoli (KO7)

 

The originator of the “bolo punch,” later made famous by Kid Gavilan, the hard-hitting Filipino faced a who’s who in the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions. He lost Welterweight title fights to Armstrong and Ross (the latter being part of the historic “Carnival of Champions” in 1937) before capturing the NYSAC Middleweight belt from Apostoli in October 1939. He defended the Middleweight title three times against Glen Lee (KO 13) and Armstrong (a draw in ten most thought Armstrong won) before losing it to the slick Overlin. His most powerful weapon was a right cross that scored multiple knockdowns in many fights but was vulnerable to cuts and shifty boxers. His 102 wins are the most of any Filipino champion and his initial defense against Lee was the first championship fight ever staged in the Philippines.

 

Betulio Gonzalez

Career: 1968-1988

World Championships: WBC Flyweight (June 3, 1972-September 29, 1972; August 4, 1973-October 1, 1974), WBA Flyweight (August 12, 1978-November 17, 1979)

Hailed from: Maracaibo, Venezuela

Record: 77-12-4 (52 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 9-9-2 (5 KO)

Champions faced: Rodolfo Blanco, Venice Borkhorsor, Miguel Canto, Prudencio Cardona, Guty Espadas, Juan Herrera, Luis Ibarra, Santos Laciar, Peter Mathebula, Masao Ohba, Shoji Oguma, Erbito Salavarria, Franco Udella, Bernabe Villacampo,

Champions defeated: Canto (W15), Cardona (KO 3), Espadas (W15), Mathebula (KO6, KO10), Oguma (W10, KO12), Udella (KO10), Villacampo (W12)

 

Gonzalez was one of only two men to capture a version of the Flyweight title three times (Pone Kingpetch being the other) and was a fixture in the flyweight rankings throughout the 1970s. His best asset was extraordinary ring craft, which came in handy against title challenger Martin Vargas in 1978. Behind on points, Gonzalez sagely trapped Vargas on the ropes and after battering him he slyly used his elbows and forearms to pull him back each time he tried to escape. The wearing down process eventually resulted in a 12th round TKO. Minuses include the lack of a lengthy reign (his final reign was the longest at three defenses) and his spotty record against fellow champions, though four of them were by split decisions (two of which were away from home). Ultimately, he won four of six against arguably the best of an incredibly rich Flyweight era with wins over Canto, Oguma, and Espadas.

 

Yoko Gushiken

Career: 1974-1981

World Championships: WBA junior flyweight (October 10, 1976-March 8, 1981)

Hailed from: Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan

Record: 23-1 (15 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 6-1 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Juan Antonio Guzman, Jaime Rios, Alfonso Lopez, Rafael Pedroza and Pedro Flores

Champions defeated: Guzman (KO7), Rios (TKO13, SD15), Lopez (KO7), Pedroza (UD15), Flores (UD15)

 

Veteran trainer and manager Masaki Kanehira described Gushiken as "a genius who appears once in every 100 years.” A southpaw with textbook punching technique, Gushiken patiently probed for openings for his tremendously powerful left cross. Once he hurt an opponent, Gushiken became the personification of his nickname "kanmuriwashi" ("fierce eagle") as he swooped down on his foes and hammered them into submission. Of his 13 successful title defenses, eight ended in knockout (including six in succession). Gushiken won the WBA title in his ninth bout, an indication of both his talent and the lack of depth in the 108-pound class that was created the year Gushiken won the belt. His main weakness was a leaky defense and that was exploited in his final fight (and only defeat) against Flores, from whom Gushiken won a unanimous decision less than four months earlier. Gushiken retired at age 25 following the 12th round TKO defeat.

 

Naseem Hamed

Career: 1992-2002

World Championships: WBO Featherweight (September 30, 1995-September 30, 2000); IBF Featherweight (February 8, 1997-July 19, 1997); WBC (October 22, 1999); Lineal World Featherweight (April 18, 1998-April 8, 2001)

Hailed from: Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Record: 36-1 (31 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 10-1 (8 KO)

Champions faced: Juan Polo Perez, Steve Robinson, Manuel Medina, Tom Johnson, Kevin Kelley, Wilfredo Vasquez, Wayne McCullough, Paul Ingle, Cesar Soto, Vuyani Bungu, Marco Antonio Barrera

Champions defeated: Perez (KO2); Robinson (TKO8); Medina (TKO11); Johnson (TKO8); Kelley (KO4); Vasquez (TKO7); McCullough (UD12); Ingle (TKO11); Soto (UD12); Bungu (TKO4)

 

