2015 BWAA HALL OF FAME BIO's
BWAA Information Sheet: 2015 International Boxing Hall of Fame Nominees
With ballots either in hand, or on their way, for voters, below are biographical capsules on the new and returning candidates for entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Modern Class.
First Time Nominees
Yuri Arbachakov Career: 1990-97 Major titles: WBC flyweight (June 23, 1992-November 12, 1997) Hailed from: Kizes, Russia Record: 23-1 (16 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-1, 4 KO Champions/Titlists faced: Rolando Bohol, Muangchai Kittikasem, Hugo Soto, Chatchai Sasakul Champions/Titlists defeated: Rolando Bohol (KO 2), Muangchai Kittikasem (KO 8, TKO 9), Hugo Soto (KO 8), Chatchai Sasakul (UD 12)
The 1989 World Amateur Champion became Russia’s first professional world champion in the post-Soviet era. Blessed with quick hands, accuracy, and punishing power, Arbachakov could box from the outside but was better when he didn’t. Fighting out of Japan, Arbachakov quickly rose through the ranks with a knockout of Bohol in his sixth fight. In only his thirteenth contest, Arbachakov knocked off Kittikasem, the former IBF 108 lb. titlist and reigning WBC and lineal 112 lb. king, in the eighth round. The Russian would make nine successful defenses against a pool of contenders with a combined record of 219-15-5, including a rematch knockout of Kittikasem. At the height of his reign, he would climb as high as sixth in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound ratings. Following his last winning defense, hand injuries sidelined Arbachakov for over a year. He would fight once more, losing the title to Chatchai Sasakul after soundly defeating him two years before. Arbachakov would hang up his gloves for good after his lone defeat.
Hector Camacho Sr. Career: 1980-2010 Major Titles: WBC super featherweight (August 7, 1983-November 18, 1983, vacated), WBC lightweight (August 10, 1985-September 26, 1986, vacated), WBO super lightweight (March 6, 1989-February 23, 1991; May 18, 1991-vacated) Hailed from: Bayamon, Puerto Rico Record: 79-6-3 (38) Boxrec record Record against champions and Hall of Famers: 10-4-2 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Rafael Limon, Jose Luis Ramirez, Edwin Rosario, Cornelius Boza Edwards, Ray Mancini, Vinny Pazienza, Greg Haugen, Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya, Jorge Vaca, Luis Ramon Campas Champions/Titlists defeated: Rafael Limon (KO 5), Jose Luis Ramirez (UD 12), Edwin Rosario (SD 12), Cornelius Boza Edwards (UD 12), Ray Mancini (SD 12), Vinny Pazienza (UD 12), Greg Haugen (SD 12), Roberto Duran (UD 12, UD 12), Sugar Ray Leonard (TKO 5)
Hector Camacho was twenty-one years old when he stopped Rafael “Bazooka” Limon eight months after Bobby Chacon barely got by him in The Ring’s 1982 “Fight of the Year.” Two years later, he easily defeated veteran Jose Luis Ramirez and “Macho Time” went big-time. In 1986, Edwin Rosario put that machismo to the test and, though Rosario lost the decision, a battered Camacho modified his fighting style. He remained unbeaten through 38 fights before splitting a pair with Haugen. The flashy southpaw was never stopped and defeated every fighter of his era except the best of the best; only Julio Cesar Chavez and Felix Trinidad truly dominated him at or near his prime. By the mid-Nineties, his glory-days at jr. lightweight and lightweight were behind him and his aspirations at Jr. welterweight and welterweight were thwarted. He got a controversial decision against an aging Roberto Duran and retired Sugar Ray Leonard. At thirty-five, he tried and failed to improve his legacy against Oscar De La Hoya and then left Las Vegas to spend the rest of his career as a journeyman attraction. Camacho was forty-eight when he last competed in the ring in 2010.
Sot Chitalada Career: 1983-1992 Major titles: WBC flyweight (October 8, 1984-July 24, 1988; June 3, 1989-February 15, 1991) Hailed from: Chonburi, Thailand Record: 26-4-1 (16 KO) Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 7-4-1 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Jung Koo Chang, Gabriel Bernal, Charlie Magri, Freddy Castillo, Yong Kang Kim, Carlos Salazar, Muangchai Kittikasem Champions/Titlists defeated: Gabriel Bernal (SD 12, UD 12), Charlie Magri (TKO 5), Freddy Castillo (UD12), Yong Kang Kim (SD 12), Jung Koo Chang (MD 12), Carlos Salazar (UD 12),
Nicknamed “The Ali of the Orient,” Chitalada was a flashy boxer with potent right-hand power. Born Chawalit Wongcharoen, Chitalada dramatically vaulted onto the world stage in just his fifth pro fight by giving WBC junior flyweight titlist Jung Koo Chang all he could handle before losing a 12-round decision. Three fights later he captured the WBC flyweight title from Mexican southpaw Gabriel Bernal by split decision, launching a nearly eight-year stay near the top of the division. Bernal and Chitalada fought twice more. The Thai twice came off the floor to eke out a controversial draw before producing a sparkling long-range boxing performance in the lopsided third fight. Other highlights of his first reign included a five-round battering of ex-champ Charlie Magri in the challenger’s back yard of London and a near-whitewash of onetime WBC junior flyweight king Freddy Castillo in Kuwait. Making weight was a longtime problem for Chitalada and it played a large role in defeats against Kim and Kittikasem. The loss to Kim was considered a huge upset and he avenged it four fights later for his second title. He notched wins over future 112 and 115-pound titlist Carlos Salazar and long-avoided mandatory challenger Richard “Shrimpy” Clark before beating a faded but determined Chang in the rematch and losing twice to Kittikasem.
