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About The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame

In the United States, there are Sports Halls of Fame that honor professional and amateur athletes in football, basketball, track, tennis, baseball and other sports. There are also ethnic halls of fame that recognize outstanding athletes from different groups including Italian, Jewish, Irish and blacks to name a few. But, there was not a single sports hall of fame that would recognize, honor and salute the outstanding accomplishments/achievements and contributions of our Latino/Hispanic Sports Heritage not only from the United States but also those who came to this country from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Central and South America and from the vast talent from the Caribbean Islands. The Latin-American International Sports Hall of Fame/Salon de Ia Fama Latinoamericano del Deporte was organized in Laredo, Texas in 1974. At first it was to celebrate, honor and promote local and regional individuals who had excelled at their particular sport but soon it opened the doors to include National and International Professional Athletes. It also recognizes as Sportsman of the Year individuals who continue to preserve and enhance our Latino culture, values and educational opportunities for our youth and who contribute to the betterment of the City of Laredo and South Texas. There have been since its inception an equal recognition of women athletes inductees. It was important to find role models for our youth and the organizers wanted to include all ages, regardless of sex in their programs. The Latin Hall was also created to promote economic development and stimulate business activity in downtown Laredo when local businesses are contracted to provide services to our inductees, their families and guests who visit Laredo during the annual 3-day welcome reception, media luncheon and induction banquet celebration weekend. Through the years. (1975-2014), and with limited amount of funds the organization has, had the opportunity to help the youth of our community with scholarships and other youth activity fundraisers. Plans are to have a Latin Sports International Hall of Fame Museum (downtown) (soon) which will be a first for the United States and to provide clinics (free of charge) to instruct our youth in different sports.


The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1975 to recognize individuals with good and proper standing in the community, high morals and values and who have excelled in sports and/or have contributed to the promotion of sports and goodwill in the Latino community.

Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame

47th Annual Induction Banquet

Gaby Canizales

World Bantamweight Champion
Las Vegas /Detroit

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.