Who is the greatest 122-pound fighter off all time? This one is a no brainer. The answer is the incomparable Wilfredo Gomez. His accomplishments at this weight are truly awesome. He was the complete package of speed, coordination, balance and power. The Puerto Rican had it all. Other than a tendency to swell around the eyes, he truly was an almost flawless fighter in his prime.
The crowning achievements of his career were probably his knockouts of bantamweight champions Carlos Zarate and Lupe Pintor. Zarate was unbeaten and was considered unbeatable. Zarate's fearsome knockout record meant little to Gomez. With speed and precision, Gomez took Zarate apart scoring a fifth round knockout. Pintor later won the bantamweight crown from Zarate via a very controversial decision. Pintor would establish himself as a fine champion. In moving up to challenge Gomez, Lupe fought the fight of his life. Wilfredo would prevail, but those who saw the fight will never forget it. Gomez in turn would suffer the same fate as Zarate and Pintor when he tried unsuccessfully to move up and win the featherweight title. His match with champion Salvador Sanchez was a much-anticipated super fight with Gomez given a good chance to win. In a true shocker Sanchez gave Wilfredo a one sided beating.
Gomez would eventually win the featherweight championship after Salvador's premature death. He was matched with fellow countryman Juan La Porte for the vacant title. Wilfredo pitched a near shutout to capture the crown. An aging Gomez would lose the title to the great Azumah Nelson. Unbelievably he would move up to 130 pounds and win that title from Rocky Lockridge by a decision more debatable than the Pintor-Zarate verdict. Wilfredo would lose that title to Alfredo Layne.
Although Gomez can claim to be a champion in three different weight divisions, it was his dominance at 122 pounds that will be remembered the most.