Wilfredo Gomez, one of the greatest of all Puerto Rican boxers, will be ringside Saturday evening, Aug. 10, cheering for fellow-countrymen Gamalier Rodriguez and Felix Verdejo in their scheduled fights at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
clip_image004 Rodriguez, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, defends his NABO featherweight title in a 10-round bout against challenger Jorge Pazos, of Guamachil, Mexico, while unbeaten prospect Verdejo takes on Guillermo Delgadillo, of Walla Walla, WA, in a six-round junior lightweight contest.
The Rodriguez-Pazos and Verdejo-Delgadillo fights will be televised on Solo Boxeo Tecate, aired on UniMas. First of seven live fights begins at 7 pm.
Gomez (left), a pro from 1974 to 1989, won 44 out of 48 fights with one draw and 42 knockouts. He won the WBC super bantamweight title in 1977 when he got off the canvas in the first round to knock out defending champion Dong-Kyun Yum, of South Korea, in the 12th round of their scheduled 15-round fight in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Over the next seven years, Gomez made a division-record 17 title defenses, defeating such Mexican standouts as Carlos Zarate, Juan “Kid” Meza, Roberto Rubaldino and Lupe Pintor.
In the middle of that streak, Gomez unsuccessfully challenged Salvador Sanchez, of Mexico, for the WBC featherweight title, but was stopped in the 11th round, suffering the first loss of his career.
After relinquishing his super bantamweight title, Gomez won the WBC featherweight belt when he outpointed fellow-Puerto Rican Juan LaPorte in 1984 in San Juan.
After losing that belt later in 1984 to Azumah Nelson, of Ghana, Gomez moved up to the junior lightweight division in 1985 and won the WBA world title at that weight by out-pointing Rocky Lockridge, of Tacoma, WA, over 15 rounds in San Juan.
One year later, Gomez lost the last of his titles to Alfredo Layne, of Panama, then won two more fights before retiring permanently in 1989.
Though he only stood 5-foot-5 and never weighed more than 130 pounds in his prime, Gomez, now 57, is considered one of the most prolific punchers in boxing history.
He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.
ABOUT AUGUST 10
The Rodriguez-Pazos fight headlines a seven-bout card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Doors open at 6.30pm; first fight 7p.m. Tickets priced at $50 and $75 and $130 (luxury suites) can be purchased through the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and at all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000). Tickets also are on sale at www.peltzboxing.com, www.SandsEventCenter.com, and www.Ticketmaster.com. In Bethlehem, tickets are available at Deja Brew, Inc., 101 West 4th Street (610-865-2739) and at Pronto Insurance Notary, 232 East 3rd Street (610-419-6790). The Rodriguez-Pazos fight will be on Solo Boxeo Tecate, aired on UniMas, on a one-hour delay in the East, beginning at 10pm. The card is being promoted by Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., in association with BAM Boxing and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.