Recognizing Boxing World Champion and Laredo Native Orlando Canizales

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 16, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CUELLAR. Madam Speaker, today I rise to recognize Orlando Canizales, a former boxing world champion and native son of Laredo, Texas.

Born in Laredo in 1965, Mr. Canizales began boxing at the age of ten at the local Boys and Girls Club. After going 108-12 as an amateur, he turned professional in 1984. He would become one of the world's best fighters in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

In 1988, Mr. Canizales became a world champion after winning the International Boxing Federation bantamweight title, knocking out the defending titlist in the fifteenth round. He would go on to make a division record 16 title defenses. Mr. Canizales continued fighting until 1999, until he decided to hang up his gloves. He retired with a record of 50-5-1 with 37 knockouts.

Mr. Canizales was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009. He gave a rousing speech in which he spoke about the life lessons that boxing had given him. ``Boxing has taught me a lot in life.'' he said. ``That dedication, discipline and determination will pay off in the long run and not to be easily swayed by obstacles and bumps in the road.''

His brother, Gaby, was also a world champion. A boxing gym on Guadalupe Street in my hometown of Laredo now bears both of their names. Today, Mr. Canizales spends much of his days working with young boxers, continuing the South Texas tradition of producing some of America's finest fighters.

On behalf of the 28th District of Texas, I would like to again invite my colleagues to recognize Mr. Canizales, a truly legendary Laredoan, and celebrate all his accomplishments.