Paulie Ayala Career: 1992-2004 Major Titles: WBA bantamweight (June 26, 1999-August 7, 2001; Stripped) Hailed from: Fort Worth, Texas Record: 35-3 (12 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-3 (0 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, Johnny Tapia, Johnny Bredahl, Clarence Adams, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera Champions/Titlists defeated: Johnny Tapia (UD 12, UD 12), Johnny Bredahl (MD 12), Clarence Adams (SD 12, UD 12)
The all-action southpaw did it without a significant knockout punch. In 1999, he was named The Ring Fighter of the Year, and won The Ring Fight of the Year, upsetting Tapia for the WBA crown at 118 lbs. In his second fight with Clarence “Bones” Adams in 2002, he became Ring Magazine Jr. Featherweight champion in one of his best performances. Later that year, an attempt to win a vacant WBC Featherweight crown was thwarted by Erik Morales in a spirited battle. Ayala was sometimes as lucky as he was good, getting the nod in some highly debated outcomes against Hugo Dianzo, his second fight with Tapia, and his first battle with Adams.
Nigel Benn Career: 1987-1996 Major Titles: WBO middleweight (April 29, 1990-November 18,1990); WBC super middleweight (October 3,1992-March 2,1996) Hailed from: Ilford, Essex, United Kingdom Record: 42-5-1 (35 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 7-4-1 (5 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Doug DeWitt, Iran Barkley, Chris Eubank, Thulani Malinga, Mauro Galvano, Gerald McClellan, Vincenzo Nardiello, Steve Collins Champions/Titlists defeated: Doug DeWitt (KO 8), Iran Barkley (KO 1), Thulani Malinga (W 10), Mauro Galvano (KO4, UD 12), Gerald McClellan (KO 10), Vincenzo Nardiello (KO 8)
“The Dark Destroyer” stopped his first 22 opponents, 19 in two rounds or less, before Michael Watson’s “rope-a-dope”-esque tactics led to a stoppage loss in six. Benn answered this adversity with five consecutive wins, including a TKO of Doug DeWitt to win the WBO middleweight title and a one-round shootout with Iran Barkley. That showing set up a dramatic domestic showdown with Chris Eubank, who suffered plenty of hurt before dethroning Benn in round nine. Afterward, Benn transformed his style to one that was much more controlled. The results were impressive: A 15-0-1 record and a three-and-a-half year reign as the WBC’s super middleweight titlist. The one draw, hotly disputed, came against then-WBO belt-holder Eubank and his tragic war with Gerald McClellan rates as one of the greatest 168-pound title fights ever waged. Benn lost his belt to previous victim Thulani Malinga and ended his career with two corner-retirement losses to WBO king Steve Collins.
Donald Curry Career: 1980-1997 Major Titles: WBA welterweight (February 13, 1983-September 27, 1986), IBF welterweight (February 4, 1984-September 27, 1986), WBC welterweight (December 6, 1985-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/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 6-5 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Lupe Aquino, Lloyd Honeyghan, Rene Jacquot, Mike McCallum, Milton McCrory, Michael Nunn, Terry Norris, Gianfranco Rosi, Carlos Santos, Marlon Starling Champions/Titlists defeated: Lupe Aquino (UD 12), Milton McCrory (KO 2), Gianfranco Rosi (KO 9), Carlos Santos (DQ 5), Marlon Starling (SD12, UD15)
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.
Chris Eubank Career: 1985-1998 Major Titles: WBO middleweight (November 18, 1990-June 22, 1991, Vacated), WBO super middleweight (September 21, 1991-March 18, 1995) Hailed from: London, England Record: 45-5-2 (23 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 4-5-1 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Nigel Benn, Thulani Malinga, Lindell Holmes, Graciano Rocchigiani, Steve Collins, Joe Calzaghe, Carl Thompson Champions/Titlists defeated: Nigel Benn (KO 9), Thulani Malinga (SD 12), Lindell Holmes (UD 12), Graciano Rocchigiani (UD 12)
“Simply the Best” was a showman’s showman as he entered the ring by leaping over the top rope, struck muscle-man poses between rounds, and uttered polysyllabic trash-talk while wearing a monocle and a bevy of three-piece suits. He backed up his bluster by winning WBO titles at 160 and 168, registered 14 defenses of the latter belt (behind only Joe Calzaghe and Sven Ottke’s 21 on the all-time division list), and mastered the art of winning close decisions. His back-to-back wars with Michael Watson were classics, though the latter contest ended with Watson permanently injured. After losing decisions to Steve Collins (twice) and Joe Calzaghe, Eubank jumped two divisions and mounted two stirring but unsuccessful challenges against WBO cruiserweight king Carl Thompson, dropping him in round four of fight one. Eubank’s completely closed left eye in the rematch ended the bout, and his eventful career, in round nine.
