Kid Gavilan Biography
Kid Gavilan started his boxing career in his native Cuba at age 17, in 1943, and won his first 17 fights, his first loss being to Carlos Macalera in Mexico City (he later beat Macalera in a rematch in Havana). By the time Gavilan had his first fight in the U.S. his record was an impressive 25 wins, two losses and one draw, and he increased that record to 26 wins by knocking out Johnny Ryan in the fifth round in New York City. Thereafter he split his time between the U.S. East Coast and Cuba, but in 1948 decided to stay in the U.S. Gavilan fought some of the best welterweight boxers in the sport, beating fighters like former world champ Ike Williams, Tommy Bell and Tony Pellone (although he lost a bout to Sugar Ray Robinson).He finally took the welterweight title in 1951 when he beat Johnny Saxton.
He fought off several challengers, including such tough fighters as Chuck Davey and Carmen Basilio. In 1954 he went up to the Middleweight category, and fought a title bout with Bobo Olson, but lost. His bad luck continued when he went back to the welterweight class but lost the title in a 15-round decision to Johnny Saxton. His career after that was a series of rises and falls, and he retired in 1958. He had a career record of 106 wins--27 by knockout--30 losses and six draws, and had the distinction of being one of the few professional boxers who went through his entire career without ever having been knocked out or even knocked down. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1966.He died of a heart attack in Miami in 2003.