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Ismael Laguna

Titles: lightweight champion in 1965 and 1970

Record: 65-9-1 (37 K.O's)

Born: June 28, 1943 in Colon, Panama

Years active: 1961-1972

Nickname:  None 

Ismael Laguna was described by The Ring magazine as "a tall immaculate boxer, 
carrying a knockdown punch in either hand". I agree 100% and would add that Laguna 
also carried one of the best and most accurate jabs the division has ever seen.
Laguna was also tough to the core and could soak up the punishment as well as he 
could dish it out when needed. While his title reigns at lightweight were very 
short this Panamanian could box with the best when the mood struck him. Laguna 
was a forerunner of Alexis Arguello outside of the ring, no one spoke ill of this 
world class gentleman and boxer. Born in a small fishing village he was one of 10 
children and began to fight as a pro at the age of 17. Within 4 years Laguna would 
be crowned a world champion. Laguna first came to the attention of the boxing 
world when he defeated fellow Panamanian Pedro Ortiz for the national featherweight 
title in his 20th pro fight. The fight was a close affair early but saw the power 
of Laguna gradually take over and wear Ortiz down for a 7th round stoppage win. 
Perhaps Laguna looked to good in that bout as he was avoided by the world champions 
for the next 3 years. It was another Ortiz who gave Laguna a shot at the title. 
Hall of Famer Carlos Ortiz lost a 15 round split decision to Laguna in Panama City. 
It could be that Ortiz overlooked the smaller Laguna who was moving up to the 
lightweight division but he did not avoid his jabs that was for sure. Ortiz said 
"He doesn't stick around to get hit, and I wasn't fast enough to catch him". In 
what was to become a trade mark of sorts for Laguna he cut Ortiz early with his 
stiff jab. Avoiding the late rush of Ortiz, Laguna was justly awarded a split 
decision win. Seven months months later in 1965 a smarter Ortiz who had learned 
from the previous fight took his title back in San Juan Puerto Rico on points. 
Ortiz opened up earlier than in the previous bout and established his superior 
strength. It was a close affair but Ortiz landed the cleaner of the punches nearly 
stopping Laguna in the 12th and 13th rounds, and was awarded the decision. Laguna 
avoided no man in search of another title shot and in february of that year took 
on the bigger Carlos Hernandez the jr. welterweight champion in a non title bout 
and scored a eighth round knockout win. Laguna also took on and had a draw with 
the graceful Argentine Nicolino Loche and lost a decision to veteran Filipino 
legend Flash Elorde in what was by all accounts a brutal fight. Maybe these fight 
took too much from Laguna? His prime was spent fighting tough fighters in search 
of another title, when the title came up again he could not win it. It was against 
his rival Carlos Ortiz that he would get his next title shot. In that third and 
worst meeting between the two Ortiz walked away with another points win in the 
rubber match. Laguna spend too much time dancing away from the oncoming rushes of 
Ortiz to win many rounds. Still Laguna was not yet done at the world class level 
when others might have given up. Another 3 years passed in which Laguna won 14 of 
his 15 fights before Laguna was to get another title shot. This time it was young 
Mando Ramos who gave Laguna a title shot in front of 15,000  Ramos' fans in Los 
Angeles. It was a stunning upset as Laguna showed pin point accuracy and stopped 
Ramos in the 9th round of the title fight. Ramos could not continue as both of his 
eyes were severely cut from the crisp jabs of Laguna. Ismael only made one title 
defense against Guts Suzuki before running into another very underrated boxer in 
Ken Buchanan. In the heat of San Juan Puerto Rico Ken Buchanan pulled away late 
stunning Laguna in the 12th and gained a razor thin points victory. It was at the
time considered a upset, but Buchanan proved his worth in subsequent fights. A 
rematch against Buchanan ended in a more lopsided loss in which Laguna tried to 
brawl with Buchanan and Laguna bid farewell to the ring at the age of 28. Laguna 
a intelligent man kept his money from boxing and lived well on the outskirts of 
Panama City after his retirement and never made a comeback.


Ismael Laguna

Career Record: 65 W, 9 L, 1 D (37 K.O'S)


     1961

     Jan 8   Antonio Morgan          Colon, Panama           KO 2
     Jan 22  Eduardo Frutos          Colon, Panama           W 4
     Mar 5   Javier Valle            Panama City             W 4
     Mar 26  Carlos Real             Panama City             W 4
     Apr 16  Jose Pacheco            Panama City             KO 3
     Apr 30  Ernest Campbell         Panama City             W 6
     May 21  Battling Escudero       Colon, Panama           KO 2
     Jun 4   Killer Solomon          Colon, Panama           KO 7
     Jun 25  Claudio Martinez        Colon, Panama           KO 4
     Aug 27  Enrique Hitchman        Panama City             W 10
     Oct 15  Euro Partides           Panama City             KO 4
     Dec 1   Hector Hicks            Colon, Panama           KO 5