Leo Gamez Career: 1985-2005 Major Titles: WBA minimumweight (January 10, 1988-1989, Vacated), WBA light flyweight (October 21, 1993-February 4, 1995), WBA flyweight (March 13, 1999-September 3, 1999), WBA super flyweight (October 9, 2000-March 11, 2001) Hailed from: Parnama, Venezuela Record: 35-12-1 (26 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-12 (3 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Bong Jun Kim, Myung-Woo Yuh, Yong-Kang Kim, Pichit Chor Siriwat, Hi-Yong Choi, Aquiles Guzman, Saen Sor Ploenchit, Hugo Soto, Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym, Hideki Todaka, Celes Kobayashi, Johnny Bredahl, Wladimir Sidorenko, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym Champions/Titlists defeated: Bong Jun Kim (UD 12), Pichit Chor Siriwat (TKO 6), Aquiles Guzman (W 12), Hugo Soto (KO 3), Hideki Todaka (KO 7)
Arguably boxing’s most unheralded four-division titlist, Gamez won belts in every division from 105 to 115 lbs. and came up shy in attempts at adding a fifth title at Bantamweight. A favorite son of the Venezuela-based WBA, Gamez was never short for opportunities. A pressing fighter with a big right hand at his best, Gamez defeated Kim for his first title at 105, moving up shortly after to pursue a Jr. Flyweight crown. He suffered his first two losses to Hall of Famer Yuh in a pair of quality title battles in 1990 and would also fail in his first attempt at a Flyweight crown in 1991. Gamez rebounded to win a vacant title at 108 in 1993 and defended 3 times before moving up for good. His reigns at 112 and 115 lbs. both ended in their first defense. He retired following one last crack at an interim WBA belt at 118 lbs.
Genaro Hernandez Career: 1984-1998 Major Titles: WBA super featherweight (November 22,1991-November 12, 1994, Vacated), WBC super featherweight (March 22, 1997-October 3, 1998) Hailed from: Los Angeles, California Record: 38-2-1 (17 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-2-1 (3 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Daniel Londas, Raul Perez, Jorge Paez, Oscar de la Hoya, Azumah Nelson, Carlos Hernandez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Champions/Titlists defeated: Daniel Londas (KO 9), Raul Perez (KO 8), Jorge Paez (KO 8), Azumah Nelson (SD 12), Carlos Hernandez (UD 12)
At 5-foot-11 and owning a 72-inch reach, “Chicanito’s” willowy frame was built for long-range boxing but his skill and toughness allowed him to prosper in close. Won the WBA title by stopping hometown hero Daniel Londas in France and of his eight defenses of that belt three were on the road (two in Japan, one in Mexico). Following a non-title TKO of Jorge Paez, Hernandez challenged Oscar de la Hoya for his WBO lightweight title. He held his own but an uppercut shattered his nose in round six and prompted him to surrender at round’s end. Three fights later he challenged WBC 130-pound king Azumah Nelson and thoroughly out-boxed him to win a decision. However, the fight was best remembered for Hernandez choosing to continue despite being illegally hit in the throat. Hernandez’s career ended against an ambitious 21-year-old Floyd Mayweather Jr., who forced Hernandez to retire between rounds eight and nine.
Julian Jackson Career: 1981-1998 Major Titles: WBA junior middleweight (November 21, 1987-July 1989, Vacated), WBC middleweight (November 24, 1990-May 8, 1993; March 17, 1995-August 19, 1995) Hailed from: U.S. Virgin Islands Record: 55-6-0 (49 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 3-5 (3 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Mike McCallum, In Chul Baek, Buster Drayton, Terry Norris, Gerald McClellan, Quincy Taylor, Verno Phillips Champions/Titlists defeated: In Chul Baek (KO 3), Buster Drayton (KO 3), Terry Norris (KO 2)
Pound-for-pound and shot-for-shot, “The Hawk” ranks as one of history’s most destructive one-punch knockout artists. He shook the unshakable Mike McCallum in round one before succumbing in round two of his first major title shot. Three fights later he won the first of three vacant crowns by stopping In Chul Baek in three. He stiffened the sturdy Buster Drayton with a hook, Terry Norris with a right, and won his first belt at 160 when, with his eye closing, he cranked an overhand right that left Herol Graham unconscious. His prowess was such that his record once read 43-1 (42 KO), with a streak of 37 consecutive wins inside the distance along the way. Once his prime disappeared, it did so dramatically as he went 9-5 in his last 14 fights, all five losses by KO. During that stretch, he still won a second 160-pound title at age 35 by stretching Agostino Cardamone in two.
Santos Laciar Career: 1976-90 Major Titles: 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/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 8-5-1 (5 KO) Champions/Titlists 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/Titlists Defeated: Peter Mathebula (TKO 7); Juan Herrera (TKO 13, SD 15); Betulio Gonzalez (SD 15); Hi-Sup Shin (TKO 1); Prudencio Cardona (KO 10); Hilario Zapata (UD 15); Gilberto Roman (TKO 11)
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 Rojas would soundly outbox Laciar 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.
