Michael Carbajal (born
September 17, 1967 in Phoenix, Arizona) is an American five time world
boxing champion of Mexican descent. His nickname was "Little Hands
Of Stone," after his favorite boxer, "Hands Of Stone" Roberto Duran.
- 1986 National Golden Gloves Light Flyweight champion.
Carbajal won the silver medal at the 1987 Pan American Games.
United States amateur Light Flyweight champion.
- Olympic silver medalist
as a Light Flyweight at 1988 Seoul Olympics.
His amateur record
Seven months after the Olympics,
in February 1989, Carbajal made his debut in front of a national television
audience as part of the card where Duran became a four time world
champion by beating Iran Barkley in Atlantic City. In his first fight,
Carbajal outboxed another future world champion, Will Gregsby.
followed that win with a spectacular first round knockout of Silviano
Perez on NBC. In his tenth bout, he met Pedro Feliciano, handing him
a ten round beating. Four more wins followed, and Carbajal was presented
with an opportunity to fight for a world championship.
On July 29, 1990, Carbajal faced Muangchai Kittikasem,
who came to Phoenix from Thailand to defend his IBF light flyweight
championship. Carbajal methodically took apart the champion in front
of an ABC national audience. In round 7, after a combination of punches
left Kittikasem lying defenseless against the ropes, the referee stepped
in and stopped the fight, making Carbajal the world champion for the
first time in his career.
Carbajal began a string of twelve victories
over the next two and a half years, including six title defenses against
challengers such as Leon Salazar, Hector Patri, Kim Kwang-Sun and
Robinson Cuesta, and a win over future champion Jesus Chong in a non
Unification against Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez
then fought a highly anticipated unification match with WBC champon
Humberto Gonzalez on March 13, 1993. Carbajal and Gonzalez became
the first Junior Flyweights in history to earn a million dollar purse,
and it was the first Junior Flyweight championship bout to headline
a pay-per-view event.
Carbajal was downed in rounds 2 and 5,
and he was bleeding from his right eyebrow when he blasted a tremendous
left hand to the side of Gonzalez's chin in the seventh round. Gonzalez
turned sideways, and Carbajal landed another right hand that sent
him to the canvas. Gonzalez could not beat the count, and Michael
Carbajal had unified the world's Junior Flyweight championship in
The Ring's fight of the year. He would also be named fighter of the
year for 1993.
More television endorsement deals followed, including
televison ads for Diet Pepsi and Emergency Chiropractors, but trouble
seemed to follow, as well. He was accused of firing gunshots onto
the roof of a party in Scottsdale.
This unwanted attention seemed
to take its toll on Carbajal, and after two additional defenses, he
fough Gonzalez once again in a pay-per-view match in Los Angeles,
California. In his 11th world title fight, Carbajal suffered the first
loss of his career as he was defeated by a controversial 12 round
WBO light flyweight title
Carbajal next took
on former sparring partner Abner Barajas, winning by a fifth round
knockout in Laughlin, Nevada, and then was given another shot at a
world title by the WBO title holder Josue Camacho, who came from Puerto
Rico to the Challenger's hometown to defend his title.