Carlos Zarate Serna (born
May 23, 1951 in Tepito, a borough of Mexico City) is a retired Mexican
boxer. He has the distinction of being the first professional boxer
in history to put together two streaks of 20 or more knockout wins
in a row (a feat later repeated by Edwin Valero, Ali Raymi and Deontay
Zarate was ranked #21 in The Ring's list of 100 greatest
punchers of all time, and voted as the #1 bantamweight (along with
Ruben Olivares) of the 20th century by the Associated Press in 1999.
He is also the father of undefeated Light Welterweight prospect, Carlos
Carlos Zarate has family members who
have followed him into boxing. His son Carlos, now retired fought
in the Light welterweight division and his nephew, Joel Luna Zarate,
is the former WBO Latino Super Flyweight champion.
considered along with rival Wilfredo Gomez to be among the better
punchers of the lighter divisions, had an amateur record of 33 wins
and 3 losses, with 30 knockout wins, and he won the Mexican Golden
Gloves, or Guantes de Oro, in 1969.
Carlos made his professional debut with a 2 round knockout win over
Luis Castaneda in Cuernavaca. That marked the beginning of a 23 fight
knockout winning streak. The only boxers to get past the third round
during that streak were Al Torres and Antonio Castaneda, who lasted
5 and 9 rounds respectively, both at Tijuana. Victor Ramirez became
the first boxer to last the distance with Zarate when Zarate beat
him on points in January 1974 in Mexico City over ten rounds. Next
began his second 20 plus knockout wins in a row streak, when none
of his next 28 opponents heard the final bell on their feet.
After knocking out former world title challenger
Nestor Jimenez in two rounds at Mexicali to end 1975, the WBC made
Zarate their number one challenger at the Bantamweight division. So,
after beating Cesar Desiga by a knockout in four on March 29, 1976
in Monterrey, Zarate was faced on the night of May 8 of that year
with defending WBC Bantamweight Champion Rodolfo Martinez in Los Angeles.
Zarate became a world Bantamweight champion by knocking his countryman
out in the eighth round. Zarate next won two fights by a knockout
in the second and then defended it against Paul Ferreri, who lost
by knockout in 12 in Los Angeles too. He finished 1976 with a four
round knockout over Waruinge Nakayama in a title defense held at Culiacan.
After beginning 1977 with a third round knockout
win over Colombia's Fernando Cabanela in Mexico City, Mexican boxing
fans started talking about a possible unification bout between him
and fellow Mexican Alfonso Zamora, the WBA's world Bantamweight champion.
Nicknamed by the American boxing press as the Z Boys, the two did
square off, but not before much hassle and hurdle putting by both
the WBC and WBA, who wanted both boxers to pay a large amount of money
before sanctioning the bout. So, the California state boxing commission
decided to sanction it as a ten round, non title bout instead. Fans
did not seem to care that no world title belt would be involved that
afternoon, and they packed the fight venue when Zarate and Zamora
met in the LA suburb of Inglewood, California, at the Fabulous Forum
on April 23 of 1977. Zarate made the tactical mistake of going toe
to toe with a shorter but harder hitting puncher. Zarate got tagged
repeatedly and then a man wearing gray hooded sweat shirt and sweat
pants entered the ring. The fight was stopped and thereafter, Zarate
managed to stay away from Zamora. After a first round, Zarate the
better boxer, with a reach advantage stayed away and outboxed Zamora
wearing him down then knocking him out in four to gain recognition
by most boxing fans as the undisputed world champion of the Bantamweights.
Then, he retained the WBC title with a knockout in six over Danilo