Best I Faced: Marcelo Dominguez

Teak-tough Marcelo Dominguez rose from the streets of Argentina to win the WBC cruiserweight title within the Nineteen Nineties.

Dominguez was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 15, 1970.

“We had been lower-middle class,” Dominguez instructed The Ring by means of Mauricio Gonzalez. “I had an older brother; I used to be within the center and I had a youthful sister. My father labored as a taxi driver and a safety guard.

“Our household was collectively till I used to be 13-years-old. Then my mother and father separated. My brother and I lived with my father, my sister with my mom. On the age of 13, I left faculty and began working. I offered [things] on the road for just a few days, however shortly I labored in {a magazine} writer, then I labored in a restaurant kitchen.”

At 14, Dominguez visited a neighborhood health club with buddies who needed to field. Initially he simply wated to train however he discovered one thing he loved doing and mixed that together with his work.

“I did 40 authorized fights however one other 15 that I fought with out my license,” he mentioned. “In Argentina it was robust as a result of my weight class isn’t one that’s actually managed. I needed to battle in three weight classes, mild heavy, heavy and tremendous heavy. I solely misplaced three fights and three attracts.

“I participated in 5 nationwide tournaments and gained 4 of them and the opposite I used to be within the ultimate.

“I used to be going to the eliminator for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I gained it however sadly, they didn’t ship me as a result of the man that misplaced to me within the ultimate ended up going there. They thought I used to be too small for that weight class. They by no means paid consideration to my coronary heart, my mentality and people had been the large issues I had.”

Marcelo Dominguez in his first job

Dominguez turned skilled with a fourth-round stoppage in October 1991. In simply his seventh battle he was matched with vastly extra skilled compatriot Nestor Giovanni for the nationwide cruiserweight title.

“All people was saying that my supervisor was loopy and that he was taking me to lose however my supervisor mentioned, ‘Take heed to me, I do know what I’m speaking about. If we exit from the primary bell and also you’re aggressive with this man, he’s not going to love it, he’s not going to take it.’ and that was my greatest model of combating,” he recalled.

“I at all times listened to my nook as a result of I knew he was a boxer with numerous expertise however I used to be youthful and sooner. So, I listened and went proper for it and I feel he received a bit determined and didn’t know what to do, so first he hit me with an elbow. The battle went on. The subsequent spherical he hit me twice with headbutts. That gave me a second reduce and disqualified him.”

After the win, his supervisor needed him to cease working however Dominguez had different concepts.

“I steered that he give me a job in his workplace with hours that might coincide with my coaching,” he mentioned. “I didn’t need anybody to present me the cash, I needed to earn it.”

It was throughout this time he was afforded the chance to behave as chaperon to a legendary mild heavyweight champion of the previous.

“I used to be fortunate to have the ability to spend nearly per week with Archie Moore in Uruguay,” he fondly recalled. “There was a fortieth anniversary commemoration of his battle towards Dogomar Martinez. They are saying it was a violent and nice battle gained by Moore.

“They had been doing a homage to him. I helped him with every part. He instructed me many, many tales. He wouldn’t let anybody contact him; he wouldn’t even shake palms wiith you while you met him. It solely occurred with me, I’d assist him stroll and we’d go arm in arm. I consider he noticed himself in me as a result of I used to be an unknown boxer.

“He was the very best in his weight class in historical past however everyone knows what occurred when he went to heavyweight. I ponder how it might have been had there be cruiserweight throughout his time? He was an important particular person, I at all times ask myself, what did he see in me that he selected me, he may have talked or walked with anyone however he selected me.”

All of the whereas Dominguez personal profession was progressing effectively. He made two profitable defenses of his nationwide title and stayed energetic in between with non-title bout earlier than he was rewarded with a shot at WBC cruiserweight titleholder Anaclet Wamba in Salta, within the north of Argentina, in December 1994.