The fountainhead for a new economic order in the Featherweight arena, Hamed at his best was lightning fast, unorthodox, and possessing of lethal power…and that doesn’t even account for some of boxing’s more theatrical ring walks. Hamed won the EBU Bantamweight title in only his 12th start and downed Steve Robinson to begin a long WBO title run in his 20th. Through the remainder of the nineties, Hamed would defeat the reigning, or most recently stripped, titlist of the IBF, WBA, and WBC to cement his place atop the Featherweights. Notably, while Wilfredo Vasquez had been stripped of the WBA belt prior to the Hamed fight, he was the lineal champion of the division traced to the days of Eusebio Pedroza. Hamed would ultimately defend the WBO belt 15 times, the lineal crown five, and vacate the WBC and IBF belts after winning them. After almost six years as a champion, Hamed was outboxed by Marco Antonio Barrera for the title in 2001. He would fight only once more, defeating Spain’s Manuel Calvo in 2002.

 

Carlos Hernandez

Career: 1959-1971

World Championships: World Junior Welterweight (January 18, 1965-April 29, 1966)

Hailed From: Caracas, Venezuela

Record: 57-12-4 (41 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-6 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Davey Moore, Eddie Perkins, Joe Brown, Carlos Cruz, Ismael Laguna, Sandro Lopopolo, Nicolino Loche, Ken Buchanan.

Champions defeated: Moore (TKO7), Brown (KO3), Cruz (TKO2), Perkins (SD15)

 

Hernandez was a power puncher who could come from behind and win a fight with just one punch. He had over twice as many stoppage wins as by decision. He took on many of the tough opponents of the era who were never champs or Hall of Famers, scoring wins over Kenny Lane, Doug Vaillant, Bunny Grant, Percy Hayles (title defense), Alfredo Urbina, Vicente Derado, Lennox Beckles, and L.C. Morgan.

 

Harry Jeffra

Career: 1933-50

World Championships: World Bantamweight (September 23, 1937-February 20, 1938); World Featherweight (May 20, 1940-May 12, 1941)

Hailed from: Baltimore, Maryland

Record: 94-20-7 (28 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 10-5-1

Champions faced: Sixto Escobar, Joey Archibald, Jackie Wilson, Chalky Wright, Phil Terranova, Lou Salica

Champions defeated: Escobar (SD10, W10, UD15, W10); Archibald (UD15, UD10); Wilson (SD10); Terranova (W10); Salica (UD10)

 

A two-division world champion when it still really meant something, Jeffra was an intelligent craftsman previously enshrined in the now defunct Ring magazine Hall of Fame. Unbeaten in his first 26 contests, Jeffra beat the great Sixto Escobar twice before he could nail him down for a title shot at Bantamweight. He won there too, with a unanimous decision as part of Mike Jacbobs’s Carnival of Champions at the Polo Grounds. He would lose the title back to Escobar in his first defense and fall short, in 1939, of the Featherweight crown in his first crack at Joey Archibald. Most in attendance felt Jeffra had been robbed and a rematch was made, Jeffra exiting the champion less than a year later. Jeffra made it four out of five against Escobar in a non-title affair, retiring the Puerto Rican in December 1940, before losing a split decision rubber match with Archibald to lose the Featherweight crown. Jeffra would continue on until 1950 but without another title shot despite a non-title win over Archibald in their fourth fight and wins over Phil Terranova and former Bantamweight king Lou Salica.

 

Rafael Herrera

Career: 1963-86

World Championships: World Bantamweight (March 19, 1972-July 29, 1972); WBC Bantamweight (April 14, 1973-December 7, 1974)

Hailed from: Mexico City, Mexico

Record: 48-9-4 (19 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 7-3 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Jesus “Chuco” Castillo, Rodolfo Martinez, Ruben Olivares, Enrique Pinder, Venice Borkhorsor, Romeo Anaya

Champions defeated: Martinez (MD12, TKO12), Castillo (SD12), Olivares (TKO8, MD10), Borkhorsor (SD15), Anaya (TKO6)

 

One of the best in a fantastic pool of Bantamweight talent in the 1960s and 70s, Herrera honed his craft in the ring, building on a 10-3 start to reel off almost five years unbeaten before a knockout loss to Chuco Castillo. He would lose once more before a decision over undefeated future titlist Rodolfo Martinez and a revenge win over Castillo set him on a course to the crown. Herrera dominated Ruben Olivares en route to an eighth round stoppage win for the title but lost it in his first defense, by decision, to Enrique Pinder. Herrera defeated Olivares again, by decision, before winning the vacant WBC belt with a knockout of Martinez and added two defenses against former Flyweight king Venice Borkhorsor and, by knockout, against future champion Romeo Anaya. Herrera was controversially stopped in a third bout with Martinez in the fourth round and would not become a champion again. Herrera made a one fight comeback after a decade away in 1986, winning a four round decision.

