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money, shit, and the left hand of god – the story of Coggi vs. Gonzalez 

cash, shit, and the left hand of god – the tale of Coggi vs. Gonzalez 

through Diego Morilla

in case you have been confronted with Him in all His glory
What would you ask in case you had just one query? 

–from “one among Us,” by Joan Osborne

1987 turned into a fine year to be a global champion in Argentina. 

The nation become sparkling from one in every of its most memorable activities triumphs ever. The graphic of the recently deceased soccer legend Diego Maradona lifting the Mexico ’86 FIFA World Cup after his countrywide team defeated Germany in the final online game of the event changed into likely one of the most iconic images of that 12 months, second handiest to the photo of an airborne Maradona hiding his left fist from the referee’s sight in the back of his trademark curly hair to punch the ball into the internet for one of the vital egregious and blatant fouls ever to be validated as a goal in soccer history, right within the face of England’s helpless goalkeeper Peter Shilton. 

For both Argentina and England, the quarter-last healthy changed into a very emotional confrontation, taking area barely 4 years after the Falklands warfare. The eyes of both international locations had been desirous to locate any measure of exemplary revenge or symbolic retribution, in the type of a dominating or humiliating athletic feat of any type, for the pain they’d jointly inflicted upon each and every different within the southernmost struggle ever fought. 

Maradona’s unpunished foul become indeed one in every of them. however most effective minutes after it, simply when sportscasters and spectators everywhere have been wondering out loud whether the “hand of God” (because it would later be arrogantly described by using its perpetrator) had been a premeditated, vicious and boastful reminder of the sneak attack wherein Argentine forces took the British-held islands on April 2, 1986, Maradona made his deepest mark in soccer history yet (and doubtless ever) when he slalomed via half a dozen befuddled English players to ranking “the purpose of the century” (as it would later be described by means of practically every soccer connoisseur), in a feat that brought about an equally exaggerated analogies with the fearless maneuvers of the Argentine Air force’s Mirage airplanes zigzagging in the course of the Royal Navy fleet, sinking half a dozen ships and downing a 3rd of their fight aircraft during the complete conflict. The sinking of the Argentine battleship Belgrano, an incident that took vicinity outside the theater of operations and which has been referred to as a “battle crime,” had been additionally mentioned as a poetic justification of Maradona’s unlawful and eventually decisive intention in that suit, gained by Argentina by means of a ranking of two-1. 

in this state of affairs, with a rustic still grieving its young heroes, vilifying their irrational commanders, and struggling between finding closure and exacting revenge, the emergence of a champion inclined to go the extra mile in his quest for satisfaction and honor become greater eagerly awaited than regular. 

these where the footwear that Juan Martin Coggi stepped into when he traveled to Italy to face unbeaten former Olympian hero Patrizio Oliva in July of 1987, making an attempt to become Argentina’s best boxing champion at the time. And he delivered on his promise, stopping Oliva in Sicily after simplest three rounds and avenging the loss of Argentina’s final previous titlist Ubby Sacco within the procedure. 

The stage changed into set for the left-exceeded Coggi to be the subsequent “hand of God,” the person tasked with holding the flame of boxing alive in a rustic that had boasted half a dozen dominant and revered champions within the previous two a long time. 

And just like with fellow lefty Diego Maradona, Coggi located himself to be the one who’d let the area understand that if there became a God, he turned into likely Argentine, left-handed, and all the time ready to stretch his left hand to tip the scales of their want, something the penalties.

from time to time one have to watch out for what one desires for. 


1993 had been a good year for Juan Martin Coggi thus far. 

The southpaw slugger had, by means of any standard, one of the crucial busiest title defense schedules feasible for any reigning champion, regaining his WBA belt in opposition t Morris East in January and following up with a string of 4 title defenses towards commonplace to sub-par opposition, certainly one of them overseas in Japan.

earlier than that, he had run a 13-0 streak in the two years after the conclusion of his first title reign to Mexico’s Loreto Garza in France, a bout he misplaced through the slimmest of margins after four defenses of the WBA junior welterweight belt he had picked up towards Oliva again in 1987. 

His numbers alone had been dazzling enough to elicit an offer to battle Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez in here yr. 

All he necessary to do turned into to shut the year with a reside-busy, dominant performance to splice an additional scene into his already decent spotlight reel. 

