BEST LOCAL BOY MADE HEAVEN - 2003
Cuban immigrant Gerardo Gonzalez was one of the most popular boxers of the Fifties. As "Kid Gavilan" he won a world title against Johnny Bratton in 1951 at Madison Square Garden. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Gavilan was notorious for overwhelming his opponents with flurries of punches coming from all angles, and coined a notorious strike called the "bolo punch," a potentially lethal uppercut. He retired at age 32 with a record of 107 wins and 30 losses (28 KOs). In 1958 Gavilan returned to revolutionary Cuba only to have his property confiscated. Like so many others he escaped to that intermediary land of Miami, where he remained a vital source of information and energy in the boxing world. Gonzalez died of a heart attack February 13, 2002, in Miami. He was 77 years old. Papers in England, Scotland, and Australia wrote obituaries commemorating his career.