“Sacramento has many great athletes that played at the highest levels in all sports. Being part of Sacramento's rich sports history makes me proud. It is an honor to be inducted among the greatest athletes into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.”
High School: Norte Del Rio
* WBA Light Welterweight World Champion
* WBC Americas Light Welterweight Champion
* USBA Light Welterweight Champion
* Career Record: 32-2-1, 28 KO’s
* 3-Time Golden Gloves Champion
Loreto will always be regarded as one of the most successful boxers to hail from Sacramento. Raised in Del Paso Heights, Loreto was the youngest of seven children. He was introduced to boxing as a teenager when he would tangle with his older brothers in the backyard. His siblings noticed his talent and persuaded him to go train at the Washington Neighborhood Center. After meeting and sparring with Fred Castano he began to take it seriously.
While in high school at Norte Del Rio, Loreto won the prestigious Golden Gloves Tournament in 1979, 1980 and 1981. He then turned pro and quickly became a success. Fighting exclusively in Sacramento, he started to build a following while making a name for himself going through a stretch of 24 straight fights without a loss between 1984 -1990.
After knocking out former champion Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown in four rounds, Loreto won his first title belt. He captured the WBC Continental Americas Light Welterweight Title with a thundering first round knockout of Harry Arroyo. In 1989 Loreto defeated the previously unbeaten and #1 ranked contender, Frankie Warren, to capture the USBA title. Loreto fought the last 5 rounds with his left eye swollen shut. Many boxing annals argue that Garza vs. Warren should have been the fight of the year.
Then on August 17, 1990, with only two weeks' notice, Garza flew to Nice, France and won the WBA Light Welterweight World Title by majority decision over Juan Coggi. Loreto had shocked the world and brought the title home to Sacramento.
In 1990, Loreto had one of his biggest fights of his career and defended his world title at Arco Arena against former world champion Vinny Pazienza. He was superb in frustrating Pazienza throughout the fight. In round 11, Pazienza picked Loreto up and tried to slam him in the ring. The referee disqualified Pazienza and Loreto retained his belt.
Loreto went on to win his final three bouts all by knockouts. He abruptly retired in 1993 after all other champions were afraid to fight him. Loreto was one of the few fighters that retired at the peak of his career. He has one of the highest knockout percentages in the history of the sport, with 28 of his 32 wins coming by way of KO. He thrilled fans in his hometown as all but three of his fights were in Sacramento.
Loreto is one of only a few from Sacramento that has the honor of being called World Champion. He continues to live here and is still a fan favorite. He is currently a California Correctional Peace Office. He will always be known as a World Champion but more importantly a man with great integrity and a hometown hero.