The WBA had already permitted Spain’s Jose Berdonce as his subsequent foe, but a latest-minute damage compelled his withdrawal from the combat, and a member of his crew was provided the job. 

Eder Gonzalez become at the beginning from turbo, Antioquia, Colombia, however had been allegedly pressured to move to Spain after a dispute together with his manager. He changed into now within the hands of Ricardo Sanchez Atocha, a burly, ponytailed Spanish trainer who would later lead Javier Castillejo and Gabriel Campillo to brief title runs, and who would briefly handle Sergio Martinez as well. 

not a bad setup for a fighter willing to shut the yr with a bang. however plans have a way of going sideways, even if the hand of God is worried. 


the primary sign of challenge came right out of the stadium audio system. 

The conventional enunciation of nook hues, fighter names and origins, and different continually beside the point information contained a part that raised a number of eyebrows: Gonzalez, previously announced as No. 10 or even No. 7 in the WBA divisional ranking, had been magically promoted to No. four. 

A minor element, sure. but given the way by which the soiree developed, this may additionally have been, in hindsight, a harbinger of things to come. after all, barring the dubious chance that the ring announcer and the promoters may already be conspiring to lie to the public and rip-off the WBA-ranked junior welters through rearranging their positions within the accurate 10, there were no reasons to foresee the giant debacle that might comply with all over that hot summer season evening on the membership Defensores de Villa Lujan, in the northern province of Tucuman, Argentina.   

the primary circular changed into largely uneventful, with referee Isidro Rodriguez’s unusual, leaping-and-running vogue of patrolling the ring being probably the most wonderful feature of the total episode. a protracted counter appropriate by using Gonzalez that landed flush on Coggi was, because it turns out, the challenger’s first salvo of goal apply on the champ’s susceptible spot. 

Gonzalez would have his probability to hearth for effect shortly thereafter, but not earlier than surviving a huge scare within the sort of Coggi’s vaunted left go. The challenger turned into visibly rocked, and was because of this dropped within the comply with-up onslaught. Up at three but nevertheless dazed, Gonzalez goes into survival mode as Coggi moves in for the kill. 

up to that second, the area still made sense. The underpaid, late-replacement challenger performs his position, and the champion receives set to give his fans a further memorable stoppage win to cap a banner year. 

however exactly midway throughout the circular, Gonzalez instances his foe completely and lands a brutal, numbing, demolishing correct hand. 

The punch crashes onto Coggi’s jaw, and the gates to the Twilight Zone are kicked wide open. 

Coggi, who best a 2nd before become on his approach to ranking a listing number of title defenses against an unknown opponent in a simple battle earlier than heading in opposition t the most reliable payday of his career, is suddenly deprived of his skill to stand firmly on two legs. His limbs stiffen, his eyes lose focal point, and Coggi walks in the course of the rabbit hole into an option dystopian fact wherein he’s about to be humiliated in his first-ever stoppage loss, and in front of his countrymen as well. 

one way or the other, the champ manages to arise on his personal, however he impulsively retreats to a corner and leans on the ropes for assist. A count number is run, and as it reaches the fateful eight, Coggi is still wobbly and clinging to the ropes, unable to walk unassisted. 

in the beginning of a memorable sequence, the referee continues asking Coggi whether he is able to combat on, and since he’s visibly unable to utter a proper reply, Rodriguez readily decides that he is. The seven or eight extra seconds through which Rodriguez allowed himself to pointlessly interrogate Coggi are the first signal that issues are about to go spectacularly incorrect for Gonzalez. 

With a minute to head within the round, and with a helpless Coggi being pummeled near his own nook, Rodriguez intervenes with the only real intention of protecting Coggi from falling to the canvas, preserving him upright and pushing him towards the insurance plan of his corner. nonetheless incapable of standing firmly on his legs, Coggi manages to lean on the ropes as he stumbles around, observing Rodriguez because the referee walks faraway from him and makes a collection of difficult gestures that leads Gonzalez and his nook to trust the combat is over.

With Coggi’s corner engulfed in chaos, and with the stadium on the verge of erupting into a frenzied riot, Gonzalez’s chief 2d Sanchez Atocha jumps into the ring to hug his fighter and start to rejoice what they both perceive as a victory. however correct at that moment, Gonzalez is being motioned returned into the fight by using Rodriguez whereas Coggi’s manager/promoter Osvaldo Rivero clamors for Gonzalez to be disqualified as a result of his coach’s ring invasion. 

