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Wilfredo Gomez Spurs Comeback by Scoring a Knockout in Second

Associated Press

Former three-time world champion Wilfredo Gomez of Puerto Rico overcame a sluggish first round to stop Mexican journeyman Mario Salazar in the second round of their lightweight bout Wednesday night.

Gomez, attempting to win a world title in his fourth weight class, was sent to the ropes early in the second round as Salazar tried to take advantage of Gomez’s recent ring inactivity.

But Gomez (44-3-1), who hadn’t fought in a year, was able to counterpunch off the ropes.

A short right floored Salazar (28-11) midway through the round and Gomez sent his opponent to the canvas twice more before the bout was stopped at 1:45 of the round.

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“I know my time away from the ring hurt me tonight,” Gomez said. “At first, a few months ago I was weighing 180 pounds and had to lose more than 40 pounds to make the weight (139) tonight.”

Gomez held the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title from 1977 to 1983. He also held the WBC featherweight title and the World Boxing Assn. junior-lightweight championship, but was retired nearly two years before he returned last July.

Gomez said he wants a title shot against WBA lightweight champion Edwin Rosario early next year.

“To fight Rosario, I’m going to need to be in the best condition of my career,” Gomez said.

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Gomez was scheduled to fight Arturo Hernandez, but Hernandez pulled out because of a hand injury.


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