Ex-boxing champ dies

2012-03-12 21:19

Johannesburg - Former WBO light-heavyweight champion Julio Cesar Gonzalez died after a motorcycle accident in Mexico on Saturday. He was 35.

Gonzalez, who was outpointed by Felipe Romero in his last fight on September 30 last year, compiled a record of 41 wins, 8 defeats and 25 knockouts.

However, he won only three of his last eight fights, which included losses to highly rated Reggie Johnson and Tavoris Cloud.

Gonzales made his professional debut on April 7, 1997 and won the WBO belt in October 2003 when he outpointed Dariusz Michalczweski, whose record was 48-0 at the time. However, he lost the belt to Zsolt Erdei (18-0) in his first defence.

The man who was named Julio Cesar Gonzalez Ibarra, had two more cracks at wining a “world” title but lost to Clinton Woods for the IBF belt on both occasions.

In his professional debut on April 7, 1997, he beat Alex Fedrov and then won another 20 bouts, including 9 knockouts, before winning the WBC Fecarbox light-heavyweight title in May 2000 when he stopped Jesus Ruiz in the ninth round.

Gonzalez also beat Tony Menefee (72-7-1), Patrick Swan (18-10-3), Jorge Amparo (8-14-1) and Julian Letterlough (15-0-1) in a fight that brought him the WBO NABO light-heavyweight title.

After a fifth-round stoppage win over Konstantin Semerdjiev (21-6) he suffered his first loss as a professional.

The man who beat him, in July 2001, was Roy Jones Jr, who was considered the undisputed light-heavyweight champion. Jones was defending a whole collection of belts when he defeated Gonzales.

The Mexican then enjoyed another eight-bout winning streak before winning the WBO belt.