The mayhem is seized via Luis Spada (a veteran Argentine promoter and supervisor who was a part of the fighter’s nook in absence of any norm prohibiting people along with his job description to do so), is already up on the ring apron pulling Coggi to defense by using the fringe of his trunks and speaking at once into his correct ear. a totally groggy Coggi can handiest have the ability to elevate his arms and canopy himself, and as Gonzalez strikes in for the kill, Spada easily stretches his hand into the ring to stop or deflect Gonzalez’s punches, in the peak of bizarreness right through an evening that changed into fairly an awful lot defined by way of it.  

 With about 20 seconds last in the circular, a single hit on the bell ends the round prematurely, and the grownup liable for this new infraction is a character that might have a couple of miraculously close calls of his personal in his near future. 

“I did it just to aid a pal,” stated future middleweight champion Jorge Castro, about his decision to readily rise up from his ringside seat to grab the timekeeper’s hammer (let’s anticipate he used his left hand, for poetic reasons) to ring the bell ahead of time. “I noticed him in hindrance and that i thought I needed to do whatever thing.”

As bizarre as it may seem to be, the adult that validated the nonsense in growth and initiated a 2nd wave of illegality changed into none apart from a fellow boxer who, regardless of his highest quality intentions, had Coggi “condemned by means of the bell” instead of saved, because the second would reside in infamy within the champ’s resume whereas Castro’s motion ended up being both omitted or forgotten. 

because the corner personnel scrambled to resuscitate Coggi, Rivero all started plotting the way to supply his fighter more time to improve. For a minute, he entertained the theory of sprinting against the stadium’s master swap and killing the vigour altogether, however he became immediately talked out of it by using the leading sponsor of the experience, native governor and former movie star singer-songwriter Ramon “Palito” Ortega. Miffed however undeterred, Rivero grabbed Castro’s thought and ran with it, attractive to timekeeper Jose Luis Maron to prolong the relaxation period and enable Coggi a number of extra seconds to recover. 

about a minute and a half after the end of the 2d circular, the bell rings its belated call to begin the third. In a dramatic moment, Coggi slumps returned onto his stool instantly after making an attempt to arise on his personal, and is then pulled returned upright by means of his corner man Ruben Dupen. 

Gonzalez’s very first punch staggers Coggi and sends him reeling to a neutral nook, where the challenger proceeds to unleash at the least 25 unanswered blows before Coggi manages to clinch his solution to safeguard. Rodriguez pushes them apart. manner apart. On regular, the referee creates a six-foot buffer zone between the combatants every time Coggi is visibly harm. 

more than 4 minutes have handed due to the fact Gonzalez scored his knockdown, and Coggi continues to be struggling to regain his stability. With a minute ultimate, he falls to the canvas after a clinch, with the ref ruling it a slip. in spite of the fact that he walks on largely unresponsive legs, Coggi’s torso looks to be un-numbing abruptly, and he lands a couple of powerful photographs adopted by means of clinches. 

With 27 seconds to head, the bell rings to conclusion the round. This time, Castro is nowhere to be considered. The timekeeper is now officially a new member of Coggi’s increasing entourage, and he adds a few seconds to the ensuing leisure period as well, likely to permit himself to celebrate his surprising enrollment into this growing to be brotherhood of misbehavers and malfeasants.  

The fourth round marks the beginning of Coggi’s reversal of fortune. His head is clearing, his legs are lower back beneath him, his punches regain their herbal zip. nevertheless, the circular ends 14 seconds earlier, with nobody appearing to wonder why anymore. 

round 5 begins with Gonzalez losing Coggi from an apparent correct cross, but it is ruled as a slip via the referee. Coggi manages to corner Gonzalez within the identical neutral nook through which he took a beating within the second circular, and he lands at will with both palms. Unsurprisingly, this act of dominance by using Coggi seems to magically unfurl the fabric of space-time, and the episode lasts the conventional three minutes. 

After an uneventful circular six in which Coggi fell to 1 knee after crashing in opposition t Gonzalez in what became dominated a slip, circular seven begins with clear skies and leads to a thunderstorm. The slow early going ends all at once with a barrage of punches that sends Gonzalez into an ineffective protecting shell. Coggi punches his method via it to at last send the challenger right down to the canvas for the 2d time in the battle. 