 

Al Hostak

Career: 1932-49

World Championships: NBA Middleweight (July 26, 1938-November 1, 1938; June 27, 1939-July 19, 1940)

Hailed from: Seattle, Washington

Record: 63-9-12 (42 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 3-6-1 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Babe Risko, Freddie Steele, Solly Krieger, Tony Zale, Ken Overlin

Champions defeated: Risko (KO7) Steele (KO1); Krieger (TKO4)

 

The “Savage Slav” excelled in the rich Middleweight field of the 1930s and early 1940s, twice holding a share of the World title. Beginning his pro career at only 16, Hostak built himself into a draw in the Pacific Northwest with an all-action style and big knockout wins over the likes of Babe Risko and Freddie Steele, the latter for his first title. Hostak would drop the title in his first defense by majority decision to Solly Krieger, breaking both hands and suffering his first knockdown by the end of the night. Hostak rebounded quickly, avenging the loss and regaining his belt, dropping Krieger four times before referee and former Heavyweight champion Jim Braddock halted the action in the fourth. Traveling to Chicago Stadium in 1940, Hostak dropped a non-title verdict to Tony Zale to set up a title match on Hostak’s home turf of Seattle. The change of locale didn’t change the outcome with Zale stopping Hostak for the first time in round 13. A third match was even worse for Hostak, Zale victorious in two rounds in 1941. He would never fight for a World title again though he continued with mixed success until 1949, with a brief interruption brought on by service in World War II.

 

Peter Kane

Career: 1934-51

World Championships: World Flyweight (September 28, 1938-June 19, 1943; vacated)

Hailed from: Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom

Record: 89-8-2 (54 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 2-2-1

Champions faced: Benny Lynch, Baltazar Sangchili, Jackie Paterson, Dado Marino

Champions defeated: Sangchili (W10), Marino (W10)

 

The U.K.’s Kane battled often with a scale that wanted him at Bantamweight and the long shadow of Scotland’s great Benny Lynch. Kane won his first 42 professional bouts to secure a 1937 shot at an aging Lynch, losing a classic October battle in front of over 40,000 in the thirteenth frame. An intended title rematch ended up a non-title affair when Kane came in just shy of eight pounds over the limit in March 1938; Kane earned a fifteen-round draw. When Lynch vacated the crown, Kane was matched with Jackie Jurich for the title and left with a points win but largely focused on the Bantamweights from there. He would net a decision win over former 118 lb, champ Baltazar Sangchili, only to briefly return to Flyweight in 1943, stoned out of his crown by the heavy handed Jackie Paterson in one. In the latter days of his career, he would earn a points win over future Flyweight king Dado Marino and completed his career halting a three fight losing streak with a knockout win in 1951.

 

Cocoa Kid

Career: 1941-1948

World Championships: None

Hailed From: Puerto Rico/Connecticut

Record: 176-56-11 (48 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-3-3

Champions faced: Archie Moore

Champions defeated: None.

 

Kid is, quite possibly, the boxer with the most wins who is not already a member of The International Boxing Hall of Fame. Don't let the 56 losses scare you. In the 1940's you fought often and you fought after long car, bus, or train rides. No first class treatment for road warriors. Kid boxed over 2,000 rounds in his long career. He boxed the great Charlie Burley to a draw, and had an eight bout series with Holman Wiliiams, going 4-2-2. Both Williams and Burley are members of the Hall of Fame.

 

Pone Kingpetch

Career: 1955-1966

World Championships: World Flyweight (April 16, 1960-October 10, 1962; January 12, 1963-September 18, 1963; January 23, 1964-April 23, 1965)

Hailed From: Hua Hin, Thailand

Record: 33-7 (11 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-3 (1 KO)

Champions faced: Pascual Perez, Fighting Harada, Hiroyuki Ebihara, Salvatore Burruni.

Champions defeated: Perez (SD15, TKO8), Harada (MD15), Ebihara (SD15)

 

Kingpetch was the first World champion in the rich history of Thai boxing. Though Kingpetch had only 40 professional matches, he was on center stage for what seemed like nearly a decade. He was a three time Flyweight world champion, beating Perez, Harada, and Ebihara for his crowns; Perez and Harada have both previously been elected to the Hall of Fame. Kingpetch relinquished the Orient Flyweight title before stepping up and taking the world title from the great Pascual Perez via decision in Bangkok, later proving it was no fluke when he KO'd the great Perez in an immediate return bout in Los Angeles.