Rocky Lockridge Career: 1978-1992 Major Titles: WBA super featherweight (February 6, 1984-May 19, 1985), IBF super featherweight (August 9, 1987-July 23, 1988) Hailed from: Tacoma, Washington Record: 44-9 (36 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 3-9 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Eusebio Pedroza, Juan LaPorte, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Roger Mayweather, Wilfredo Gomez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Barry Michael, Tony Lopez, Rafael Ruelas, Sharmba Mitchell Champions/Titlists defeated: Cornelius Boza Edwards (UD 10), Roger Mayweather (KO 1), Barry Michael (RTD 8)
Sometimes bad luck trumps good fighting. That was often the case in the career of Lockridge who just missed defeating three Hall of Famers. A split decision loss to Eusebio Pedroza in a 1980 Featherweight title crack was a heartbreaker. A loss to Wilfredo Gomez in defense of Lockridge’s first 130 lb. title was worse. Largely reviled as a bad call, Lockridge walked away the winner in many minds. There are also still many who think he did enough to hand Julio Cesar Chavez his first loss, laying the early blueprint on how to fight the Mexican legend. Those were the tough days. Title-winning knockouts of Mayweather and Michael were highlights as was a classic defeat to Tony Lopez in the 1988 Ring Fight of the Year. A skilled boxer with serious power, Lockridge could also take it; he was stopped only once in his career.
Miguel Lora Career: 1979-1983 Major Titles: WBC bantamweight (August 9, 1985-October 29, 1988) Hailed from: Monteria, Colombia Record: 37-3 (17 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 8-3 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Antonio Avelar, Gabriel Bernal, Rolando Bohol, Gaby Canizales, Albert Davila, Rafael Del Valle, Raul Perez, Cesar Polanco, Wilfredo Vazquez, Daniel Zaragoza Champions/Titlists defeated: Antonio Avelar (KO 4), Gabriel Bernal (W 10), Rolando Bohol (W 10), Albert Davila (UD 12, UD 12), Cesar Polanco (W 10), Wilfredo Vazquez Sr. (UD 12), Daniel Zaragoza (UD 12)
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 Cartagena. 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.
Henry Maske Career: 1990-2007 Major Titles: IBF light heavyweight (March 20, 1993-November 23, 1996) Hailed From: Treuenbrietzen, Brandenburg, Germany (birth place) Record: 31-1 (11 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-1 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Prince Charles Williams, Iran Barkley, Graciano Rocchigiani, Virgil Hill Champions/Titlists defeated: Prince Charles Williams (UD 12), Iran Barkley (RTD 9), Graciano Rocchigiani (UD 12, UD 12), Virgil Hill (UD 12)
In many ways, Maske was the beginning of the modern, vibrant German fight market. A masterful southpaw boxer with range and quick, educated hands, Maske was one of the best amateurs in the world in his time. A 1986 World Silver Medalist, 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, and 1989 World Champion at Middleweight, Maske turned professional as a Light Heavyweight and made his career there. Defeating Charles Williams for the IBF crown in 1993, Maske made ten successful defenses, including a stoppage of former three-division titlist Iran Barkley and two fantastic battles with national rival Graciano Rocchigiani. Maske’s run came to a surprising close in 1996 when Virgil Hill beat him by split decision in Maske’s lone unification bout. Maske would stay out if the ring until 2007 when he returned for one night only to avenge the Hill defeat by unanimous decision.
James “Buddy” McGirt Career: 1982-1997 Major Titles: IBF light welterweight (February 14, 1988-September 3, 1988), WBC welterweight (November 29, 1991-March 6, 1993) Hailed From: Brentwood, New York Record: 73-6-1 (48 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 6-3 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Saoul Mamby, Meldrick Taylor, Joe Manley, Simon Brown, Patrizio Oliva, Genaro Leon, Pernell Whitaker, Livingstone Bramble Champions/Titlists defeated: Saoul Mamby (UD 10), Joe Manley (TKO 9), Simon Brown (UD 12), Patrizio Oliva (UD 12), Genaro Leon (UD 12), Livingstone Bramble (UD 12)
It was always the hard way for McGirt, from just becoming a contender to dealing with chronic shoulder issues. His first title shot didn’t come until his 39th professional fight, scoring a knockout of Frankie Warren for a vacant crown at Jr. Welterweight. The win also secured McGirt a measure of revenge against Warren, the first man to defeat him. He lost his title in his second defense, overwhelmed by Meldrick Taylor and stopped in the final round. McGirt bounced back, again working the bard way through 16 fights to secure a crack at the Welterweight crown. With a masterful display of skill, McGirt took Brown to school and held the title until a tough loss to the great Pernell Whitaker. McGirt won five in a row to secure a Whitaker rematch, scoring two early knockdowns only to take a beating down the stretch of a memorable affair. McGirt would never fight for a title again and turned his attention to a notable second career in the corner.
