October 23, 2015
October 23, 2015
Sonny Liston

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4. Wilfredo Gomez

The brave Puerto Rican was a hellacious puncher – after drawing in his debut, he racked up 32 straight wins, all inside the distance. That run included 17 consecutive title defences (of his WBC super-bantam crown), a record that still stands today.

He wasn’t knocking over tomato cans either. He won the title from South Korea’s Dong Kyum Yum, who dropped Gomez in the opening round, only to be stopped in the 12th by ‘Bazooka’. He travelled to Japan not long after to stop local favourite Royal Kobayashi in two rounds (three rounds quicker than Alexis Arguello had managed).

In 1978 he wrecked Mexican hero Carlos Zarate (then 55-0) inside five rounds to confirm his status as one of the world’s best. Carlos Mendoza made it to the 10th with Gomez but the likes of Nicky Perez, Ruben Valdes and Derrik Holmes were dispatched sooner.

1981 was the year Wilfredo’s violent reign would end when he met Salvador Sanchez in arguably the greatest fight in the Puerto Rico-Mexico boxing rivalry. Dropped in the first, Gomez rallied as the fight progressed but the Mexican stopped him in the eighth, handing Wilfredo his first loss.

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