     1962

     Jan 14  Eloy Sanchez            Colon, Panama           KO 3
     Mar 2   Castor Castillo         Maracaibo, Venezuela    W 10
     Apr 15  Nelson Estrada          Panama City             KO 7
     Jun 3   Jorge Uzcategui         Colon, Panama           KO 2
     Jun 10  Agustin Carmona         Panama City             KO 6
     Jun 24  Carlos Celis            Panama City             KO 3
     Jul 29  Jorge Salazar           Panama City             KO 6
     Sep 16  Pedro Ortiz             Panama City             KO 7
     Oct 28  Beresford Francis       Colon, Panama           KO 5
     Nov 18  Enrique Hitchman        Colon, Panama           KO 2
     Dec 16  Tony Herrera            Panama City             KO 2

     1963

     Jan 20  Bobby Gray              Colon, Panama           KO 9
     Feb 22  Juan Ramirez            Panama City             W 10
     Mar 17  Auburn Copeland         Panama City             W 10
     May 21  Fili Nava               Panama City             KO 3
     Jun 8   Antonio Herrera         Bogota, Colombia        L 10
     Jul 21  Don Johnson             Panama City             KO 3
     Aug 24  Lalo Guerrero           Panama City             W 10
     Sep 15  Antonio Herrera         Panama City             KO 7
     Nov 18  Rafiu King              Paris                   W 10

     1964

     Jan 26  Pedro Miranda           Colon, Panama           KO 4
     Feb 21  Orispo Dos Santos       Sao Paulo, Brazil       KO 7
     Mar 9   Angel Robinson Garcia   Paris                   W 10
     Jun 1   Vicente Saldivar        Tijuana, Mexico         L 10
     Jul 6   Kid Anahuac             Los Angeles             KO 8
     Aug 2   Vicente Derado          Panama City             W 10
     Oct 25  Percy Hayles            Panama City             KO 7
     Dec 19  Sebastiao Nascimento    Panama City             W 10

     1965

     Apr 10  Carlos Ortiz            Panama City             W 15
             (Wins World Lightweight Title)
     Jun 20  Raul Soriano            Panama City             KO 8
     Jul 17  Nicolino Loche          Buenos Aires            D 10
     Nov 13  Carlos Ortiz            San Juan                L 15
             (Loses World Lightweight Title)

     1966

     Feb 19  Carlos Hernandez        Panama City             KO 8
     Mar 19  Gabriel "Flash" Elorde  Manila                  L 10
     Jul 28  Al Grant                Los Angeles             W 10
     Oct 2   Percy Hayles            Kingston, Jamaica       KO 6
     Dec 3   Daniel Guanin           Panama City             KO 8

     1967

     Mar 10  Frankie Narvaez         New York                W 10
     Apr 2   Vicente Rivas           Panama City             KO 5
     Jun 3   Alfredo Urbina          Panama City             W 10
     Aug 16  Carlos Ortiz            New York                L 15
             (For World Lightweight Title)
     Oct 28  Paul Armstead           Panama City             W 10

     1968

     Feb 26  Ray Adigun              Paris                   W 10
     Apr 15  Bud Anderson            Philadelphia            KO 10
     Apr 29  Frankie Narvaez         San Juan                W 10
     Jul 17  Victor Melendez         New York                W 10
     Aug 20  Lloyd Marshall          New York                KO 9
     Oct 7   Gabe LaMarca            Portland, ME            KO 7
     Oct 22  Grady Ponder            Miami Beach             W 10
     Nov 15  Ramon Blanco            New York                W 10

     1969

     Mar 1   Curly Aguirre           Panama City             KO 4
     Mar 31  Maurice Tavant          Paris                   W 10
     May 24  Eugenio Espinosa        Quito, Ecuador          L 10
     Jul 5   Eugenio Espinosa        Panama City             W 10
     Jul 14  Gennaro Soto            New York                W 10

     1970

     Jan 10  Jose Luis Vallejo       Colon, Panama           KO 3
     Mar 3   Mando Ramos             Los Angeles             KO 9
             (Regains World Lightweight Title)
     Jun 6   Ishimatsu Suzuki        Panama City             KO 13
             (Retains World Lightweight Title)
     Sep 26  Ken Buchanan            San Juan                L 15
             (Loses World Lightweight Title)

     1971

     Mar 6   Lloyd Marshall          Panama City             W 10
     Apr 3   Chango Carmona          Panama City             W 10
     Jun 22  Eddie Linder            Miami Beach             L 10
     Sep 13  Ken Buchanan            New York                L 15
             (For World Lightweight Title)