Dariusz Michalczewski Career: 1991-2005 Major Titles: WBO light heavyweight (September 10, 1994-October 18, 2003); WBO cruiserweight (December 17, 1994, vacated without defending); WBA/IBF Light Heavyweight (June 13, 1997, vacated without defending) Hailed From: Gdansk, Poland Record: 48-2 (38 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 6-2 (3 KO) Champions/Titlists Faced: Leeonzer Barber, Nestor Giovanni, Graciano Rocchigiani, Virgil Hill, Montell Griffin, Julio Gonzalez, Fabrice Tiozzo Champions/Titlists Defeated: Leeonzer Barber (UD 12), Nestor Giovanni (KO 10), Graciano Rocchigiani (DQ 7, TKO 10), Virgil Hill (UD 12), Montell Griffin (TKO 4)
Fighting largely out of Germany, Michalczewski would win his first 48 professional contests, winning three major belts and a claim to the lineal throne at Light Heavyweight along with a belt at Cruiserweight. His 23 consecutive defenses of the WBO belt at 175 lbs., won from Kronk product Leeonzer Barber in 1994, are a division record. 14 defenses of his claim to the lineal title, traced to his defeat of Virgil Hill in a unification contest in 1997, ties the record of Bob Foster at Light Heavyweight…for those who saw Michalczewski as the rightful lineal king. Michalczewski was shorn of the WBA and IBF belts he won from Hill in large part because of boxing politics. Those belts would ultimately end up with Roy Jones Jr. The two never fought, leaving an enduring source of debate about the statistical accomplishments of Michalczewski and what might have been.
Sung-Kil Moon Career: 1987-1993 Major Titles: WBA bantamweight (August 14, 1988-July 9, 1989), WBC super flyweight (January 20, 1990-November 13, 1993) Hailed from: Seoul, South Korea Record: 20-2-0 (15 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 7-2 (3 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Khaokor Galaxy, Nana Yaw Konadu, Gilberto Roman, Hilario Zapata, Greg Richardson, Carlos Salazar, Jose Luis Bueno Champions/Titlists defeated: Khaokor Galaxy (W TD 6), Nana Yaw Konadu (W TD 9, TKO 4), Gilberto Roman (RTD 8), Greg Richardson (MD12), Carlos Salazar (SD12), Hilario Zapata (TKO 1)
The twenty-two bouts on Sung-Kil Moon’s record invite a closer look. A stiff-punching pressure fighter, Moon was one of several outstanding prospects emerging from South Korea in the 1980s and 90s. He was a highly decorated amateur and a 1984 Olympian who never faced a professional with a losing record. Heads were turned early when he handed Khaokor Galaxy his first loss for a Bantamweight title in only his seventh professional bout (Galaxy returned the favor in their rematch), and he went on to cram additional accomplishments into an abbreviated career. On January 20, 1990, he took the Jr. Bantamweight throne with a technical decision over Nana Yaw Konadu and defended it nine times with victories over future world champion Gilberto Roman, Konadu in a rematch, and former world champion Hilario Zapata. He lost a split decision and the throne to Jose Luis Bueno in 1993 and retired from the ring at age 30.
Michael Moorer Career: 1988-2008 Major Titles: WBO light heavyweight (December 3, 1988-December 15, 1990); WBO heavyweight (May 15, 1992-February 3, 1993), WBA/IBF heavyweight (April 22, 1994-November 5, 1994), IBF heavyweight (June 22, 1996-November 8, 1997) Hailed From: Monessen, Pennsylvania Record: 52-4-1 (40 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 4-2 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Leslie Stewart, James Smith, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Vassiliy Jirov Champions/Titlists defeated: Leslie Stewart (TKO8), James Smith (UD 10), Evander Holyfield (MD 12), Vassiliy Jirov (TKO9)
The first southpaw to win the legitimate Heavyweight crown, Moorer began his career as a lethal Light Heavyweight. Capturing the vacant WBO crown in only his 12th fight with a knockout of Ramzi Hassan, Moorer defended nine times before making the leap to Heavyweight. In total, he’d win his first 26 by knockout before going the distance with Mike “The Giant” White, just missing another knockout in the closing seconds. Crowd pleasing wars with Alex Stewart and Bert Cooper (for the vacant WBO crown) led to a more cerebral Moorer defeating Holyfield for the World Heavyweight Championship. Moorer lost the crown in his first defense, knocked out with one memorable punch by George Foreman, rebounding to win a vacant IBF title against Axel Schultz. He was stopped in a 1997 unification rematch with a then third-time WBA champion in Holyfield. Moorer would return from a three-year layoff in 2000, his best late win coming in a fantastic battle with Jirov.
Orzubek Nazarov Career: 1990-1998 Major Titles: WBA lightweight (October 30, 1993-May 16, 1998) Hailed from: Kant, Kyrgyzstan Record: 26-1-0 (19) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 4-1 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Dingaan Thobela, Joey Gamache, Leavander Johnson, Jean-Baptiste Mendy Champions/Titlists defeated: Dingaan Thobela (UD 12, UD 12), Joey Gamache (TKO 2), Leavander Johnson (TKO 7)
Orzubek Nazarov was one of the best amateurs produced by the Soviet system in the 1980s. His manager encouraged him to fight out of Japan as a professional to take advantage of his Asiatic features and early in his career he won both the Japanese and the Oriental/Pacific lightweight championships. A stand-up southpaw with power in both hands, Nazarov would break down opponents as impersonally as a machine. By the end of 1993, he cracked the top-ten of The Ring and soon journeyed to the U.S in pursuit of larger purses. He never shared the ring with celebrity lightweights Oscar De La Hoya or Shane Mosley due to managerial issues, a near miss as the unintended victim of a Russian mob hit, and eye injuries. In 1998, Nazarov suffered a retinal tear that several surgeries failed to correct. Nearly half-blind, he quietly retired and became a successful businessman.