 

Tippy Larkin

Career: 1935-52

World Championships: World Jr. Lightweight (April 26, 1946-September 13, 1946; vacated)

Hailed from: Garfield, New Jersey

Record: 137-15-1 (60 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 5-5

Champions faced: Freddie Cochrane, Jack “Kid” Berg, Lew Jenkins, Beau Jack, Henry Armstrong, Billy Graham, Ike Williams

Champions defeated: Cochrane (W10, W10, W10, W10, W10); Graham (UD10)

 

Larkin briefly resuscitated a dead Jr. Welterweight title, the sole claimant to the 140 lb. throne between 1935 and 1959. A slick boxer-puncher, Larkin’s chin was a draw back as ten of 15 losses came via knockout. It must be noted many of those knockouts came at the hands of the best, men like Ike Williams, an undefeated Charley Fusari, Henry Armstrong, Beau Jack and Lew Jenkins. He mastered future Welterweight champion “Red” Cochrane five out of five and outboxed Hall of Famer Billy Graham over the route. His lone title came when matched with veteran contender Willie Joyce whom he defeated on points for the title and in his lone defense.

 

Jose Legra

Career: 1960-1973

World Championships: WBC Featherweight title.(December 1972 to May 1973)

Hailed From: Cuba/Spain

Record: 131-12-4 (48 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 2-5 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Eder Jofre, Clemente Sanchez, Alexis Arguello, Howard Winstone, Vicente Saldivar, Johnny Famechon

Champions defeated: Winstone (TKO5), Sanchez (TKO10)

 

Legra was part of a long line of great Cuban born boxers who left their homeland with the arrival of Fidel Castro. He took his talents to Spain, and fashioned a lengthy and productive career. His speedy, slashing style made him a fan favorite. Besides his bouts with champions and Hall of Famers, Jose defeated top-rated boxers such as Love Allotey, Joe Rafiu King, Joe Tettah and Don Johnson. He also held the European Featherweight title for nearly six years.

 

Miguel Lora

Career: 1979-1983

World Championships: WBC bantamweight (August 9, 1985-October 29, 1988)

Hailed from: Monteria, Colombia

Record: 37-3 (17 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 8-3 (1 KO)

Champions faced: Gabriel Bernal, Rolando Bohol, Gaby Canizales, Albert Davila, Rafael Del Valle, Raul Perez, Cesar Polanco, Wilfredo Vazquez, Daniel Zaragoza

Champions defeated: Avelar (KO4), Bernal (W10), Bohol (W10), Davila (W12, W12), Polanco (W10), Vazquez (W12), Zaragoza (W12)

 

Nicknamed “Happy” for his cheery demeanor even while fighting, Lora showed power early in his championship time by decking Zaragoza five times and stopping Enrique Sanchez and former WBC Flyweight king Avelar. As his reign lengthened, Lora depended heavily on lively legs and quick hands to outclass opponents. Lora defended only twice in his native Colombia, beating Davila before 50,000 in Barranquilla and defeating the capable Lucio Lopez over 12 in Cartegena. All but one of his other defenses were in Miami, his rematch win over Davila was tainted when sugar water was confiscated from his corner. Despite concrete evidence of tampering, the WBC allowed Lora to keep his belt. Lora’s quality of opposition was fairly strong as wins over Zaragoza, Davila, Lopez, Sanchez and Vazquez show. Lora lost his belt to the vastly taller Perez and was stopped in a two-round shootout with Canizales for the vacant WBO belt. He made another attempt at the WBO strap against Del Valle, but after a comprehensive loss Lora retired at 32.

 

Raul Macias

Career: 1953-1962

World Championships: NBA Bantamweight title (March 1955-June 1957)

Hailed From: Mexico City, Mexico

Record: 36-2 (22 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 0-1

Champions faced: Alphonse Halimi

Champions defeated: None

 

Though his career did not last very long, "El Raton" was right in the thick of things during his heyday. Roaring right out of the 1952 Olympics, Macias captured the North American Bantamweight title in only his 11th pro bout. In his very next outing, he won the vacant NBA title. He had two successful defenses before losing to Halimi for the world title.

 

Ernesto Marcel

Career: 1966-1974

World Championships: WBA Featherweight (August 19, 1972-February 16, 1974; Retired)

Hailed From: Panama City, Panama

Record: 41-4-2 (24 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 6-1-1

Champions faced: Roberto Duran, Alfredo Marcano, Kuniaki Shibata, Antonio Gomez, Sam Serrano, Alexis Arguello

Champions defeated: Marcano (W10), Gomez (MD15), Serrano (SD10), Arguello (UD15)

 

Marcel was hatched from the standard mold of Panamanian boxers. Speed and fancy footwork were their calling cards, though he did produce 24 stoppage wins in his 47 fight career. Except for his initial title fight – a draw with Shibata – in Japan, he did all his boxing in South and Central America. Marcel had four successful title defenses before his premature retirement at age 25. His last defense was a schooling of a young Alexis Arguello.

