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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Homer Gibbins
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Welterweight Champion Homer Gibbins.

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Four ropes, trash-talk and well-trained athletes are things that boxing and professional wrestling have in common. But there is more! “The Nature Boy” is most famously the nickname of legendary American pro wrestler Ric Flair, but it would also become the ring-moniker of former WBF World Light Welterweight Champion Homer Gibbins.

Ric Flair is an icon wrestler here in the US, and I stole that name from him”, says Gibbins, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1970. “I began boxing because of Wrestling, and I loved the way Flair would talk smack, so I thought it was fitting.”

As a wild child who loved pro wrestling I tried to imitate what I saw on TV, and anyone entering our house was my next opponent. My farther worked hard trying to provide, and just wanted to rest when he came home from work. I had been cooped up with my mum all day, so when my dad came home inside me was Wrestle Mania starring ME.”

Back in those days one of the greatest wrestlers was Gorgeous George, so I would slick back my hair with Crisco grease or Vaseline, put on my mum's pink robe, and prance around the living room looking for my next opponent. It was an ordinary afternoon in 1976 when my pop came home from working long hours in the heat, and just wanted to relax on the floor of the house and watch some TV.”

That's when I saw the opportunity for me to perfect the Brain Buster, the newest wrestling move, and I sailed through the air from the couch, head butting my poor overworked pop and almost knocking him or myself unconscious at the same time.”

First he got very angry, he did make sure that I wasn't dead or bleeding before he ran to get my mum, telling her that tomorrow I'm going to the gym. He was going to let me learn about what real fighting is all about. He had hoped that I would go in the gym, get my butt kicked and then come out not wanting to act like that anymore.”

But that was not how it turned out, and the six-year-old Homer loved boxing and would stick with it for the next thirty-one years. He embarked on a successful amateur campaign that saw him compile a 226-23 record, win fifteen Georgia State Golden Gloves titles, and eventually set him up for a professional career.

I fought and won the Golden Gloves state tournament for the fifteenth time with Evander Holyfield, the Cruiser weight champion, sparring that same night, and his trainer Lou Duva saw me fight. Lou gave me a card to call him if I wanted to go to the training camp.”

Evander was a former team mate of mine, and he decided to manage my career. He actually got me on a few of his undercards, and allowed me to use his name. He was a good friend, but didn’t really understand the business of boxing.”

Gibbins made his paid debut on August 11, 1990 at the Ceasars Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada. Fighting on a show headlined by legends Pernell Whitaker and Hector Camacho defending world titles, and Meldrick Taylor in his first fight back after his famous last-second loss to Julio Cesar Chavez, Gibbins got off to a rough start.

He was stopped in the third round by another debutant, Peter Waswa, but the set-back did not discourage the then 20-year-old, who now, twenty-six years later, puts it like this: “In boxing, as an amateur you win some and you lose some. That’s part of it, but you never stop fighting. You should learn from a loss, and I can say that I did.”

Indeed he did, as Gibbins went on to win twenty-five of his next twenty-six fights, twenty-two of them inside the distance, to set up his first major opportunity in December of 1992: A crack at the vacant WBF World Light Welterweight title against Kenny Vice (29-7), by far his best opponent at the time.

I was fighting and making a name for myself, getting seen on undercards and climbing in the rankings”, explains Gibbins. “But I wasn’t really promoted, so I just fought whenever and whoever.”

The opportunity came to fight Kenny Vice, who had killed a guy in the ring in South Africa (Brian Baronet in 1988), and they chose me as an opponent. He was a tough fighter, but like me didn’t have a promoter so he was overlooked for many years.”

I was young and they felt it could revitalize his career. But, I was able to weather his storms and catch him in the 7th to win the WBF World title.”

Becoming world champion was one of the absolute highlights of Gibbins career, but for various reasons he was never given the opportunity to defend the title. “I wanted to fight any and everyone, but they (the promoters) control the if, when, and who’s you fight in the sport”, as he puts it.

But he kept winning, and put together six more victories to line up a fight with undefeated fellow contender George Scott (21-0) from Sweden in February of 1994 in Atlanta. He lost the fight by majority decision, but showed that even without a title he was still a top player.