Gonzalez struggles to his feet at the count number of six. Coggi is in a impartial nook surrounded by a bunch of americans who climbed onto the apron as they count on a celebration.  When Coggi resumes his attack, Sanchez Atocha jumps into the ring to shop his man from the onslaught, and the last element of hell that had now not yet damaged loose finally does. Two dozen americans invade the ring and carry Coggi round as he celebrates his unlikely victory. 

in the end, the ring announcer’s unverified bump would mark the highest element of Gonzalez’s career in the boxing rankings of the area. 

In hindsight, the ring announcer can also have been (knowingly or no longer) the handiest adult in the stadium who gave Gonzalez the measure of recognize and consciousness that he subsequently proved he deserved. 


The demand for a rematch become as overwhelming because it changed into glaring. There became no way a disaster of this magnitude could have long past to the historical past books devoid of a significant possibility at redemption, for the combatants and for boxing itself. the world became watching. 

The return bout took vicinity on the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, exactly three months later. In a enormously less festive atmosphere, and with J. C. Chavez’s promoter Don King observing from ringside as a reminder of the riches that awaited the winner, Coggi and Gonzalez climbed through the ropes accompanied by means of the very same individuals that were of their corners returned in the Tucuman fiasco, as if the chance of getting it appropriate this time applied to all of them as neatly. 

After being dropped on his trunks by the equal counter correct hand that despatched him to the canvas of their first come across, Coggi sprung back as much as conclusion a irritating first circular through which he regarded uneasy and stressed, going for walks to his nook with a palpable sense of frustration on his face. 

The 2nd round came and went, and by the point the bell rang to delivery the third round Coggi become already down on aspects throughout the board. in the first severe alternate of the circular, Gonzalez landed yet another demolishing appropriate hand that opened a significant gash on Coggi’s left eyebrow. 

Blood gushes out of the reduce and soaks Coggi with a way of desperate urgency, and right then his survival instinct kicks in. 

“He had his possibility and he blew it,” Coggi noted later, in an interview. “He dropped me within the first, beat me up within the 2d and reduce me in the third, however he didn’t pull the trigger. and that i went out to get him, as a result of for me it’s both money or shit,” he concludes, alluding to a colorful Argentine expression used in do-or-die cases. 

fortunately for Coggi, cash received the duel. The champion manages to land an uppercut that wobbles the challenger quite badly, and the ensuing clinch ends with Coggi pushing his manner out of it and touchdown a crushing straight left hand that explodes on Gonzalez’s face and sends him down on his back. As he rises to his feet, Coggi moves in for the kill and unleashes all his vigour, and a number of punches later Gonzalez nosedives onto the canvas due to the attack. 

A towel flies into the ring from Gonzalez’s nook. but referee Richard Steele, a veteran of essentially the most controversial ending in junior welterweight heritage, was now not going to have it, and he all but kicks the towel out of the ring just to make a point that he changed into in cost as he continues counting. 

In a twist that could most effective have came about in the realm of this unscripted tragicomedy of errors, Rivero rushed to soar into the ring as quickly as Sanchez Atocha threw in the towel, triggering the equal capabilities disqualification that he had sought in the first combat and which, fortunately, not ever happened. 

It didn’t happen this time, both. determined to have a proper ending, Steele motions Rivero to go away the ring and reaches the count number of eight. Gonzalez fails to respond to Steele’s question about his health to proceed, and the veteran referee calls it a day. Coggi, with his cut emanating enough blood to have led to the battle to be stopped if it handiest had long gone on for a number of more seconds, earns his vindication at the 2.01 mark of the third round. 


In all, a brief guidelines of fouls and illegalities between each bouts blanketed an unattainable variety of infractions, many of which were so blatant and egregious that have been up to now unknown in boxing. 

None of them, however, was caused by the opponents themselves. 

None. As in “now not a single one.”

apart from a few grasp-and-punch tactics with the aid of Coggi within the early going of the return bout, each fights were as clean as you possibly can are expecting, at least as far as the moves of each combatants are worried. 

however despite the fact that there weren’t any essential fouls committed via the warring parties, it became no longer for lack of attempting. 

“When (Coggi) was being held (by way of his trunks) in his nook, I threw a right hand with the intention of missing Coggi on intention and punching (Spada) instead,” spoke of Gonzalez, to a choir of laughs, right through a contemporary joint mobile interview together with his historic opponent in the “ADN Boxeo” radio reveal, hosted by Leo Benatar, former cruiser titlist Marcelo Dominguez, and none aside from Coggi’s son Martin, a boxer himself. 

instead, Gonzalez claims he obtained an unexpected hand in return, and not exactly within the type of a punch. 

