Former U.S. Olympian Michael Carbajal and Mexico's Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez fought each other three times for a junior flyweight championship. Now, they will be enshrined together in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, along with 10 other fighters and ring personalities. The late lightweight champion Edwin Rosario of Puerto Rico and boxing historian Hank Kaplan also are among the 2006 class announced Thursday. The induction ceremony is June 11.
Inductees are chosen by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. Boxers must be retired five years to be eligible. "We had some great fights together," said Carbajal, who now runs a gym in Phoenix. "It seems right that both of us are going in at the same time like this. We have a history." Carbajal unified the IBF and WBC on March 13, 1993, by defeating Gonzalez, who is widely regarded as one of boxing's hardest punchers. In what many called 1993's fight of the year, Carbajal rose from two knockdowns to stop Gonzalez with a seventh-round knockout. Carbajal won a silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
"He was a pioneer in a lot of ways," said trainer Emanuel Steward, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996. "His punching power for his size was phenomenal." Gonzalez reclaimed the title with a 12-round split decision in a February 1994 rematch, giving Carbajal his first pro loss. Gonzalez won another 12-round split decision in November 1994. He lost the championship in an upset July 15, 1995, when he was knocked out by Thailand's Saman Sorjaturong in the seventh round. He retired after the loss, leaving with a record of 43-3 with 31 knockouts. Carbajal won the WBO junior flyweight title in 1994 before his rubber match with Gonzalez, and went on to win two more championships after his their last fight, the IBF crown in 1996-1997 and the WBO belt in 1999. After beating Jorge Arce for the WBO championship in 1999, Carbajal retired, finishing with a record of 49-4 with 33 knockouts. "I won't lie. I miss it," the 37-year-old Carbajal said. "But I retired a world champion", reports the AP. N.U.
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