Three more victories, including decisions over Tod Foster (32-2) and Wayne Boudreaux (20-5), secured Gibbins another big fight, against one of the biggest names in the sport, the late former WBC and WBO world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho (50-3). They fought on May 20, 1995 in Atlantic City.

Camacho was a great fighter who I respected greatly”, said Gibbins, looking back on the fight he lost on points. “And getting the chance to fight and go the distance with a legend is very admirable. I was never expected to get out of the 3rd round.”

He told me I caught him a few times, and in the 3rd round he said I snapped his head back and hurt him. He of course didn’t show it, and as soon as I came in he hit me with an elbow.”

Main Events (the promoters) were setting up Camacho vs. (Pernell) Whitaker so I was never supposed to win. Donald Trump said he saw the fight 4 rounds for me and 4 rounds for Camacho with 4 rounds up for grabs depending on the fighting style you liked.”

In his very next outing, four months later, Gibbins took on Jake Rodriguez (27-3-2), another world class opponent, and was fighting on even terms before getting stopped in the eighth round. That would be his last appearance in almost three years, and when he came back in 1998 he slowly, but surely, drifted into a journeyman role.

I had been battling a neck-condition all my life, and I was forced to retire in 1995 after the Camacho fight and fighting Jake Rodriguez exposed it. But because I lied to doctors, I regained a license to fight again in 1998. I still was not promoted and had to take what was given, when it was given. I always felt if you gave me time to train I could beat anyone.”

I always had numbness in my legs from my neck-condition, and most doctors would tell you that I should have never fought. I would go into a guy’s hometown and beat him only to watch the judges steal my victory. Or I would know that my body was failing me.”

I entered the ring knowing I could only be 50% and that was with me giving it my all. As I got older I began to have fear because I had children that depended on daddy, and I wanted to be there for them as they got older. I did fight and win another title from a fighter who was similar in age, and then didn’t even get my title until I took them to court.”

Gibbins lost nine of his last eleven fights. That “fighter who was similar in age” he mentions, was Chad Broussard (54-4), whom Gibbins beat by knockout in June of 2006, after losing their first fight by decision four months prior. He lost the rubber match by split decision in October 2007, and it turned out to be his final fight.

Between 1990 and 2007, he compiled a final professional record of 44-16, with 31 knockouts. Up until 2002 he was 42-5 (30), and its fair to say that the last five years was not the real “Nature Boy” in action.

I have a lot of children who need their daddy to be there for them, and I was tired of fighting the fighters, referees, and the judges”, Gibbins explains about his decision to finally retire. “I love being a dad, so when I walked away I walked away completely from the sport.”

Regrets? Homer Gibbins have none. He seems happy and proud of what he has accomplished, and says Hector Camacho, Matt Vanda and Tod Foster were the best opponents he faced. He has just begun passing on the knowledge he acquired in the sport, because “to be immortal in this life you have to pass along what you know to someone else.”

Regrets would change the past, so you just move forward. At least that’s what I do. I would have liked to have fought Arturo Gatti (a fight that was actually planned), but they paid me to back out because I just beat a guy with one hand, as I broke the other in the 3rd round.”

Gatti was scheduled to fight Oscar De La Hoya for a million Dollars, and they paid me to get out of their way. I had trained with him and boxed circles around him. It all comes down to not being promoted, but I did all that I could with what I had.”

Married to Amy for fourteen years, Gibbins (46) is a father of seven (!) children, five girls and two boys, and now works as both a drama teacher and a building manager. Being a very creative man, he has acted and is a published poet, and, in his own words, he is an exceptional artist.

In his spare-time he also works with youth, teaching drama, at Oakhill Baptist Church in Griffin, Georgia (S.W.A.T.: Students Worship & Arts Team), something he enjoys and has done along with wife Amy since 1996.

As a child, I was a poet with a love of the dramatic, and a very talented artist, who happens to be a bit color blind. I guess you can say that God blessed me with good hands. God has always gifted me with an ability, and kind of a handicap as well to keep me humbled.”


  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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