“Osvaldo Rivero, who was companions with Wamba’s managers, [the Acaries Brothers,]” he mentioned. “I bear in mind the lead up effectively. They introduced the battle at a press convention. I stood up and let Wamba know, ‘That is going to be your final battle. I’m going to retire you.’ It was like that, he didn’t battle, he retired.

“When my battle with Wamba had completed in Argentina, the Acaries gave me a hug and mentioned, ‘I’m going to present you one other likelihood on the title.’ I feel that claims every part in regards to the consequence with Wamba.”

Dominguez, who was 10-years-younger than Wamba, fought effectively however misplaced a 12-round majority choice.

“El Toro” beat two journeymen and was provided the possibility to battle Akim Tafer for the WBC Interim title within the south of France in the summertime of 1995.

“I received that battle when Norbert Ekassi was harm and he was the one who was going to battle for the title,” he recalled. “It was a troublesome battle; it was a really even battle. I bear in mind my coach was telling me, ‘You’re going to get cash or eat shit.’ In different phrases, one thing or nothing. Within the eighth spherical, I used to be feeling exhausted and that’s when my coach instructed me, to get it accomplished. Within the ninth spherical, I got here out like a bullet and gave him three straight proper palms within the impartial nook, [he went down] and didn’t rise up.”

Dominguez fought in entrance of his folks in Argentina and in addition in his promoter Michel Acaries homeland of France. He turned again Reinaldo Gimenez (TKO 12) and Sergey Kobozev (SD 12)  in “interim” title defenses earlier than Wamba formally retired and the proud Argentine was upgraded to full champion. Additional defenses adopted towards Patrice Aoussi (TKO 10), Jose Arimatea da Silva (TKO 8) and Tafer (UD 12) in a rematch.

“I’ve nice recollections of all of them,” he mentioned. “After I gained the world title the coaching classes grew to become a lot tougher, particularly for the primary protection. It was in my nation and I needed to current myself in the very best situation. The referee stopped the punishment and I gained by TKO. Then comes the protection that for a lot of was the very best towards Kobozev, he was the No. 1 contender. Everybody believed he would beat me. I fought with a damaged rib from Spherical 4 however I used to be capable of get by means of it.

“Then got here a battle the place I used to be not excellent [against Aoussi.] They modified my dates a number of occasions and I wasn’t at my greatest however I gained. I beat the Brazilian (Da Silva) in my fourth protection. I used to be excellent in that battle and gained with out issues. Towards Tafer in a rematch, I used to be capable of placed on an important battle.”

Nonetheless, Dominguez dropped his title to gifted Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez in Argentina February 1998 and misplaced a rematch a 12 months later in Gomez adoptive homeland of Germany.

“These fights had been superior,” he mentioned. “The primary battle in Mar Del Plata was a really even battle. I fought Gomez just a few days after changing into a father for the primary time.

“I went in with an harm [in the rematch] and that’s no excuse as a result of Gomez was an important champion and I contemplate myself to have been the boxer who introduced him probably the most issues. I really feel high-quality that I misplaced to him as a result of he was among the finest within the weight class. He couldn’t knock me out in both battle.”

Dominguez stayed energetic over the following couple of years earlier than he was rewarded with a battle towards WBO titlist Johnny Nelson in Sheffield, England in July 2001.

“It was an excellent battle; I used to be very ready bodily,” he mentioned. “I used to be in nice form; I feel you could possibly see that the primary half of the battle I used to be successful. There was a scenario that occurred to me that made me lose the battle after the primary half. Psychologically it wasn’t my greatest second in life. I had points with Argentinean Federation. I had a smaller promoter. I needed to go to Uruguay to battle for a few occasions for little or no cash, whereas I’m grateful for Uruguay and the folks for supporting me, it was robust.

“Nelson ended up successful. Within the twelfth spherical, I used to be on the level of giving up however I mustered up some kind of psychological fortitude and was capable of come by means of. Being native you don’t lose these choices. I received out of the ring, crying and mentioned I used to be going to retire. Mentally that was a troublesome one.”

