Leo Gamez : biography
Silvio Rafael Gamez (born August 8, 1963), better known as Leo Gamez, is a former boxer from Venezuela. A former world Flyweight champion, Gamez became the first Flyweight boxer in history to win world titles in four different divisions.
Gamez is considered by some boxing critics to be among Venezuela's best fighters since the Betulio González era.
He made his professional boxing debut on February 14, 1985 in Maracay, when he decisioned Francisco García over four rounds. On April 17 of that same year, he got his second victory, another four round points win, this time over Alcides Hernandez, also in Maracay. After those two wins, Gamez had six consecutive knockout wins, including two over Rafael Lara, and one in his first fight outside Maracay, held on August 14 at El Guayabo, where he beat Jose Escorcia in the fourth round. On November 28 of 1986, he would beat Escorcia's brother, Alberto, also by knockout in four rounds, at Maracaibo.
On February 2, 1987, he suffered his first "blemish", when he was held to a two round technical draw by Rafael Bolivar, at Maracay. By then, Gamez was becoming a well known boxer among Hispanic boxing fans, Guantes magazine mentioning him sporadically on their articles.
On April 30, Gamez received his first shot at a title, when he was faced with Pedro Nieves in the Venezuelan town of Turnero, for the national Jr. Flyweight title. Gamez won the championship with a second round knockout.
He defended the title one time and won a handful of non-title bouts before reducing weight in order to get his first world championship opportunity.
On January 10, 1988, Gamez fought for the WBA's vacant world Minimumweight championship against Bong-Jun Kim. In what also was his first fight abroad, Gamez became world champion for the first time when he outpointed Kim over 12 rounds in South Korea. After that victory, he became a celebrity both in Venezuela and internationally, as he went from being mentioned in articles, as aforementioned, to having articles written about him on magazines that specialized in boxing.
He had several managerial problems after winning his first world championship, however, and he was able to defend that title only one time, knocking out Kenji Yokozawa in three rounds at Japan. When he suffered a broken arm not too long after, he decided to vacate the title, and took an extended lay-off from boxing.
On October 29, 1989, Gamez was finally able to make a comeback, and he knocked out Victoriano Hernandez in five rounds that night. After one more win, he attempted, for the first time, to win the WBA's world Jr. Flyweight championship. On April 29, 1990, he was faced with long reigning world champion Myung-Woo Yuh, once again, in South Korea. Gamez lost a controversial twelve round decision; many fans and observers thought he deserved the win, and the WBA ordered an immediate rematch. On November 10 of that year, he would again fight Woo Yuh in South Korea, and, once again, Woo Yuh won by a twelve round decision to retain the world title.
After two more decision losses, including one in a rematch with Todaka, Gamez decided to retire for good from boxing, leaving with a record of 34 wins, 11 losses and one draw (tie), 25 of his wins coming by knockout. His last fight was held in Germany.
Disillusioned, Gamez took off almost one more year off boxing. But he returned, illusioned with the idea of winning the WBA's world Flyweight championship. Having been promised a title try by the WBA, he began training and, after his training was complete, he returned to South Korea, where he challenged WBA world Flyweight champion Yong-Kang Kim on November 5, 1991. Gamez once again lost by a twelve round decision, but he decided to stay active in boxing after that loss.
Gamez won four fights in a row before once again dropping weight in order to challenge for a world title. His third try at the WBA's world Jr. Flyweight title, which was vacant after Woo Yuh's retirement, came on November 21, 1993, against Shiro Yashiro, in Tokyo. Gamez finally won the world Jr. Flyweight title, his second world championship, by knocking Yashiro out in nine rounds. He defended the title successfully three times, with fights in Panama and Thailand (twice), before losing it to Hi-Yong Choi on February 4 of 1995, once again in Korea. On May 20 of that year, he won the regional WBA Fedelatin Flyweight title by defeating Aquiles Guzman by a twelve round decision in Paraguay.
In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine