A NATIVE OF Colon, Panama, Laguna turned professional in 1960 and by 1962 won the Panamanian featherweight title. He eventually campaigned as a lightweight and, on April 10, 1965, he decisioned fellow Hall of Famer Carlos Ortiz to win the lightweight world title.

Following a draw with Nicolino Locche, he lost the title back to Ortiz (L 15).

Taking on all comers, Laguna defeated Carlos Hernandez (TKO 8) and engaged in a tough bout with Hall of Famer Flash Elorde (L 10). Then in 1967, Laguna met Ortiz in a rubber match and lost a 15-round decision for the world lightweight title. 

By 1970, the skillful craftsman Laguna had positioned himself to again challenge for the world title. On March 3, 1970, he met and KO'd Mando Ramos in nine rounds to regain the lightweight crown.

Following a successful defense against Ishimatsu Suzuki, he lost the title to Scotland's Ken Buchanan. Laguna was unsuccessful in a rematch with Buchanan and announced his retirement in 1971.

Laguna was a complete fighter, possessed a strong jab and a knockout punch, and combined great boxing skill with impressive resilience. He knocked out nearly half of his opponents and was not once knocked to the canvas during his 75-bout career.
Born: June. 28, 1943
Bouts: 75
Won: 65
Lost: 9
Draw: 1
KOs: 37
Induction: 2001
Courtesy of The Ring
Ismael Laguna