 

Lloyd Marshall

Career: 1936-51

World Championships: None

Hailed from: Cleveland, Ohio

Record: 71-25-4 (36 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 11-12 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Ken Overlin, Ceferino Garcia, Babe Risko, Teddy Yarosz, Lou Brouillard, Ezzard Charles, Anton Christoforidis, Jake LaMotta, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore, Freddie Mills, Carl “Bobo” Olson

Champions defeated: Overlin (W10), Risko (KO5), Yarosz (W10), Brouillard (UD10), Christoforidis (UD10), Charles (KO8), LaMotta (UD10), Maxim (UD10), Mills (KO5)

 

Marshall was one of many talented black fighters who struggled for effective management in the mob era, and the frozen title scene of World War II. Marshall was a thriller who possessed speed, technique, and power at both Middleweight and Light Heavyweight, if an occasionally vulnerable chin. Marshall faced 15 men who would hold World title claims, eventually wind up in the Hall of Fame, or both; he defeated ten of them. The first, a then-future titlist and vastly more experienced Ken Overlin, he decisioned in 1938 in only his twelfth fight. A pair of losses to Ceferino Garcia in 1939 were followed by wins over Babe Risko, Teddy Yarosz, and Lou Brouillard before the year was out. Perhaps his most memorable victory came in 1943, an eighth round knockout of Ezzard Charles in their first of three fights. He came close to equaling the feat in 1946, dropping Charles for a nine-count in the first before succumbing to a sixth round knockout. Prior to that, he faced Archie Moore twice in 1945, dropping him three times en route to a decision loss in the first fight only to be stopped himself in the rematch. Jake LaMotta, Joey Maxim, and Freddie Mills all went on to World titles after losses to Marshall. Marshall also faced three men enshrined currently in the Hall of Fame who never got title shots: Charley Burley (W10), Holman Williams (L10, W10, L10) and Jimmy Bivins (TKO by 13).

 

Freddie Mills

Career: 1936-50

World Championships: World Light Heavyweight (July 26, 1948-January 24, 1950)

Hailed from: Bournemouth, Dorset, United Kingdom

Record: 76-18-7 (49 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 1-2

Champions faced: Gus Lesnevich, Joey Maxim

Champions defeated: Gus Lesnevich (W15)

 

“Fearless” Freddie lived up to his nickname with a style of get or get got that thrilled fans on both sides of the Atlantic. A pair of wins over British exemplars Jock McAvoy and another over Len Harvey portended a future as champion. It would not come easy as the first of two title fights with Gus Lesnevich ended with Mills dropped four times in a classic brawl before being stopped in ten in 1946. He earned a chance for revenge in 1948, forcing Lesnevich to the floor twice en route to a unanimous decision win. He would manage only one successful title defense before losing the crown to Joey Maxim by a tenth round knockout in his final fight. Mills would go on to be a nightclub owner in London, found dead of a gunshot wound in 1965 ultimately ruled a suicide.

 

Rinty Monaghan

Career: 1934-49

World Championships: NBA Flyweight (October 20, 1947); World Flyweight (March 23, 1948-March 30, 1950; retired)

Hailed from: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Record: 51-9-6 (20 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-3-1 (3 KO)

Champions faced: Jackie Paterson, Terry Allen, Dado Marino

Champions defeated: Paterson (TKO7, KO7), Allen (KO1), Marino (W15)

 

The Northern Ireland product wasn’t a big banger but he came to fight and saw a long battle to become champion cut short by chronic bronchitis. Monaghan could occasionally lose some head scratchers but also posted wins against some of the best of his day. He avenged an early stoppage loss to Jackie Paterson twice by knockout, the second time for the lineal World championship. A disqualification loss in non-title action versus champion Dado Marino in July 1947 led directly to a rematch three months later for the vacant NBA title, Monaghan victorious over fifteen rounds. Monaghan followed with the title win over Paterson. He dropped an eight round non-title decision to Terry Allen between his first two defenses and would escape Allen with a draw in what would turn out to be his farewell fight.

 

Masao Ohba

Career: 1966-1973

World Championships: WBA Flyweight title (October 20, 1970-January 24, 1973)

Hailed From: Tokyo, Japan

Record: 35-2-1 (15 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 5-1 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Susumu Hanagata, Bernabe Villacompo, Berkrerk Chartvanchai, Betulio Gonzalez, Chartchai Chinoi

Champions defeated: Hanagata (MD15), Villacompo (UD10), Chartvanchai (KO13), Gonzalez (UD15), Chinoi (KO12)

 

Though he only accumulated 35 wins, many felt that had his life not been snuffed out early (he died at age 23 in an automobile accident), he could very well have been a sure-fire Hall of Famer by now. A master boxer, and winner of his last 19 bouts, Ohba had all but one of his contests in Japan. In his lone U.S. appearance, he scored a knockout. He was the Salvador Sanchez of his day – his promise as a great one cut off by an untimely death.