Sven Ottke Career: 1997-2004 Major Titles: 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/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 8-0 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Charles Brewer, Glen Johnson, Silvio Branco, Anthony Mundine, Byron Mitchell, Robin Reid, Armand Kranjc Champions/Titlists Defeated: Charles Brewer (SD 12, SD 12), Glen Johnson (UD 12), Silvio Branco (UD 12), Anthony Mundine (KO 10), Byron Mitchell (SD 12), Robin Reid (UD 12), Armand Kranjc (UD 12)
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 dangerous opponents. Ottke never fought outside of Germany and this has cast a shadow on a few of his professional bouts. Decisions in his favor over Mads Larsen, both wins over Charles Brewer, and a late career win over Robin Reid, were marred by questionable officiating. To his credit, wins over Glen Johnson, Silvio Branco, and Byron Mitchell were hard fought and well earned. In perhaps his most surprising performance, Ottke was behind on the scorecards to Anthony Mundine but managed to summon a single shot to save his title.
Vinny Pazienza Career: 1983-2004 Major Titles: IBF lightweight (June 7, 1987-February 6, 1988), WBA light middleweight (October 1, 1991-1992, Vacated) Hailed from: Cranston, Rhode Island Record: 50-10-0 (30 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 8-7 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Harry Arroyo, Greg Haugen, Hector Camacho, Roger Mayweather, Loreto Garza, Gilbert Dele, Luis Santana, Lloyd Honeyghan, Roberto Duran, Roy Jones Jr., Aaron Davis, Eric Lucas Champions/Titlists defeated: Harry Arroyo (UD 10), Greg Haugen (UD 15, UD 10), Gilbert Dele (TKO 12), Luis Santana (UD 10), Lloyd Honeyghan (TKO 10), Roberto Duran (UD 12, UD 12)
The charismatic Vinny Pazienza, now known as Vinny Paz, was inspired to become a fighter after watching the film Rocky (1976). With a hyper-aggressive style that belied his surname (“Pazienza” means “patience” in Italian) and earned him his nickname (“The Pazmanian Devil”), Pazienza won legions of fans on the east coast. In 1987-88, he split two bouts with archrival Greg Haugen for a Lightweight title but after a loss against Roger Mayweather, Kevin Rooney took over as his trainer and revitalized Pazienza’s career with a new and improved style. Pazienza moved to Jr. Middleweight to defeat Dele for the WBA title but after sustaining a fractured neck in a car accident in 1991, Pazienza was told that he might never walk again, never mind fight again. His miraculous (and victorious) return to the ring at Foxwoods Casino on December 15, 1992, defeating Luis Santana, is still talked about by his fans around New England.
Lupe Pintor Career: 1974-1995 Major Titles: WBC bantamweight (June 3, 1979-June 3, 1982), WBC super bantamweight (August 18, 1985-January 18, 1986) Hailed from: Cuajimalpa de Morelos, Distrito Federal, Mexico Record: 56-14-2 (42 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-4 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Leonardo Cruz, Carlos Zarate, Alberto Davila, Seung-Hoon Lee, Jorge Lujan, Wilfredo Gomez, Juan Meza, Samart Payakaroon Champions/Titlists defeated: Carlos Zarate (SD 15), Alberto Davila (MD 15), Seung-Hoon Lee (TKO 11), Jorge Lujan (UD 10), Juan Meza (UD 12)
At the age of eight, Lupe Pintor learned how to fight in order to protect the ice he was selling on the mean streets of Mexico. At eleven, Pintor watched Ruben Olivares train in a boxing gym and was instantly mesmerized by a sport that would give his life purpose. At nineteen, he scored a second-round knockout in his professional debut. Pintor was a swarmer whose disadvantaged background made wars of attrition something to look forward to, and his countryman cheered him on. Pintor fought with honor. When Johnny Owen was rushed to the hospital in the aftermath of their dramatic bout in 1980, Pintor tried to visit him in the hospital. “When he died,” he said, “it was like I lost a close friend.” In 1982, Pintor lost a war against world champion Wilfredo Gomez in a bout that is remembered as one of the greatest of all time.