“God positioned his hand there,” claims Gonzalez, alleging that more suitable forces had been at play all through these days, each in and out of the ring. “because if I grew to become champion, they have been going to kill me and my family. i was beneath possibility. I had a contract with one of the vital bad guys right here in Colombia. for those who don’t combat for a year, the contract is voided. but when he discovered that i used to be fighting for the title he referred to as me to get his cut, after which threatened to kill me if I didn’t give it to him.” 

Gonzalez, who was restrained to small paydays via his profession and was allegedly avoided as a deadly opponent after his fights against Coggi, goes on to make a dozen greater unsubstantiated claims to justify his final downfall. He claims he handiest obtained below 25% of the purses that his managers amassed in Spain. He says he has heard a confession from a decide from the primary combat indicating that each authentic worried in the fight acquired a $20.000 payoff to skew the outcomes in Coggi’s prefer. He alleges that somebody injected him a substance that brought about his imaginative and prescient to blur within the hours resulting in the rematch. but the provable constituents of his many misfortunes, caught on video for the entire world to look, have been more than sufficient to give him the advantage of the doubt. And as outlandish as his claims can be, the movements that transpired in each of his fights with Coggi are stranger that any fictions he can be able to concoct. 

Coggi blames his warrior mentality for each his successes and his failures. 

“I used to acquire my family and say goodbye to them earlier than each fight,” claims Coggi, in an emotional exchange. “i was able to lay down my lifestyles within the ring in every fight. I had nothing else. in case you are looking to beat me, you should kill me. i’d under no circumstances hand over,” mentioned Coggi, who threatened to kill Rivero if he stopped the battle throughout the relaxation length after the second circular of the first bout, as overheard within the original tv broadcast. 

Coggi claims he doesn’t bear in mind anything at all between the punch that deposited him on the canvas within the 2nd circular and the early going of the fifth, when his head all started to clear. however even as unaccountable as he may were right through this “blackout” period, Coggi never strayed away from the suggestions far adequate to count in as part of the whirlwind of corruption and ineptitude that engulfed him all through both fights. For some motive, each person else concerned in these events had a rationale to believe that they may judge Coggi’s pastimes more advantageous than the fighter himself, and finally it changed into Coggi the one who paid the rate. 

“i needed to set a checklist that 12 months, i wished glory,” concludes Coggi. “i wished to place my flag above every thing else, and that i desired my father’s identify to never die.”

His method of carrying out that purpose can also had been tainted by way of his entourage, the very sort of individuals who pray for God to work his miracles along with his left hand best. however each Gonzalez and Coggi can declare, for the most part, that they gave their best possible in the ring in two severe and emotional fights that are usually not forgotten anytime soon. 

the way wherein they may be remembered, however, is yet another count wholly.


The fights ended. The grime settled. Tempers cooled, feathers unruffled, and the disputed title belt traveled back to its glass case. 

but the complete Coggi-Gonzalez affair became the present that stored on giving, and the final chapter of this already consequential pair of bouts became simply as tragic as the entire debacle that preceded it, and had even more lasting consequences. 

outside the hardcore group of Coggi enthusiasts and win-at-all-expenses sports fans in the country, the immense majority of the Argentine americans changed into palpably embarrassed through the total ordeal, even after Coggi’s legitimate and unimpeachable victory in the rematch. 

In an undeniably inexpensive shot aimed at boosting tv ratings and barely disguised as a questionable try to make sense of the total debacle, Coggi became invited to take a part of a activities talk exhibit known as “Tribuna Caliente,” that includes one of the crucial country’s most celebrated activities columnists, with Ernesto Cherquis Bialo, dean of Argentine boxing writers and a revered voice in sports journalism, as one of the most main members. 

midway during the usually contentious, testosterone-fueled debate amongst pundits in entrance of a boisterous and loud reside audience, Coggi is enormously introduced by way of the moderator as a “particular unscheduled guest,” and he walks in carrying a case with a special belt given to him by using the WBA as their “Fighter of the year.”

The ensuing duel of gab versus grit remains remembered as a defining moment in Argentine boxing historical past. 

