Carlos Palomino is a retired Mexican professional boxer.Palomino is a former WBC Welterweight Champion and member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Palomino is also an actor who has been featured in several television shows and films. He achieved a considerable amount of fame during the 1970s, especially among Mexican and Southern California fans.
After winning two fights in 1976, Palomino found himself and his trainers travelling to London, where an internationally televised world championship bout awaited him against WBC world Welterweight champion John H. Stracey, a British boxing teacher who had dethroned José Nápoles as world champion. Palomino became a world champion on the night of June 22 of that year at Wembley Arena, after Stracey eventually succumbed to a blistering body attack and was put on the canvas twice from left hooks to the liver. Many Mexicans who viewed Nápoles, a Cuban born resident of Mexico, as another countryman, saw this as a revenge from Stracey.
He waited six months for his next fight, against another very popular boxer of Mexican background: cross-town rival Armando Muñíz. This was a fight that had many fans guessing who’d win it for months before it happened, but it also made history in the boxing books: When Palomino and Muñíz met, on January 21 of 1977, it was the first time in boxing history two college graduates met for a world title. Palomino earned a degree in recreation administration from Long Beach State, while Muniz had graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, where he majored in Spanish and minored in math, and was working toward a graduate degree in administration. Palomino and Muniz (now a high school teacher in California) fought what the book The Ring: Boxing in the 20th. Century has described as one of the best fights of 1977. After 14 rounds, all three judges had the fight tied on their scorecards, but Palomino scored two knockdowns in the fifteenth and final round and he retained the world title by a knockout in that final round. A return to London resulted in an 11th round knockout victory over Dave Boy Green, after which he defended against Everaldo Acosta Azevedo and Jose Palacios, Azevedo being defeated by decision in fifteen and Palacios by knockout in thirteen.
In 1978, he defended his crown with a win over Ryu Sorimachi by a knockout in seven, a knockout in nine over Mimoun Mohatar, and a decision in fifteen in his long awaited rematch with Muniz.
His championship run ended in 1979, when he traveled to Puerto Rico, where he was defeated on January 13 by hometown boxer Wilfred Benítez via a controversial fifteen round split decision.
In his next fight, Palomino met legendary Roberto Durán on June 22 of that year at Madison Square Gardens, in another nationally televised bout, as part of the Larry Holmes–Mike Weaver world Heavyweight championship bout’s undercard. Palomino lost to Duran by decision in ten rounds, and he announced his retirement from boxing right away.
In 1978 while still the WBC Welterweight Champion, Palomino appeared as himself in the ABC sitcom Taxi. Appearing in the second episode of the opening season (“One-Punch Banta”), he spars with Tony Banta (Tony Danza – himself a former professional boxer with a 9-3 record) and takes a dive.
In 1980, Miller Lite beer signed Palomino as a spokesman as part of a television commercial campaign that also included Walt Frazier and other noted athletes. As a consequence of the enjoyable experience and the media exposure that followed, he decided to launch a career as an actor He participated in a number of movies and television series, before deciding to launch a boxing comeback at the age of 48, in 1997.
Palomino was elected as chairman of the California State Athletic Commission, where he performed for a few years. He is now involved in charity work, most notably Tony Baltazar’s charity organization, and he travels around the United States to attend charity events and do autograph shows.
Palomino was selected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on January 8, 2004. He was inducted on June 13.