Gilberto Roman Career: 1981-1990 Major Titles: WBC super flyweight (March 30, 1986-May 16, 1987; April 8, 1988-November 7, 1989) Hailed from: Mexico City, Mexico Record: 54-6-1 (35 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 7-4-1 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Antonio Avelar, Jiro Watanabe, Santos Laciar, Frank Cedeno, Sugar Baby Rojas, Kiyoshi Hatanaka, Nana Konadu, Sung Kil Moon Champions/Titlists defeated: Antonio Avelar (TKO 7), Jiro Watanabe (UD 12), Santos Laciar (UD 12), Frank Cedeno (UD 12), Sugar Baby Rojas (UD 12, UD 12), Kiyoshi Hatanaka (UD 12)
At 5-foot-3 Roman possessed freakishly long arms and a fantastic sense of distance that allowed him to strike opponents as well as avoid punches by the smallest margins. Though he was a KO artist early (he scored 32 of his 35 KOs before winning his first belt), Roman became an expert ring scientist thanks to trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain. Once he won the WBC super flyweight title from long reigning Jiro Watanabe, Roman was a fighting champion as he registered six defenses in 10 months. Severe cuts against Santos Laciar ended his first reign but two fights and 11 months later he regained the belt from Laciar’s conqueror Sugar Baby Rojas. His second reign lasted 16 months and five defenses but his hard living eventually caught up with him as he lost the belt to Nana Konadu as well as his final fight against defending champ Sung Kil Moon.
Gianfranco Rosi Career: 1979-2006 Major Titles: WBC junior middleweight (October 2, 1987-July 8, 1988), IBF junior middleweight (July 15, 1989-September 17, 1994) Hailed from: Perouse, Umbria, Italy Record: 62-6-1 (18 KO), one no-decision Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 8-4-1 (1 KO), one no-decision Champions/Titlists faced: Perico Fernandez, Lloyd Honeyghan, Lupe Aquino, Duane Thomas, Donald Curry, Darrin Van Horn, Rene Jacquot, Gilbert Dele, Vincent Pettway, Verno Phillips Champions/Titlists defeated: Perico Fernandez (UD 12), Lupe Aquino (UD 12), Duane Thomas (KO 7), Darrin Van Horn (UD 12, UD 12), Rene Jacquot (UD 12), Gilbert Dele (SD 12, SD 12)
Rosi’s herky-jerky, hit-and-run style baffled opponents unable to draw a bead or find their rhythm. Rosi won 32 of his first 33 before losing his European welterweight title to Lloyd Honeyghan. After rolling off nine straight he upset Lupe Aquino to win the WBC junior middleweight title. He impressively stopped Duane Thomas in his first defense but then suffered five knockdowns in losing to a slightly-faded Donald Curry. Three fights later Rosi won the IBF strap from Darrin Van Horn and this time he reigned for five years and 11 defenses. Vincent Pettway stopped Rosi in four to end that reign and had it not been for a failed post-fight drug test following his win over WBO king Verno Phillips he would have been a three-time champ at 38. After losing to Phillips in the rematch he retired for six years, then went 4-1 in a comeback that ended at age 49.
Samuel Serrano Career: 1969-1997 Major Titles: 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/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 2-3-1 (0 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Ernesto Marcel, Roger Mayweather, Yatsusune Uehara, Ben Villaflor Champions/Titlists defeated: Yatsusune Uehara (UD15), Ben Villaflor (UD15)
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.
Meldrick Taylor Career: 1984-2002 Major Titles: IBF light welterweight (September 3, 1988-March 17, 1990), WBA welterweight (January 19, 1991-October 31, 1992) Hailed from: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Record: 38-8-1 (20 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 2-4 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: James McGirt, Julio Cesar Chavez, Aaron Davis, Terry Norris, Crisanto Espana Champions/Titlists defeated: James McGirt (TKO 12), Aaron Davis (UD 12)
At 17, Meldrick Taylor was heralded as the most promising gold-medalist to emerge from the legendary 1984 American Olympic boxing team. A super-fast boxer from a North Philadelphia ghetto, he fought like a brawler despite his talents. Taylor was on the brink of glory when he faced Julio Cesar Chavez in a March 1990 Junior Welterweight unification classic. He outworked the Mexican legend and was ahead on the scorecards when Chavez knocked him down in the twelfth. He rose, was given the mandatory eight-count, but failed to respond to the referee’s questions. The fight was stopped with two seconds left. Taylor recovered with a WBA title win at welterweight over Aaron Davis but was never the same. An ill-advised foray at Jr. Middleweight saw him stopped by Terry Norris and his career became a cause for concern. Nevertheless, his unforgettable performance against Chavez in The Ring’s “Fight of the Decade” points toward greatness.
Fernando Vargas Career: 1997-2007 Major Titles: IBF light middleweight (December 12, 1988-December 2, 2000), WBA light middleweight (September 22, 2001-September 14, 2002) Hailed from: Oxnard, California Record: 26-5-0 (22 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 5-5 (2 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Yori Boy Campas, Raul Marquez, Winky Wright, Ike Quartey, Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Javier Castillejo, Shane Mosley, Ricardo Mayorga Champions/Titlists defeated: Yori Boy Campas (RTD 7), Raul Marquez (TKO 11), Winky Wright (MD 12), Ike Quartey (UD 12), Javier Castillejo (UD 10)
“El Feroz” Fernando Vargas was a decorated amateur and at 16, the youngest competitor to win the U.S. Championships in the 132 lb. weight class. A 1996 Olympian, he began his professional career with 17 consecutive knockout wins, including two over veterans Yuri Boy Campas and Raul Marquez. Vargas proved he was more than simply a puncher when he won decisions over Winky Wright, Ike Quartey, and Javier Castillejo and proved his courage by facing all-comers including Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, and Shane Mosley. His unification losses at 154 lbs. to Trinidad and De La Hoya are recalled as classics. Despite testing positive for steroid use after the De La Hoya loss in 2002, and a career-closing decision loss to Ricardo Mayorga in 2007, Vargas is remembered as the quintessential fighter’s fighter.
