Betulio Gonzalez: Venezuela’s Three-Time World Champion Boxer

Betulio Segundo González, born on October 24, 1949, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, is a former professional boxer who etched his name in the annals of boxing history as a national hero and one of Venezuela’s greatest world champions. His perseverance, professionalism, and constancy earned him the admiration of fans worldwide.

González’s love for boxing blossomed at the tender age of 12 after watching the movie “Pepe El Toro,” starring the legendary Mexican actor and singer Pedro Infante. Inspired by the film, he embarked on an amateur career that saw him amass an impressive record of 70 wins and 7 losses, along with two national titles.

In April 1968, at the age of 18, González turned professional, and his journey towards greatness began. He remained undefeated in his first 17 fights, capturing the national flyweight title along the way. Despite early setbacks against Félix Márquez and Ignacio Espinal in 1970, González bounced back, exacting revenge on both fighters later that year.

González’s first shot at a world title came on April 1, 1971, when he challenged Masao Ohba for the WBA flyweight championship in Tokyo. Although he lost a close decision, his determination remained unwavering. Later that year, he faced Erbito Salavarria for the vacant WBC title, but the fight ended in controversy amid allegations of Salavarria using illegal substances.

Undeterred, González continued his pursuit of glory, and in June 1972, he finally realized his dream, stopping Socrates Batoto in four rounds to claim the WBC flyweight title. However, his reign was short-lived as he lost the belt to Venice Borkhorsor later that year.

González’s resilience shone through as he regained the WBC title in August 1973, defeating Miguel Canto by majority decision. This marked the beginning of a remarkable trilogy between the two fighters, with Canto emerging victorious in their second and third encounters.

In 1978, González achieved a remarkable feat, becoming a three-time world champion by capturing the WBA flyweight title with a majority decision over Guty Espadas. He successfully defended the belt three times before losing it to Luis Ibarra in November 1979.

González’s quest for a fourth world title fell short, as he suffered losses to Juan Herrera and Santos Laciar in 1981 and 1982, respectively. However, his legacy as a boxing great was cemented, and he retired in 1988 with an impressive record of 76 wins, 12 losses, and 4 draws, with 52 knockouts.

Today, Betulio González is revered as a national hero in Venezuela, a testament to his unwavering spirit, determination, and skill in the ring. His three-time world championship reign in the same weight class remains an extraordinary achievement, solidifying his place among the greatest boxers in Venezuelan history.


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