Wednesday, June 19, 1996
Oscar De La Hoya gave a superb performance to win the super
lightweight world title with a fourth-round TKO against defending
champion Julio Cesar Chavez in a fight that captured the attention of
the entire world. DeLaHoya, now 22-0, 20 kos, of East Los Angeles,
cut Chavez, 96-2-1, 78 kos, over the left eye in the opening seconds,
and dominated the bout with his speed and punching power. He won
every round on every scorecard, and bloodied Chavez' nose and mouth in
the fourth round. The fight was stopped on the advice of the
attending physician due to the severe cuts. The WBC is very proud of
DeLaHoya, and believes that he will hold the title with the same honor
and dignity that marked the championship reign of Chavez, one of the
great champions of our day. Before the fight, both fighters were
advised that the winner must next make his mandatory defense against
No. 1 ranked contender Miguel Angel Gonzalez, 41-0, 31 kos, the former
lightweight world champion with ten successful defenses. They are now
in the stage of free negotiations. (6-7-96 Las Vegas)
Azumah Nelson, 39-3-2, 28 kos, of Accra, Ghana, added another chapter
to his incredible career with a sixth-round TKO victory against former
world champion James Leija, 30-3-2, 14 kos, of San Antonio. Nelson
knocked down Leija in the last seconds of the first round with a
crushing right hand and controlled most of the fight. Leija fought
effectively in the fourth round, but Nelson took command again and cut
Leija, which stopped the fight at 1:58 of the sixth round. It was
their third meeting - they fought to a draw on September 10, 1993, and
Leija took the title with a twelve-round decision in the rematch on
May 7, 1994. (6-1-96 Las Vegas)
Cruiserweight world championship...
Champion Marcelo Dominguez, 19-1-1, 10 kos, of Argentina, will defend
the title against No. 9 ranked Patrick Aouissi, 15-1, 10 kos, of
France. Dominguez, the former interim champion, became the undisputed
champion when champion Anaclet Wamba failed to make weight for their
fight scheduled for April 20. The fight is scheduled for July 8 in
Light heavyweight world championship...
The WBC is awaiting a statement from champion Fabrice Tiozzo regarding
his status. Apparently Tiozzo can no longer make weight, and is
planning to move up to the cruiserweight division. The WBC has
ordered an elimination match to determine the official challenger
between No.1 ranked Montell Griffin, 22-0, 15 kos, of Chicago, and No.
2 ranked former champion Mike McCallum, 48-3-1, 36 kos, of Las Vegas.
Super middleweight world championship...
Thulane Sugarboy Malinga, 41-9, 17 kos, of Ladysmith, Natal, the first
South African to win a WBC world title in twenty years, will make his
first title defense against No. 6 ranked challenger Vincenzo
Nardiello, 29-5, 17 kos, of Italy. Malinga won the super middleweight
world title on March 2 with a masterful performance in an upset
decision victory against defending champion Nigel Benn. 29-year-old
Nardiello is an eight-year pro and former European champion. The
fight will be held on July 6 in Manchester, England. In a ceremony on
June 10, South Africa President Nelson Mandela presented Malinga with
his WBC championship belt. WBC President Jose Sulaiman stated, "Now,
after the constitutional prohibition of apartheid and the election of
the leader of the opposition, Nelson Mandela, who has always fought in
defense of his race, the WBC is profoundly proud of this new champion,
since with the WBC championship belt, he also carries the symbol of 19
years of efforts and sacrifices in our struggle to defend human
dignity. The WBC is also deeply honored to have had President Mandela
as the one who made the presentation."
Middleweight world championship...
Champion Keith Holmes had planned to fight No. 1 contender Richie
Woodhall on July 13, but the fight was cancelled when Woodhall stated
that he was unavailable for that date.
Super welterweight world championship...
Champion Terry Norris' planned defense on June 8 against Julio Cesar
Vazquez was cancelled, and he is now scheduled to fight No. 10 ranked
Alex Rios, 18-2, 14 kos, of San Antonio on July 13 in Las Vegas.
Norris is 43-6, 27 kos.
Lightweight world championship...