 

Ken Overlin

Career: 1931-44

World Championships: NYSAC Middleweight (May 23, 1940-May 9, 1941)

Hailed from: Norfolk, Virginia

Record: 135-19-9 (23 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-6

Champions faced: Vince Dundee, Teddy Yarosz, Fred Apostoli, Freddie Steele, Ceferino Garcia, Billy Soose, Ezzard Charles, Al Hostak

Champions defeated: Apostoli (MD10); Garcia (UD15); Charles (UD10); Hostak (UD10)

 

Overlin won with ring wisdom and guile where others might have been blessed with knockout power during a deep ring tenure. A win over future titlist Fred Apostoli set up a crack at Freddie Steele for NBA honors in 1937, Overlin felled in the fourth round. It would take 39 more fights, of which Overlin lost only four with decision drops to Teddy Yarosz and Lloyd Marshall among them, for another title opportunity. The second time was the charm for Overlin who scored a unanimous decision over Ceferino Garcia. A non-title loss to Billy Soose came before two defenses against the tough Steve Belloise and, finally, a title loss to Soose. Overlin followed that defeat with a career highlight, winning a unanimous decision to hold off a 15-0 Ezzard Charles. Overlin continued until 1944, adding wins over Al Hostak, a draw versus Apostoli and holding Charles to a draw in a 1944 rematch.

 

Gustave Roth

Career: 1933-1945

World Championships: None

Hailed From: Antwerp, Belgium

Record: 113-11-12 (25 KO) Boxrec record

Records against champions and Hall of Famers: 0-2

Champions faced: Marcel Thil, Lou Brouillard

Champions defeated: None

 

Little is known about Roth outside of Europe. That does not mean he doesn't merit some attention from voters. His better days are a distant past, but he was a beacon of reliability in Europe. He practiced his craft almost exclusively at home, and this may play against him. However, he did manage to capture the EBU light-heavyweight title in Berlin, Germany on a fifteen round decision.

 

Lou Salica

Career: 1932-1944

World Championships: NBA bantamweight (August 26, 1935-November 15, 1935, September 24, 1940-August 7, 1942)

Hailed from: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Record: 62-17-12 (13 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 5-7-4 (1 KO)

Champions faced: Jackie Callura, Little Dado, Sixto Escobar, Harry Jeffra, Small Montana, Manuel Ortiz and Midget Wolgast

Champions defeated: Montana (KO 3, W 10), Escobar (L 15, W 15, L 15), Ortiz (W 10, KO by 11, L 12), Wolgast (W 10, D 8, L 8)

 

Salica won a slew of national amateur titles before culminating his simon pure career with a bronze at the 1932 Olympics. Not blessed with great power, Salica developed a good jab and solid footwork. Split two early fights with Wolgast en route to dethroning Sixto Escobar (Puerto Rico’s first world champion) in August 1935. Salica’s reign lasted just 79 days as Escobar regained the crown over 15 rounds and Salica lost a subsequent challenge to Escobar in February 1937. He defeated future champs Manuel Ortiz and Richie Lemos among others to gain another shot, this time for the vacant NBA crown against Georgie Pace. Their first fight was a draw but Salica won the rematch six months later. Enjoyed a longer reign the second time around, defeating Tommy Forte twice and Lou Transparenti before losing the belt for good against Ortiz. Historian Herb Goldman ranks Salica 18th on his list of bantamweights.

 

Dave Sands

Career: 1941-52

World Championships: None

Hailed from: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Record: 97-10-1 (63 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 2-0

Champions faced: Carl “Bobo” Olson

Champions defeated: Olson (UD12, UD10)

 

The Aborigine warrior was a Middleweight who held the Australian Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight crowns. While fighting most of his contests in Australia and the United Kingdom, Sands managed a tip to the U.S in 1951 after luring Hall of Famer Bobo Olson to Australia to Sydney in 1950. Sands won the first encounter and equaled the feat in Chicago, winning a unanimous verdict over ten rounds on national television. Stopped only twice in 110 bouts, Sands possessed a solid chin and a big left hook. Closing in on a shot at Sugar Ray Robinson’s Middleweight crown, Sands was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1952 at the young age of 26.

 

Petey Scalzo

Career: 1936-1943

World Championships: NBA Featherweight (December 5, 1938-July 1, 1941)

Hailed From: New York City

Record: 90-15-6 (48 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-3 (2 KO)

Champions faced: Mike Belloise, Joey Archibald, Sal Bartolo, Richie Lemos, Bob Montgomery

Champions defeated: Belloise (W8), Archibald (KO2), Bartolo (W10), Lemos (TKO7)

 

Scalzo was a New Yorker through and through back when it meant something in the fight game. Though his career spanned only eight years, he was able to pack in over 100 fights when the New York area was chock full of club shows as well as big arena cards. In a rookie season that started on June 29th, he was 17-0 over the last six months of 1936. He wasn't averse to traveling either, having a number of bouts on the west coast later on in his career. Like a lot of boxers toward the end of their boxing days, he had a spotty record of 11-11-2, but he started out 38-0-2 before dropping a decision to Belloise. Leading up to the Archibald victory for the crown, he scored six straight wins, including the last four by knockout. He served briefly in the Army during World War II.

