Gaby Canizales


Boxing
World Bantamweight Champion
Las Vegas /Detroit
1986-1991


Jose Gabriel Canizales had truly a challenging and colorful
career as an amateur and professional boxer. His career
has captured sports fans attention worldwide and has given
meaning to the phrase "Boxing's Little Giants."
Gaby's career began at the Northwest Boys and Girls Club
in Laredo, Texas in the early 1970's. By 1976, he had fought
his first amateur fight and had gone on to win the Regional
Golden Gloves titles in the flyweight and bantamweight division.
After a successful amateur career, Gaby joined the professional ranks in 1979. Three
years, later, he won the Texas Bantamweight Championship before a hometown crowd of
hundreds. Just three months later Gaby set his sights on the United States Boxing
Associations' Bantamweight Title. His dedication and determination paid off as he knocked
out opponent, Diego Rosario of Puerto Rico in the fifth round in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Gaby returned home to a here's welcome and became known to many as "The Legend of
Laredo". After defending his United States Boxing Association Title against four opponents
Gaby vacated the crown in order to become eligible to fight for a world title crown. In 1983,
Gaby fought his first world title fight against Jeff Chandler. After a grueling 15 rounds Gaby
lost the fight by way of a split decision.
The loss proved to be an incentive to Gaby who would not let the defeat get in the way of
his dream of one day becoming a world champion. In 1986, he got his second chance at a
world title fight, this time his opponent was undefeated former U.S. Olympian Richie
Sandoval, That night in Las Vegas, Nevada Gaby put an end to the 15 round title fight early,
knocking out Sandoval in the 7th round and becoming the new World Boxing Association's
Bantamweight Champion.
After losing the WBA title, Gaby's next challenge was to recapture the USBA title for the
second time in his career in 1987. Two years later, Gaby crossed the Texas state line and
won Arizona's State title.
In January of 1990 Gaby lost an attempt to win the World Boxing ConcH's title against
Raul Perez in Inglewood. California. In March 1991. Gaby won his second world title. knocking
out Miguel Lora in the 1st round of a 12 round championship fight in Detroit, Michigan.
Later. that year. Gaby lost that title to Duke Mckenize in London. England.
In November of 1991 Gaby announced his retirement from the sport of boxing, with a
career record of 48 wins. 9 loses and 1 draw. Although he has retired Gaby still participates
in the sport by actively working with his younger brother Orlando. the current International
Boxing Federation Bantamweight Champion in many of his fights.