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Betulio Gonzalez

Titles: WBC flyweight champion 1972-1974, WBA flyweight champion 
           1978-1979

Record: 76-12-4

Born: October 24, 1949 in Maracaibo, Venezuela

Years active: 1968-1988

Nickname: None

Gonzalez in style can be compared to Rocky Marciano. He was never the best 
boxer nor the fastest of men but his willpower and work ethic more than 
made up for those deficiencies. When pushed to the brink of a loss he 
would always fire back, he would not always initiate but you could be sure 
he would retaliate and on mot occasions be the last man to land the punch 
in a exchange. He was a powerful puncher who wore his opponents down and 
used his excellent stamina to outlast his opponents. In over 20 years of 
boxing as a pro he fought in 16 mostly exciting world title bouts, he held 
three versions of the flyweight title by the time he retired. Gonzalez was 
born in Marachaibo Venezuela which at the time was the fistic center of 
the country. Betulio lost in his first world title bid when he was out
pointed by the talented Masao Ohba in Japan. The second title shot ended 
in the same fashion when he was out pointed by Erbito Salavarria. Not one 
to quit Gonzalez fought on and won the WBC flyweight title in a 4 round 
upset of Socrates Batoto. But Betulio celebrated too much which led to 
weight problems and he lost his title within 3 months when he was stopped 
in the third round by Thai Venice Borkorsor. His second title reign would 
last longer and had a added attraction to Gonzalez since it came at the 
expense of his main rival Miguel Canto. A year after he lost his belt he
regained it with a extremely  close decision win over Canto in Caracas. 
Two defenses over good but not great opposition followed. Again he would 
loose the title when Shoji Ogumay took a highly controversial decision, it 
was indeed a close fight but on most occasions would have gone to the 
champion. Gonzalez suffered another very disputed loss at the hands of his 
rival Miguel Canto the next year. Again Betulio fought on and after good 
wins received another title shot. He was still only 28 years of age but in 
the smaller weights it is the prime for ex-champions to become stepping 
stones. That is what Guty Espadas thought when he granted Betulio a title
shot looking for a good name to add to his resume. Betulio outworked the 
younger champion to win the title. It is odd but at this advanced age for 
a small fighter he would hold onto the title for the longest amount of 
time of his 3 title reigns. 14 months  and 3 defenses against very good
opponents would characterize this reign. The man who the title from Betulio 
Japan's Shoji Oguma lost 2 in close fights and Martin Vargas was knocked 
out in the 12th round of his last successful defense. It took a awkward 
southpaw Luis Ibarra to take the crown from a resilient Gonzalez over
15 hard but one sided rounds. Gonzalez was not definitely on the down side 
of his great career but still managed to challenge for 2 more titles but 
came out on the losing end of both contests. His last fight came against 
future champion Rodolfo Blanco at the age of 38, Betulio never shied away 
from tough fights even at the end of his career.