“I earned this belt combating towards nobodies, like you observed,” quipped Coggi, ironically searching appropriate into Cherquis Bialo’s eyes as he laid the acrylic enclosure in front of him, whereas a muffled murmur descended from the stands where the excited attendees had been already relishing the approaching disagreement. “What you mentioned about me harm me, and it damage my family.”

The preliminary pastime of achieving a cathartic decision got off to a tough birth because the panel felt they were being ambushed by using Coggi and Rivero, who had additionally effectively “invited” a dozen or greater Brandsen natives within the viewers to lower back Coggi in the impending war of words. however Cherquis Bialo become a veteran of dozens of similar debates, and he charged towards the duo with gusto, doubling down on his request for Coggi to retire as soon as and for all. 

The consideration then turned to Rivero, who immediately engaged Cherquis Bialo, who in turn shut him out of the dialog with a resounding phrase: “I don’t lend my microphone to backstabbers.” Legendary boxing commentator Horacio Garcia Blanco intervened to make a passionate protection of Cherquis Bialo’s right to opine, and the talk reached a clumsy standoff that became seized by means of the moderator to end the lawsuits. As fighter and supervisor walked out of the set a challenge changed into issued by means of Rivero, who curiously wanted to drag Cherquis Bialo to an impromptu bareknuckle combat. Soccer legend Jose Sanfilippo restrained Cherquis Bialo, and the flinch-helpful confrontation turned into basically defused unless none other than a former referee jumped in to seize the attention of the cameras. 

“To me, Coggi is correct,” noted Guillermo Nimo, a clownish former soccer referee whose main position within the panel changed into to incite heated debates with inflammatory feedback, topping the embarrassing cocktail of ill-informed feedback on either side with another certainly one of his “pearls” and waving his hands coated in vibrant low-priced rings as the crowd roared its approval.

within the conclusion, Cherquis Bialo scored a Pyrrhic victory with disastrous lengthy-term penalties. A line changed into crossed that became then certainly not crossed again again. The win-at-all-cost crowd readily imposed its sports philosophy because the leading school of idea from there on. In a rustic up to now acquainted with the distinction of defeat although unfair it could be (Firpo being denied his victory over Dempsey after knocking him out of the ring, DeVicenzo being denied a chance to win the 1968 Masters Golf tournament due to an error in a scorecard, and many more), the “cash or shit” crowd got here storming out of the gates. 

And it wasn’t shit what they had been hungry for. 


The Coggi-Gonzalez debacle had a long-lasting effect on the entire people concerned in it. 

Referee Isidro Rodriguez changed into banned for all times, however back in 1997 in his native Venezuela for one ultimate combat, with a different permission that acted more as a parting reward from the WBA than as a vindication of his actions. within the non-scandalously corrupt part of his career, he had been the third man in the ring in fights featuring legends corresponding to Roberto Duran, Wilfredo Benitez and Antonio Cervantes. 

Timekeeper Jose Luis Maron became additionally banned for all times, a stretch of time that no person has yet managed to control at will, in any individual’s desire. 

Luis Pabon, then 27 and manning some of the three choose seats for the primary time in his profession in a championship bout, grew to be a well-recognized and respected referee after that, and is still one in all boxing’s most energetic officers at the maximum levels.  

Sanchez Atocha continues training combatants in Spain. He nevertheless wears his trademark ponytail.   

Cristobal Pobón, Gonzalez’s first manager in Colombia and a shady persona with alleged ties to the native drug cartels, become shot to demise for explanations now not involving boxing in 1997. 

Luis Spada escaped in most cases unscathed of the complete fiasco, regardless of being one in all its most notorious participants. He changed into initially sanctioned with a ninety-day suspension from all things boxing through the WBA, a extremely convenient number due to the fact that the return bout would take area exactly three months later, simply in time for Spada to be in Coggi’s nook once more. He died in Panama, the place he had relocated within the early ‘70s, in 2009. all through his 4 decades there, he handled a few Panamanian champions, most chiefly Roberto Duran in the mid-80s, and a lot of other warring parties as smartly. 

