On This Day: The Humberto Gonzalez – Michael Carbajal Rivalry Begins With One Of The Most Savage Fights Ever Seen At 108 Pounds

By James Slater - 03/13/2024 - Comments

When fight fans and historians compile the Greatest Trilogy list, it seems the three fights between 108-pound warriors Humberto Gonzalez and Michael Carbajal are missing. It could be argued that shouldn’t be, as this trilogy saw two great fighters willing to put it all on the line against each other. And even if fights two and three were no way near as thrilling as the first fight between the two, the first fight ranks as an absolute classic, arguably the greatest ever seen in the light-flyweight division.

It was on this day back in 1993 when “Chiquita” Gonzalez met “Little Hands of Stone” Carbajal, this in a unification showdown at The Las Vegas Hilton. The fight was savage, vicious and bloody, the action red-hot from the start to the stunning finish. Two men, both in their prime, both believing they were the best in the world at the weight. Carbajal was perfect at 27-0(15), and the man from Phoenix was the reigning IBF champion.

Gonzalez was 36-1(25), with the man from Ciudad, Mexico holding the WBC title. The two men disliked one another, the fight needing zero phony hype or trash-talk. Together, these two little giants gave their sport The Fight of The Year.

The pace, set by Gonzalez, a lefty who would switch stance throughout the battle, was a fast one, and it never once let up. Neither guy threw many jabs at all, and clinches were seemingly out of fashion. The two men went at it, up close, the trading something to behold. Every round was special, rounds three and five especially so. Gonzalez dropped Carbajal for a flash knockdown in the second. Carbajal got right back up and back he came.

Gonzalez suffered a nasty cut to his left eye in the torrid third, the blood soon pouring down his face onto his body. With the crowd now at fever-pitch, commentator Al Bernstein was telling us what he and the watching fans knew: that this fight was shaping up as a classic.

Round five saw Gonzalez deck Carbajal again, this knockdown being a far more hurtful one, with Carbajal’s legs giving way beneath him, his arm temporarily draped over a ring rope. But once again, Carbajal got up and roared back! It was sizzling stuff. There was seemingly no way the fight could possibly go the distance. And so it turned out to be the case, as Carbajal, who had sent Gonzalez reeling across the ring earlier in the seventh round, the ropes holding “Chiquita” up, ended the fight in devastating fashion.

A huge left hook sent Gonzalez crashing, with the Mexican warrior unable to get back up. The fight ended with just one-second left in the seventh round. It was a magnificent battle, and the two men knew they would have to do it again. This they did, the following February, with Gonzalez getting his revenge via close, controversial split decision. The rubber-match came in November of 1994, with Gonzalez winning the decider via majority decision.

The last two fights were more controversial than great, and maybe this is why this trilogy is often left off the aforementioned lists. But the first fight, well, that one ranks as one of the greatest you will ever see. Both men gave their all in a savagely entertaining shoot-out. The fight that took place back in March of 1993 was also the very first million-dollar light-flyweight fight. Both men earned every single penny they were paid.