December 11, 1999
Hamburg - December 11, 1999. Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez successfully defended his WBC cruiserweight title against his African born challenger Napoleon Tagoe with a knockout in round nine. The fight was the co main event that also saw WBO heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko make his second defence against American Obed Sullivan.
The 6-foot-4 Gomez used his height and reach advantage and his superior skills to give the game Tagoe a one-sided beating from the beginning. The Cuban southpaw wobbled Tagoe's legs in round three and moved his overmatched challenger into a neutral corner with a straight left hand in the fourth. In round five Gomez landed another straight left to the chin that knocked Tagoe to the canvas with his back hurled against the ropes. After another knockdown in the seventh Gomez caught Tagoe in round nine with a left uppercut inside, sending him to the canvas with 1:05 remaining in the round for the third time in the bout.
After eight rounds the judges at ringside had the fight a one-sided 80:68 (Gary Ritter) and 80:69 (Justo Vazquez and Kamen Petrov).
Gomez, 29-0 with 24 knockouts, was making the sixth defense of the crown he won from Argentina's Marcelo Dominguez on Feb. 21, 1998. Tagoe's record fell to 20-3 with 13 knockouts.
"I came into the fight with the intention to knock Gomez out", the beaten Tagoe commented afterwards. "But he has too much speed. He is a real champion."
"I didn't underestimate him", Gomez said. "He beat Ramon Garbey who was one of the best Cuban amateurs. On the demand of my trainer I closed the distance to land my hooks with more power. And it worked."
"I want to accomplish everything at the cruiserweight limit that can be accomplished. I want to make unifications and I want to fight in Miami. My aim is also to fight in the US as heavyweight one day."
"We received an offer for a fight between Gomez and Thomas Hearns in February in Hong Kong", promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl betrayed. "However, there are rumours that we are the promoter of that event. This is not the case. It's promoted by the Hearns group. So far we did not come to a final agreement about that fight. If the Hearns fight doesn't come off we will try to get Fabrice Tiozzo for a unification showdown."
Further results: Frode Steinsvik TKO3 Sandor Szakaly (175); Brian Knudsen TKO5 Christian Ion Velea (154); Stipe Drews TKO4 Jaroslav Cepicky (175); Jürgen Brämer W4 Ramdane Kaouane (168); Pavel Melkomian W4 Marek Svoren; Zoltan Lunka W6 Jesus Garcia (112).