Jean Baptiste Mendy, 49-5-2, 30 kos, of France, must make his next
defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Steve Johnston, 19-
0, 13 kos, of Denver, who is also the NABF champion. They are
currently in the stage of free negotiations.
Featherweight world championship...
World champion Luisito Espinoza, 38-7, 20 kos, who has become a
national hero in the Philippines, will defend his title for the second
time against No. 1 ranked official challenger Cesar Soto, 43-6-2, 34
kos, of Ciudad Juarez, MX. The fight will take place on July 6 at
Quirino Grandstand in the center of Manila, where promoters are
predicting the largest attendance in the history of boxing.
Philippine President Fidel Ramos has offered his support of the event.
It was 21 years ago that one of the greatest fights of all time took
place there - the Thrilla in Manila - Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier on
October 1, 1975.
Super bantamweight world championship...
Super bantamweight world champion Daniel Zaragoza, 52-7-3, 26 kos, of
Mexico City will defend the title on July 20 against No. 4 ranked
Tsuyoshi Harada, 21-1, 12 kos, in Osaka, Japan, Harada's hometown.
Bantamweight world championship...
The interim title bout between No. 1 ranked Sirimongkol Singmanassuk,
12-0, 4 kos, of Thailand, and No. 2 Jose Luis Bueno, 28-7-1, 20 kos,
of Mexico City, has been rescheduled for August 10 in Bangkok, on the
same card as the light flyweight championship bout.
Flyweight world championship...
The highly-anticipated bout between flyweight world champion Yuri
Arbachakov, 22-0, 15 kos, and No. 10 ranked Japan champion Takato Puma
Toguchi, 18-2, 15 kos, of Okinawa, has been rescheduled for August 26
Light flyweight world championship...
Champion Saman Sorjaturong's defense against No. 4 ranked Shiro
Yahiro, 21-2-2, 11 kos, of Fukuoka, Japan, has been been reset for
August 10 in Bangkok.
Strawweight world championship...
Champion Ricardo Lopez, 41-0, 31 kos, of Mexico City, will make his
sixteenth title defense on July 13 in Las Vegas against #9 ranked
Kitti Chai Preecha, 19-1, 10 kos, of Thailand.
The annual WBC convention, scheduled for October 20-26 in Buenos
Aires, is receiving a tremendous response - 150 reservations have
already been received. For reservations, please contact the WBC
offices in Mexico City at - phone (525) 533-6546 and 208-2440, and fax
(525) 208-7763 and 207-7172.
In response to statements made by commentator Larry Merchant on
the broadcast of the Nelson-Leija fight, President Sulaiman replied,
"Merchant once again abused the power of the HBO microphone with false
accusations about the foreign judges appointed for the Nelson-Leija
and Chavez-DeLaHoya fights. But all of the judges involved performed
impeccably and showed Merchant to be a liar. We assume that he
thought the judges would be biased toward Nelson and Chavez, but they
showed complete integrity and professionalism in their scoring.
Merchant also called Nelson an 'old man,' but Azumah proceeded to
dramatically knock out Leija." President Sulaiman added that he,
"doesn't think Merchant will ever come back to reality."
The WBC encountered several problems with the distribution of the
life insurance money to the heirs of Jimmy Garcia, but has finally
resolved the situation. Seventy-five percent of the money will go to
buy homes for Jimmy's two daughters, three and six years of age, and
his son, 9 months of age, with the balance to be used to open trusts
for the three children. The remaining money will be used to open a
trust in the name of Jimmy's mother, with a minor amount for his
father. The WBC is very proud of the mandatory life insurance to help
the needy families of boxers who pass away in the ring, and is pleased
to report that there have only been three ring fatalities since the
organization instituted the mandatory life insurance rule. The WBC
recently increased its mandatory medical and hospitalization insurance
to $200,000 for every boxer appearing on a WBC championship card.
The WBC is happy to announce that Carol Castellano, one of
boxing's best judges, is recovering from the cardiovascular problems
that hospitalized her.
The WBC extends its deepest sympathy to ratings committee member
Dean Lohuis, his wife Nedina, and their family for the passing away of
their three year old granddaughter. May God have her resting in