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Biofile: Wilfredo Gomez Interview

sswgBy Scoop Malinowski
WBC Super Bantamweight Champion
May 21, 1977 – April 1983
WBC Featherweight Champion
March 31, 1984 – December 8, 1984
World Junior Lightweight Champion
May 1985 – May 24, 1986
Born On: October 29, 1956 In: Las Monjas, Puerto Rico
Childhood Hero: “Carlos Ortiz.”
Nickname: “Bazooka.”
Childhood Dream: “I was fighting so much, it’s like I was born to fight. I had incredible power. Don’t get me wrong, I could box. That’s why I won 90 of 93 amateur fights. Punching power is why I won six major gold medals and three world championships in three divisions.”
Early Boxing Memory: “When I bought my parents a new house and I bought them a taxi cab.”
Favorite Movies: “Romantic and western movies.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “Carlos Zarate fight (TKO 5 in ’78). That was a difficult fight. I was worried. All the experts said I would get knocked out. He had 45 fights and 44 knockouts. But I realized I could hit him in the first round. Because I could hit him at will. I knew that I was able to dominate him. He was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world at the time. That fight was the one that got me in the spotlight in the sport of boxing.”
Most Painful Moment: “Sanchez fight (L TKO 8 in ’81 in Las Vegas). I underestimated him. And I never trained for that fight. There was a lot of media attention for that fight and I felt as if I disappointed my country.”
Favorite Meal: “Lobster.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Vanilla.”
Pre-Fight Feeling: “Very confident. I’d look to intimidate with the eyes.”
Pre-Fight Meal: “I’d like to eat very light. So I wouldn’t feel heavy. Like spaghetti.”
Funny Boxing Memory: “Before the Carlos Zarate fight, two of my girlfriends came into the dressing room and they started fighting each other [laughs].”
Toughest Opponents: “Salvador Sanchez. He was very tough. Trained very well. He kept himself clean. He threw many different punches. And he had a helluva condition. It seemed like he got stronger as the fight went on. Juan LaPorte. That fight was at the end of my career. I wasn’t crazy about training after this fight. I just wanted to make weight. Physically, I wasn’t strong anymore. And as a fighter, you need to be physically conditioned – or else you are done when you step in that ring. Azumah Nelson. At the end, I just didn’t have it any longer. I knew Nelson was tough but my discipline for the sport was gone. I always thought I could have five world titles, but I got careless and gave in to temptation and money. I didn’t want to commit to the sacrifice of training any more. I believe that’s why I lost to Nelson.”
Hardest Puncher: “Carlos Zarate.”
Fight(s) I was at my best: “The fight with Carlos Zarate. I felt I could do anything I wanted in the ring that night.”
Worst Injury: “The shots Rocky Lockridge hit me with damaged my vocal chords. And I’ve never really recovered all the way.”

How I’d Like To Be Remembered: “A world champion for Puerto Rico who gave all his power to boxing. A champion who fought any challenger anywhere, all over the world.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “Just be a good person.”

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