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Boxing News of Friday, 8 December 2017


Today in History: Azumah Nelson beats Wilfredo Gomez to win Ghana’s second world title

Azumah Nelson knocked out Wilfredo Gomez in round 11 play videoAzumah Nelson knocked out Wilfredo Gomez in round 11

December 8, 1984, Ghana’s Azumah Nelson won Ghana’s second world title in boxing after defeating Wilfredo Gomez to win the WBC featherweight strap at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

David Koety Poison had won Ghana’s first world title in 1978 when he defeated Danny Lopez to win the WBC featherweight title.

Nelson stopped the Puerto Rican in round 11 of their scheduled 12-rounder. The fight was Nelson’s second world title shot.

The Ghanaian first world title was against then WBC featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez on July 21, 1982, Nelson was stopped in round 15.

The Sánchez-Nelson fight would be Salvador Sánchez’s last fight, as he died almost two months later after suffering a car accident in Mexico City.

In his next fight, Nelson knocked out fringe contender Irving Mitchell in eight rounds.

Nelson won all four of his fights in 1983, and he began 1984 by beating Hector Cortez by decision on 9 March in Las Vegas. Then, on 8 December of that year, he became boxing royalty by knocking out Wilfredo Gómez in round 11 to win the WBC featherweight championship. Behind on the three judges’ scorecards, Nelson rallied in that last round to become champion in Puerto Rico.

Nelson held on to that title for three years. He could not fight for 9 months after the Gómez bout, but when he returned, he retained the title in Miami with a fifth-round knockout of Juvenal Ordenes in September 1985, and then in October of that year, he retained it again with a first-round knockout of Pat Cowdell in Birmingham, England.

The Cowdell knockout in particular became a highlight film material: Cowdell was left frozen on the canvas by Nelson’s knockout punch.

In 1986, he retained the title two times, beating future world champion Marcos Villasana and former Barry McGuigan challenger Danilo Cabrera (once again, in Puerto Rico).

In 1987, Nelson retained the title against Mauro Guitierrez, by a knockout in round six, and in a rematch with Villasana, once again, by decision. After the second fight with Villasana, Nelson abandoned the WBC title.