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Forgotten Champions: Carlos Gonzalez


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A great puncher of the light welter division, Carlos "Bolillo" Gonzalez was the WBO champion between 1992 and 1993, who scored a few impressive and quick ko wins, most notably when he won the title against Jimmy Paul (TKO 2) and against Tony Baltazar, another world class boxer (TKO 1). Gonzalez was however not that polished technically and he lost his title to Zack Padilla, a more "slick" boxer. He later briefly managed to recapture the same title again by stopping Giovanni Parisi, but then lost it in a devastating fashion to Randall Bailey, another huge puncher.

Carlos was born 15 June 1972 in Xochimilco, Distrito Federal, Mexico. Like most other Mexican fighters, he turned pro very young, at the age of 16, in 1988. His power was such that he scored 17 straight wins by ko, 8 in the first round! He first had to go the distance in 1990 against Oscar Lopez and won by a 10-round decision. He then reeled off 12 more ko's with another 8 first-round ones, before he again had to go the distance against Tim Brooks in 1992 and won by UD 10. He was now 31-0 and ready to challenge for the title. He got the chance against Jimmy Paul, a slick Detroit fighter who held the IBF light title previously. The title at stake was the WBO one this time, of course and the fight happened at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, 29 June '92. Paul was the favorite but he quickly got destroyed and stopped at the end of round 2. 

Gonzalez then had one non-title fight before defending for the first time against 21-0-1 Lorenzo Smith and winning by RTD 6. He rounded out 1992 by stopping the unheralded Mexican Rafael Ortiz by TKO 1 and then on 22 March next year he faced Tony Baltazar, a heavy-handed fighter who had dropped Buddy McGirt previously and also Howard Davis jr. Gonzalez had much less trouble with him as he stopped him in only 2 minutes 22 seconds. For his fourth defense, he took on the Mexican-American Zack Padilla, 7 June at Thomas and Mack Center in Vegas. Padilla proved to be too good technically and had the right game plan and in the end, Gonzalez was the loser by a unanimous decision. Only one judge had it close, 114-115. Bolillo Gonzalez then had a few fights above 140 limit but in the third one he surprisingly got stopped by TKO 9 against Rene Francisco Herrera, an unremarkable fighter. 

It took him a while to get back into contention and after winning 7 more fights, he was matched against Giovanni Parisi for the WBO title, his old title. The fight happened 20 June 1996 in Milano, Parisi's homeland Italy, but it ended a split draw and so, Gonzalez had to go back home empty handed. He would have to wait for 2 years until he fought Parisi again for the title, 29 May 1998, in Pesaro, Italy and this time he was victorious, winning by TKO 9. After 5 years, he was a champion again. But this time, it wouldn't last as long as the first time. After a year away from the ring, he made his first defense on 15 May 1999 in Miami, against the Florida-native Randall Bailey, a ko artist himself. As they both opened aggressively, Gonzalez worked the body of Bailey and left his right hand low. Bailey saw this and threw a perfect left hook to the head which put Gonzalez out of the game after only 41 seconds! 

That was pretty much the end of Carlos Bolillo Gonzalez as a serious force and he fought on and off until 2005 but lost all his bigger fights. In his last fight, he was stopped by Felix Flores by TKO 8 in a fight for the vacant WBO Latino welter title. He had fought for 17 years and left behind a record of 55 wins, 46 inside the distance, with 8 losses and 1 draw. Gonzalez was a boxer who owed his success to his punching power-once that wasn't enough, he usually failed, in his biggest fights anyway. At his best, he was a formidable offensive force. He is still talked about or mentioned by some fight fans, but not that many. That is why he is a FORGOTTEN CHAMPION!


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