 

Samuel Serrano

Career: 1969-1997

World Championships: WBA junior lightweight (October 16, 1976-August 2, 1980, April 9, 1981-January 19, 1983)

Hailed from: Toa Alto, Puerto Rico

Record: 50-5-1 (17 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 2-3-1 (0 KO)

Champions faced: Ernesto Marcel, Roger Mayweather, Yatsusune Uehara, Ben Villaflor

Champions defeated: Uehara (W15), Villaflor (W15)

 

Serrano was a long-armed boxer who used lateral movement and knowledge of the darker arts to enjoy a lengthy stay as WBA junior lightweight champion, one that was made longer since he never unified against Alexis Arguello or Alfredo Escalera. Twelve defenses over two reigns were among the most prolific in the division’s history and he wasn’t afraid to defend on the road as he fought in Chile, Venezuela, Japan, South Africa and the United States. Serrano fought then-champion Ben Villaflor to a disputed draw in the titlist’s adopted hometown of Honolulu, spawning a return match in Serrano’s home area of San Juan, where he won by unanimous decision. Serrano amassed nine defenses over the next three-and-a-half years against a string of mostly nondescript mandatory challengers and was on his way to another easy win when Uehara starched him with a single right in the sixth. A more cautious Serrano regained the belt via decision eight months later and notched three more defenses before Roger Mayweather ended his reign.

 

Yoshio Shirai

Career: 1943-55

World Championships: World Flyweight (May 19-1952-November 26, 1954)

Hailed from: Tokyo, Japan

Record: 46-8-4 (18 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 4-3-1 (1 KO)

Champions faced: Dado Marino, Terry Allen, Pascual Perez

Champions defeated: Marino (TKO7, W15, W15); Allen (W15)

 

Call him the Godfather of the vibrant, modern Japanese fight market, Shirai was the first world champion from the land of the rising sun, also holding the Japanese Flyweight and Bantamweight crowns. Shirai learned his craft in the ring, losing 3 of his first 13 bouts before beginning his rise through the ranks, not losing again from 1947-51. Shirai dropped two straight from March to May of 1951 and avenged both; critically, he avenged a non-title split decision loss to champion Dado Marino via knockout, earning a shot at the crown. Shirai would defeat Marino twice more by decision, the first time for the title. Shirai also posted a successful defense over former champion Terry Allen. Shirai retired in the corner in a shocking non-title upset versus a 7-4 Leo Espinosa and narrowly found revenge in a split decision title fight. He traveled to Argentina and left with a draw against the undefeated Pascual Perez in a non-title affair but fell to Perez twice for the World championship in his native Japan, first by decision and then by knockout in his final fight.

 

Kid Tunero

Career: 1937-1948

World Championships: None

From: Victoria de las Tunas, Cuba

Record: 97-32-16 (37) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 3-3

Champions faced: Anton Christoforidis, Ezzard Charles

Champions defeated: Christofordis (W10), Charles (SD10)

 

Tunero is one of many forgotten fighters from the gilded age of the sweet science, when boxers of splendid talent often had to take short notice fights for short money. Kid was a typical flashy Cuban style boxer, and he could give fits to anyone who faced him. Besides Charles and Christoforidis, he also holds a win over the ubiquitous Hall of Famer Holman Williams.

Wilfredo Vazquez

Career: 1981-2002

World Championships: WBA Bantamweight (October 4, 1987-May 9, 1988); WBA Super Bantamweight (March 27, 1992-May 13, 1995); WBA Featherweight (May 18, 1996-April 18, 1998; stripped)

Hailed from: Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Record: 56-9-2 (41 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 8-7-1 (5 KO)

Champions faced: Antonio Avelar, Orlando Canizales, Antonio Cermeno, Israel Contreras, Khakor Galaxy, Naseem Hamed, Thierry Jacob, Miguel Lora, Luis Mendoza, Takuya Muguruma, Chan Yong Park, Juan Polo Perez, Raul Perez, Eloy Rojas,

Champions defeated: Canizales (W12), Jacob (KO8, KO10), Mendoza (W12), Park (KO10), Perez (W12), Perez (L10, KO 3), Rojas (KO11)

 