In December of 1994, Jorge Castro earned his area in Argentine boxing lore when he demolished John David Jackson in Monterrey, México, in what become later deemed The Ring’s battle of the 12 months. On the verge of defeat, and with his corner guys able to step in and throw within the towel, Castro landed a crushing left hand that turned the tables on Jackson and despatched him to the canvas in an eerily identical solution to the method in which Coggi had fallen in opposition t Gonzalez exactly a year prior. Luis Spada turned into in his nook that nighttime, and handiest minutes before the end of the bout he had asked referee Stanley Christodoulou for “an additional round, the champion’s circular,” just because the South African ref turned into getting able to halt the bout because of Castro’s facial cuts. 

every circular in that battle lasted three full minutes.  

Castro’s unofficial biography is accurately entitled “funds or Shit.” Fittingly ample, he claims he certainly not obtained a penny for it, and he is in the procedure of suing the author for royalties and other compensations.  

Rivero persisted his profession as a manager/promoter, producing a number of dozen titlists for Argentina, each guys and ladies, throughout the late 2010s. If his testimony in the lawsuit brought with the aid of former middleweight champion Hector Velazco is to be believed, Rivero now lives in abject poverty in Uruguay, where he relocated some time in the past, being for that reason unable to pay the restitutions claimed by using Velazco (and different opponents as smartly, equivalent to former lightweight titleholder Raul Balbi), which the fighter has won each in the first instance and on attraction. If his many critics are to be believed, although, he is dwelling off his appreciable off-shore investments in a self-imposed exile. His enterprise (which changed names several times for alleged “tax-linked functions”) is now run by his three offspring. 

The principals, as usual, bore the brunt of the disgraceful decisions of their handlers. 

Gonzalez, now 56, lives in Barranquilla, Colombia, the place he works as a clerk in a hardware store. He trains young aspiring fighters in a native public square, unable to find the money for the employ on a proper health club.   

Coggi, now fifty nine, lives in his adoptive childhood fatherland of Brandsen, Argentina, where he owns a gym. He travels to Buenos Aires regularly to teach different opponents as well. 

he’s one in all forty two Argentine boxing champions in historical past. many of them are full-fledged celebrities, other remain handiest mildly famous and recognizable.   

pretty or no longer, lots of them are remembered extra benevolently than Coggi. And for many boxing lovers, this complete fiasco changed into Coggi’s personal embarrassing “No Más” second, even though in certainty it turned into the accurate contrary. His unwillingness to give up turned into subverted via his entourage in this kind of devastating way that the cure ended up being worse than the ailment itself. 

Coggi retired in 1999, six years and 12 fights later, including a memorable trilogy with fellow champ Frankie Randall. 

He in no way fought Julio Cesar Chavez.  


As everyday as they may additionally were or no longer, in an extended-sufficient timeline boxing champions hardly stay the topics of eternal adulation, and repeatedly their stars dim sooner than most others. 

Some are remembered simplest by a single episode of their careers, a few of them reside on as an empty name in the collective memory, and some others are just pushed towards the corner of the firmament during which the unfortunate stars are left to dwell, shining a stupid mild that reflects our embarrassment more than their shortcomings. A reminder, to be avoided in any respect costs, that our faults lie not within them as a great deal as they do within ourselves in our position of guiltless enablers. 

it’s early in the afternoon in Buenos Aires. A reporter is are living on tv from a crowded bus cease, interviewing americans as they line up ready for his or her daily trips to work, asking them about the latest increase within the price of public transportation. Most individuals try to brush off the inquiries. certainly one of them obliges. The reporter asks patronizing questions about how tricky it ought to be to deal with the extended can charge of dwelling, about how the gadget is stacked in opposition t the little americans, about how plenty of a theft every little thing is these days. The gentleman with the grey curly hair smiles and nods a number of equally patronizing solutions in the back of a thinly veiled smirk.  

The news anchor is all of sudden cut in on the left half of the reveal, looking befuddled and just a little embarrassed. 

“were you aware who it’s,” she asks. Her question is misplaced in the noise of the bustling Buenos Aires street, and the clueless reporter walks away from her interviewee as the line starts to stream into the bus. 

“That changed into Coggi. Go get him!” the anchor exclaims. 

Coggi is already on the bus, smiling through an open window, chuffed to have grabbed a seat in the crowded car on his option to his job as a trainer in his downtown gymnasium. a regular Joe, a bonafide no person, simply an extra employee, a survivor, a non-deity, non-idol, non-iconic determine negotiating his way through the nameless mass, within the pursuit of the day by day hustle.

just a stranger on a bus, perhaps, nevertheless making an attempt to escape the dreaded touch of the left hand of God.