Wilfredo Vázquez hits a right hand to the face of Venezuelan Eloy Rojas in the 126-pound title fight. The Puerto Rican knocked out Rojas in round 11 (Ranier Renta)
Former world champion and president of the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission, Víctor 'Luvi' Calleja, advocated that the world champion in three divisions and who made 13 defenses in his career, Wilfredo 'Wi' Vázquez , be finally exalted to the Hall of International Boxing Fame .
Vázquez is once again on the ballot for the Class of 2021 of the Hall of Fame, in which the multiple world champion, Cagüeño Miguel Cotto , as well as fellow Puerto Ricans Iván Calderón and Samuel Serrano also appears for the first time.
Calleja advocated for Vázquez when asked if Cotto had a chance to be elected at his first opportunity.
“He has a great opportunity, but we have Wilfredo Vázquez, a triple world champion of the 80s and 90s, from when boxing was stronger, not in terms of competition, but in regulations because it was a time when you fought 15 rounds. , where you had to be classified to fight for a title, where the weigh-ins were the same day as the fight, “said Calleja.
“It's about time,” he added about the former champion who has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for years since his last fight in 2002. “If they are going to choose someone who is Wilfredo, without belittling Miguel Cotto.”
The 'Pride of Puerto Rico', as Vázquez was known, was in combat in 15 and 12 rounds.
Vázquez was champion of 118 pounds and 122 pounds, a division that he dominated from 1992 to 1995 and in which he made nine defenses, all abroad. He defended it in Japan against fighters from that country, as well as against Europeans in France. He was a champion with a 'packed suitcase'.
One of nine defenders at 122 pounds came against Orlando Cañizales , who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Similarly, at 118 pounds he faced a member of the Hall of Fame, the Thai Khaosai Galaxy, inducted into the hall in 1999. Vázquez lost in Thailand a split decision to the Galaxy.
Subsequently, Vazquez also won the 126-pound title with an impressive display of background and power in Las Vegas against then-champion Eloy Rojas , whom he knocked out in round 11. He defended that title four times.
Vázquez – in addition – faced a third Hall of Famer at 126 pounds. That was Naseem Hamed who was then the fighter of the moment. He closed his career with a 56-9-2 record. Won 41 fights by KO.
The Bayamon man is one of the 42 names of boxers that appear on the ballot for the Class of 2021. In it also appears a sure member of the Hall, the undefeated and multiple champion Floyd Mayweather . Other names stand out, like Vladimir Klitshko , Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley, who, like Mayweather, fought in recent years.
The three boxers with the most votes received will be exalted.
Calleja, who said he has never been to the Hall of Fame because of the injustices committed there in the selection process, said the Hall has to be fair to old-guard fighters.
“I do not detract from the fighters of now, but I have to add merits to those of before,” he said.