World Boxing Hall of Fame to Induct Roberto Duran, Matthew Saad Muhamad and others.

By Darren Nichols and the WBHOF


World Boxing Hall of Fame to Induct Roberto Duran, Matthew Saad Muhamad and others.

Fighter of the Year: Carlos Baldomir; Fight of the Year: Vazquez-Gonzalez; Special Guest: Gerald McClellan

-Carlos Baldomir-

       WBC Welterweight Champion Carlos Baldomir (43-9-6  / 13 by KO) just might be the Cinderella Man, i.e., the James J. Braddock of boxing today.   Baldomir was born on April 6, 1971 in Santa Fe, Argentina, which is the same hometown as the late, great Middleweight Champion Carlos Monzon.   Baldomir turned professional in 1993, and in a career that has spanned thirteen years, he has participated in fifty-eight bouts. Only seven of those bouts were fought in the United States. His two major engagements to date were fought this past year, both of which resulted in surprising victories.   He defeated Zab Judah on January 7, 2006 in New York to win the WBC Welterweight Championship in a unanimous 12 round decision. Six months later, he successfully defended his title on July 22, 2006 in Atlantic City by defeating Arturo Gatti in a  9th round knockout. Baldomir’s victories over Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti were fought in these opponents’ home cities.   A remarkable presence in the sport of boxing, Carlos Baldomir is the 2006 World Boxing Hall of Fame Fighter of the Year

Israel Vazquez KO 10 Jhonny Gonzalez

  The clash that took place last September between Israel Vazquez and Jhonny Gonzalez not only put two of the best bantamweights in the ring together for nearly ten rounds, but it was a grueling war that saw each warrior tasting the canvas before Gonzalez’ corner stepped in to save their fighter from further punishment.  Coming into this fight, both Vazquez and Gonzalez were on a four-and-a-half year win streak taking on top level opposition to prove they were the best man in their division, and the one to be reckoned with.  While Vazquez was defending his WBC 122-pound title for the third time, a belt he won in his trilogy with Oscar Larios in December of 2005, Gonzalez was making his debut in the super-bantamweight division, stepping up from his usual 118-pound weight class.  It was not until the third round that Gonzalez used his quicker hands to hit his desired target, putting Vazquez on his seat for a few short seconds by a left hook.  Seemingly unhurt, Vazquez came back in the round and returned fire, bloodying the face of Gonzalez.  Unfazed by the crimson on his face, Gonzalez continued his assault on Vazquez in the sixth round, placing him on the canvas again with another strong left hook.  However, in the very next round, Vazquez came back and floored Gonzalez with a straight right.  In the tenth, Vazquez landed another right that seemed to take the wind out of Gonzalez’ sails, dropping Gonzalez again in which he barely beats the count.  Beaten and battered, Gonzalez’ corner steps in to save their fighter so that he may fight another day.  With this great back-and-forth, give-and-take action, both Vazquez and Gonzalez showed tremendous heart, and earned themselves the award for Fight of the Year for 2006 by the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

-Gerald McClellan-

 The former WBC and WBO Middleweight Champ Gerald McClellan will be in attendance as a special guest of the World Boxing Hall of Fame when they induct the class of 2006 at their 27th Annual Banquet of Champions on Saturday, October 14th.  McClellan, who owns twenty first round knockouts in his thirty-four fight career captured his first major title in 1991 when he stopped John Mugabi in the first round to capture the vacant WBO strap.  A year and a half later, The G-Man added the WBC title to his resume by stopping one of this year’s Hall of Famers Julian Jackson in the fifth round.  McClellan defended his belt three times before the fateful night when he ventured eight-pounds north to face Nigel Benn for his WBC Super Middleweight Title.  Even though McClellan had Benn down in both the first and eighth round, and was ahead on the scorecards, tragedy struck when a blood clot formed in his brain, causing McClellan collapsed in his corner midway through the tenth round.  The heart and determination McClellan showed as a warrior inside the ring has permeated to his life outside of it, and as he continues to power through his everyday life after the fight with Benn, The G-Man continues to be an inspiration to everyone that comes in contact with him.