After a while away from boxing, Dominguez returned as a heavyweight. He gained the South American title and made a few defenses earlier than he was provided a battle with future heavyweight titlist Nicolay Valuev.

“After they provided me that battle, I used to be considering of retiring,” he mentioned. “So, I used to be coaching at residence, within the again. I didn’t spar for that battle. I picked the heavy bag as much as over 2 metres and hit it.

“Earlier than the load in, I instructed him, like I’d inform different opponents, ‘I’m not going to take a dive.’ I used to be right here to win. Whoever noticed that battle is aware of who gained that battle. The referee was on me the entire time however even then, they weren’t capable of cease me.”

After shedding to then unbeaten Cengiz Koc (UD 8), he notched three wins at residence and was provided a battle with Enzo Maccarinelli on the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales in July 2006.

Cruiserweight titlist Marcelo Dominguez (left) meets legendary mild heavyweight champ Archie Moore

“I’ve unusual ideas on that battle. I contemplate it one in every of my greatest fights, regardless that I misplaced,” he mentioned. “I labored very arduous to get again to cruiserweight. It took me a 12 months of labor and planning. Within the eighth spherical, I actually thought I had him beat. I actually thought I harm him. I sat down and thought, ‘This battle is mine.’ One punch from Enzo [in round 9] modified every part.

“As I used to be leaving the stadium, me and Enzo crossed paths and Enzo confirmed me the suitcase the belt is available in. He mentioned, ‘I’m not world champ due to this belt, I’m champ as a result of I used to be the one one who was capable of KO Dominguez.’ A world champion saying these phrases was large for me.

“That actually was the tip of my profession, regardless that I fought after that. I simply did it, it wasn’t to turn out to be world champ however extra to get the final little bit of boxer out of me.”

“Since 2006, I’ve been working as a coach,” mentioned Dominguez (48-8-1, 25 knockouts). “I’ve been fortunate sufficient to have many Argentinean champions, South American champions and Latino champions.”

Dominguez has been very busy with a number of different initiatives, together with writing an autobiography, ‘The Day that we had been champions.’ He additionally took lessons in Sports activities Psychology; which he graduated in. He labored with the Argentinean Olympic committee. He has labored on radio and TV, some movie work, TV collection for a few seasons. He has labored with the Ministry of Sport for Argentina. He’s the chief coach for all trainers from totally different programmes in sports activities and heads a division the place they begin sports activities at a younger age for youths, known as Initiation of Sports activities.

Dominguez, now 53, is married, has two kids and lives in Ramos Mejia, a province within the west of Buenos Aires.

He graciously took time to talk to The Ring about the very best he fought in 10 key classes.


Akim Tafer: “His jab was sturdy and it took me some work to get the space however I lastly did it and I used to be capable of KO him.”


Johnny Nelson: “He had nice palms at distance and wouldn’t let me get inside.”


Nelson: “He was very coordinated together with his palms and ft. A really athletic man, who was capable of preserve me at bay.”


Juan Carlos Gómez: “He had an uncommon quantity of pace together with his combos.”


Gómez: “His novice expertise, the Cuban faculty of boxing or possibly every part was pure for him.”


Sergei Kovozev: “That man was only a canine till he confronted me. He was nonetheless the strongest.”


Miguel Morales: “I noticed different boxers hit him with every part. I additionally hit him with every part and I couldn’t transfer him [Laughs.]”


Enzo Maccarinelli: “Gomez and Tafer made me really feel their blows so much, however the one one who really managed to harm me was Enzo.”


Gómez: “I feel many issues: Beautiful boxing, good boxing abilities and an important punch. I feel he knew resolve conditions and outline them.”


Gómez: “He was the very best fighter I fought in my profession. He beat me twice and improved between each fights. He is likely one of the greatest cruiserweights in historical past.”

Mauricio Gonzalez helped translate and make this characteristic doable. The Ring appreciates his help.


Questions and/or feedback will be despatched to Anson at [email protected].

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