Wilfredo Vazquez Career: 1981-2002 Major Titles: WBA bantamweight (October 4, 1987-May 9, 1988); WBA super bantamweight (March 27, 1992-May 13, 1995); WBA featherweight (May 18, 1996-March 24, 1998; relinquished title) Hailed from: Bayamon, Puerto Rico Record: 56-9-2 (41 KO) Boxrec record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 8-7-1 (5 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Antonio Avelar, Orlando Canizales, Antonio Cermeno, Israel Contreras, Khaokor Galaxy, Naseem Hamed, Thierry Jacob, Miguel Lora, Luis Mendoza, Takuya Muguruma, Chan Yong Park, Juan Polo Perez, Raul Perez, Eloy Rojas, Champions/Titlists defeated: Orlando Canizales (SD 12), Thierry Jacob (KO 8, KO 10), Luis Mendoza (UD 12), Chan Yong Park (KO 10), Juan Polo Perez (UD 12), Raul Perez (KO 3), Eloy Rojas (KO 11)
Vazquez began learning the fundamentals of the sweet science two weeks after his father died. To honor his memory, 18-year-old Vazquez wanted to win a title like his father’s hero Wilfredo Gomez. After 17 amateur fights he turned pro with a four-round decision loss but quickly developed into a two-fisted bomber. He lost his first title shot and then came up short in a shootout to Avelar but rebounded and won his first title at bantamweight with a knockout. His reign was underwhelming. He fought a draw with Muguruma and lost to Galaxy, but soon hit his stride as a 122-pounder. He avenged a previous loss to Perez by bombing him out in three rounds and piled up nine defenses. Presumed to be past his prime when he lost the belt to Cermeno at age 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 relinquishing it to fight Naseem Hamed instead of taking a rematch with Cermeno. Vasquez gave a credible effort before Hamed stopped him in seven. He retired at age 42 after winning his last four fights.
Ratanapol Sor Vorapin Career: 1990-2009 Major Titles: IBF minimumweight (December 12, 1992-March 16, 1996, Lost on scales; May 18, 1996-December 27, 1997) Hailed From: Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand Record: 59-8-1 (48 KO) Boxrec Record Record against Champions/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 2-3 (1 KO) Champions/Titlists faced: Manny Melchor, Nico Thomas, Zolani Petelo, Will Grigsby, Ricardo Lopez Champions/Titlists defeated: Manny Melchor (SD12), Nico Thomas (KO 7)
His oft-forgotten reign at 105 lbs. came in parallel to Ricardo Lopez. Sor Vorapin held the one title at the weight Lopez never did as they amassed similar statistics. Across two reigns broken up only by a failure to make weight in his 14th attempted defense, Sor Vorapin made 19 total defenses, seventeen by knockout, before being stopped by Zolani Petelo. Perhaps his most impressive defense came in early in his first reign, stopping a then-undefeated Ala Villamor. Sor Vorapin fell short in two tries at 108 lb. titles, losing a decision to Will Grigsby and in a long overdue showdown with Lopez in 2000. Fighting on the undercard of Felix Trinidad-Fernando Vargas, Lopez won in three. Sor Vorapin would be inactive until a four-year comeback began in 2005. He would never fight for a title again.
Hilario Zapata Career: 1977-1993 Major Titles: WBC light 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/Titlists and Hall of Famers: 12-6-1 (4 KO) Champions/Titlists 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/Titlists defeated: Freddie Castillo (UD 12), Jung Koo Chang (SD 15), Juan Antonio Guzman (UD 10), Shigeo Nakajima (UD 15, TKO11), Joey Olivo (KO 13), Dodie Boy Penalosa (UD 15), Juan Polo Perez (UD 10), Tomori (SD15, KO 8), German Torres (UD 15), Netronoi Sor Vorasingh (KO 10)
A mantis-like southpaw, Zapata towered over his opponents and used surprising agility to avoid shots like he was on a spring. His long jabs controlled distance though he preferred mixing it up on the inside, Zapata decisioned former WBA 108-pound king Guzman in his fifth pro fight and first 10 rounder. He lost to Lopez in his seventh professional bout but beat Castillo in his ninth. Zapata captured his first world title in his 12th fight. After he lost his belt by knockout loss to Ursua, Zapata regained the belt five months later by beating Ursua’s successor, Tomori. Weight issues played a big role in his rematch KO loss to Chang. After winning eight of nine fights to earn a crack at a third title at age 34, Zapata was stopped in the first round and finally hung up those busy gloves.
Biographies compiled by:
Biographies compiled by: Lee Groves, RingTV.com Jack Obermayer, Boxing Digest Cliff Rold, BoxingScene.com Springs Toledo, TheSweetScience.com