Vazquez began late in the sport at age 18 two weeks after his father died soon after buying tickets to Gomez-Zarate. To honor his memory, Vazquez wanted to win a title like his father’s hero Gomez. After 17 amateur fights he turned pro with a four-round decision loss but quickly developed into a two-fisted bomber. Lost first title shot to Lora via decision and lost titanic shootout to Avelar but rebounded with a knockout of Park to win his first title at 118. His reign was underwhelming as he drew with Muguruma and lost to Galaxy. Vasquez hit his stride as a 122-pounder as he avenged a previous loss to Perez by bombing him out in three and piled up nine defenses. Vasquez’s best wins at 122 include two over Jacob, Mendoza and Canizales, the last of which aired on HBO. Thought to be past his prime when he lost the belt to Cermeno at 35, Vasquez confounded experts when he stopped lineal and WBA featherweight champ Eloy Rojas in come-from-behind fashion the following year. He notched four defenses of the belt before being stripped for fighting Naseem Hamed instead of taking a rematch with Cermeno. Vasquez gave a credible effort before Hamed stopped him in seven and fought on until age 42, retiring with a four-fight win streak.

 

Myung Woo Yuh

Career: 1982-1993

World Championships: WBA Junior Flyweight (December 8, 1985-December 17, 1991; November 18, 1992-July 25, 1993)

Hailed from: Seoul, South Korea

Record: 38-1 (14 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 7-1 (0 KO)

Champions faced: Rodolfo Blanco, Jose DeJesus, Leo Gamez, Hiroki Ioka, Joey Olivo

Champions defeated: Blanco (KO8), DeJesus (W15, W12), Gamez (W12, W12), Ioka (L12, W12), Olivo (W15)

 

Though many believe Olivo should have gotten the decision against Yuh, the South Korean proved himself a worthy champion by establishing a divisional record for length of reign (six years) and consecutive defenses (17) that has stood through the years since. The Korean used a bustling offense to grind down opponents and his defense was dependable given his prodigious output. His first fight with Argentine Mario DeMarco is a forgotten classic as the pair swapped more than 3,000 blows over 15 savage rounds. The fact that he never met fellow champions Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez, Jung Koo Chang and Michael Carbajal in potential big-money unification showdowns is his biggest negative, in addition to fighting abroad only twice (his two fights with Ioka) and engaging a long string of obscure Oriental challengers. Yuh retired at age 29 after making the only defense of his second reign and is considered one of the top fighters in South Korean annals.

Hilario Zapata

Career: 1977-1993

World Championships: WBC Junior Flyweight (March 24, 1980-February 6, 1982; July 20, 1982-March 26, 1983), WBA Flyweight (October 5, 1985-February 13, 1987)

Hailed from: Panama City, Panama

Record: 43-10-1 (14 KO) Boxrec record

Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 12-6-1 (4 KO)

Champions faced: Fidel Bassa, Freddie Castillo, Jung Koo Chang, Juan Antonio Guzman, Santos Laciar, Alfonso Lopez, Sung Kil Moon, Shigeo Nakajima, Joey Olivo, Dodie Boy Penalosa, Juan Polo Perez, Tadashi Tomori, German Torres, Amado Ursua, Netronoi Sor Vorasingh

Champions defeated: Castillo (W12), Chang (W15), Guzman (W10), Nakajima (W15, KO11), Olivo (KO13), Penalosa (W15), Perez (W10), Tomori (W15, KO8), Torres (W15), Vorasingh (KO10)

 

A mantis-like southpaw, Zapata towered over his opponents and he used radar-like defensive skills to bedazzle opponents. Zapata used long jabs to control distance and, though he lacked power, his fast hands and long left crosses produced occasional knockdowns and knockouts. Zapata decisioned former WBA 108-pound king Guzman in his fifth pro fight and first 10 rounder while losing his seventh pro bout to ex-champ Lopez. He beat Castillo in fight number nine and captured his first world title in his 12th outing. Zarpata faced fairly strong competition, though the 108-pound division was still relatively young. The Olivo bout was the first Junior Flyweight title fight televised in America. Errantly slugged with Ursua after knocking him down and was knocked out himself, the first of four KO losses. Zapata regained the belt five months later by beating Ursua’s successor, Tomori, but weight issues played a big role in his rematch KO loss to Chang. He lost to Laciar in his first 112-pound title bid but won the second for vacant belt and put together a respectable five-defense reign. He lost the belt to Bassa in chaotic fight in Colombia and was unlucky to draw in the Panama rematch. Won eight of nine fights to earn crack at a third title at age 34 but a prime Moon stopped him in the first round. His 303 championship rounds ties Zapata with Virgil Hill for second all-time behind Emile Griffith’s 339.

 

Biographies compiled by:

 

Lee Groves, Maxboxing.com

Jack Obermayer, Boxing Digest

Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com

 

Source:

http://bwaa.org/ibhof.htm

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