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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Patrick Vungbo
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Super Welterweight Champion Patrick Vungbo.

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.


While he spend his entire career fighting out of his adopted home-country Belgium, former World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Super Welterweight Champion Patrick Vungbo was born in August of 1966 in Congo, Central Africa.

He began boxing relatively late, at the age of eighteen, when he was taken to a gym in Anderlecht by his uncle, a former professional boxer. Young Patrick quickly proved to be talented, and at the same time had the right attitude to be a successful boxer.

A year later he won the Belgian novice amateur championships, and just three years after first putting on a pair of gloves he made his professional debut in November of 1987 in Izegem, against 23-year-old hopeful Phillipe Tampere (4-1) from nearby Roeselare.

With four thousand people in attendance, only very few rooting for Vungbo, the debutant was brought in to be “the opponent” against Tampere. However, Vungbo had other plans and shocked the local fans when he knocked out their hero in the third round.

Things were moving fast for Vungbo, and even though he won his first six paid bouts convincingly, he was not exactly wrapped in cotton wool. After stopping Frenchman Eric Ceriac (4-4-1) in his second outing, he out-pointed Freddy Demeulenaere (10-2-1) in February of 1988.

It was quite an impressive victory for a guy with only two paid fights, and the fact that Demeulenaere went on to win Belgian and BeNeLux titles, as well as challenge for the European championship, only made it even more significant in retrospect.

In July of 1988 he traveled to Milan, Italy where he suffered his first defeat at the hands of tough Mexican Guillermo Cruz (9-3). Vungbo was fighting out of the “home corner”, but Cruz paid no attention to that as he stopped the raising prospect in seven rounds.

Vungbo rebounded well, and won his next three fights against decent opposition, including Jean-Claude Dele (9-3) and Nordine Dahmani (16-18-9), before it was time for another trip abroad. On February 24, 1989 he returned to Milan where he beat Italy-based Tunisian Habib Hammami (8-3) on points in his own back-yard.

Now 10-1 (6) after only fifteen months in the professional ranks, Vungbo was deemed ready to step up to championship level, and his first title fight would come in a rematch against Freddy Demeulenaere, now 14-4-2, on March 17, 1989, with the Belgian national Welterweight title on the line.

A determined Vungbo made it clear that his first victory was no fluke, as he once again beat Demeulenaere on points to lift his first professional championship. The loss to Cruz not withstanding, Vungbo had quickly taken the Belgian boxing-scene by storm.

But his path to the top would not be without further set-backs. He defended his Belgian crown the following June, fending off tough but limited trial-horse Fabian Chapelle (7-12-3), before it was back to Italy for another tough assignment against Colombian contender Guillermo “La Pantera” Mosquera (18-1).

On the undercard of Billy Hardy vs. Vincenzo Belcastro for the European Bantamweight title, June 28, 1989, Vungbo fought valiantly, and again showed that he could compete at a high level. But in the end he came up on the short end of a decision after six rounds.

Three non title-fight victories lead to a third fight with Freddy Demeulenaere (17-7-3), and while it was a closer fight this time it was the same out-come as Vungbo retained his Belgian crown by split decision and improved his record to 16-2 (6) on Christmas day, 1989.

A points-loss to French Champion Daniel Bicchieray (18-3-3) followed six months later, before another defense of the Belgian title against undefeated Mark McGreath (9-0) and a routine victory over journeyman Carlos Tavarez (9-12-3) closed out 1990.

In April of 1991 he squared off with Belgian-based Ugandan Godfrey Nyakana (8-0). Making the fourth defense of his national Welterweight title, Vungbo lost a unanimous decision after ten rounds, and continued to find it hard to break through to the next level.

Six months on he returned with a decent victory over Jean-Marc Linquet (10-2), knocking the Frenchman out in five rounds, but two months later Vungbo tasted defeat again when Spanish champion, and future European and WBC World champion, Javier Castillejo (18-1) stopped him in five in Madrid.

It was up and down for Vungbo, who was never afraid to take on a tough challenge, and never afraid to travel into his opponents back-yard to do it. His next three fights were victories over Valery Monakhov, Delroy Waul (15-1-1) and Mourad Louati (20-3-1), but a loss to British contender Paul Jones (17-7-1) brought him back down to earth again.

But, his record still a respectable 22-6 (8), and still only twenty-six years old, the best was yet to come for Vungbo. He moved up to Super Welterweight and again he rose from the ashes, putting together six straight victories between October of 1992 and June of 1993.

He beat Hassan Mokhtar (4-6) to become a two-weight Belgian national champion, and defended his new title with a fourth victory over Freddy Demeulenaere (29-19-4), in a fight that also netted him the BeNeLux title. This string of victories took his ledger to 28-6 (10), and put him in line for the biggest fight of his life.

On November 1, 1993 in Izegem, Vungbu took on immensely talented former British and European champion Pat Barrett (35-3-1) for the vacant WBF World Super Welterweight title. It was another step up in class for him, and he was again the underdog, but this time he was fighting on home ground.

As expected, it was a tough and close fight, but Vungbo put together all the experience he had gathered over the years, and performed out of his skin against what was probably his best opponent to date to win a split decision with scores of 119-114, 117-113 and 114-116.

Unfortunately he would not be world champion for long. Back in Izegem only seven weeks after winning the title, he lost it by decision to old nemesis Godfrey Nyakana (19-1-1). Few fighters would have agreed to such a quick turn-around, but once again Vungbo proved to be out of the ordinary and willing to fight anyone at any time.

That would not change, and in his very next fight, on May 20, 1994, he again fought Javier Castillejo (34-2) in Madrid, this time with the European title on the line. Again he lost, but he took Castillejo the full distance and showed that he still had something to give.

Vungbo won his next three fights, and secured another crack at the European crown against Laurent Boudouani (28-2), who had dethroned Castillejo and would later become WBA World Champion. Vungbu was stopped in six rounds, and it appeared that his best days were finally behind him.

He fought on for another five years, going 4-4-1 and regaining and defending the Belgian Super Welterweight title. He never again reached the level he was at with the Barret victory, and retired in 2000 following his fiftieth fight, with a 36-13-1 (10) record from a career where he took on any challenge presented to him.

  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  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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