The sport of boxing has benefited from the talents that have come from South America. Colombia is no exception from this as it has contributed several exciting practitioners of the sweet science. Part of the reason for the popularity of boxing in Colombia is the number of heroes that have the carried their national flag on the ring. One such boxer was Bernardo Caraballo.
It is important to note that boxing in Colombia started at the turn of the twentieth century. It was in 1898 when a boxing gym was opened by Andres Gomez-Hoyos at the Cartagena University. Since then, Colombians became transfixed in the gentleman’s sport.
Caraballo, born in 1934, lived in Cartagena where boxing was gaining ground. A young Bernardo may have been intrigued by all this and decided to train and become a boxer. His first bout with Efrain Tatis was a win, and for 38 other fights, his hand was raised by the referee.
By the early part of 1960s, Bernardo was the most popular boxer of the country and was hoping for crack at a world title. His big break came in Bogota after defeating Manny Elias of Tuczon, Arizona. This allowed him to challenge Eder Jofre, the World Bantamweight champion from Brazil. Caraballo fought Jofre behind throngs of Colombian supporters on November 27, 1964. This day marked the first attempt of a Colombian boxer for a world championship title.
Unfortunately, as good as Caraballo was, Jofre was the better fighter, and he knocked the Colombian out in the seventh round. Carrying the fighting spirit South American boxers are known for, Bernardo was able to bounce back from this defeat to win in all his bouts for the next three years. In 1967 he got another chance to grab a world championship by fighting Japanese Masahiko “Fighting” Harada. However, his trip to Japan did not bear fruit once more. Nonetheless, his attempts for world domination won the hearts of young boxers, ensuring that the flame of boxing will be passed on to the future.