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Hall of Fame Friday: Jose Torres

25
Feb

JOSE TORRES

Birthdate: May 3, 1936
Date of Death: Jan. 19, 2009
Birthplace: Playa Ponce, Puerto Rico
Nickname: Chegui
Weight Classes: Middleweight, light heavyweight
Professional Record: 41-3-1 (29 knockouts)
Titles Held: World light heavyweight (March 30, 1965-Dec. 16, 1966)
Best Performances: Gomeo Brennan (W 10), Bobo Olson (KO 1), Willie Pastrano (KO 9), Wayne Thornton (W 15), Eddie Cotton (W 15), Chic Calderwood (KO 2) Ike Jenkins (KO 5), Benny Paret (D 10), Randy Sandy (W 10), Don Fullmer (W 10), Jose Gonzalez (W 10), Frankie Olivera (KO 5).
Year of IBHOF Induction: 1997
Background: Was a street tough who wanted to turn his life around by enlisting in the U.S. Army, where he discovered boxing ÔǪ Won several Inter-Service amateur titles while in the army ÔǪ Light middleweight silver medalist in 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, representing United States, losing to Hungary’s Laszlo Papp in the finals ÔǪ Won pro debut in May ’58 with first-round KO victory ÔǪ Stopped 11 of first 13 opponents ÔǪ Fought future welterweight world champion Benny Paret to 10-round draw in September ’59 ÔǪ Career growth and title shot retarded by the trainer Cus D’Amato’s reluctance to deal with dubious International Boxing Club, which ran Madison Square Garden ÔǪ Suffered first career loss to Florentino Fernandez in May ’63 ÔǪ Rebounded with eight-fight win streak ÔǪ Began streak with 10-round decision over contender Don Fullmer in October ’63 ÔǪ First-round KO victory over Bobo Olson in November ’64 set up light heavyweight title shot ÔǪ Became first Hispanic to win world light heavyweight title, stopping Willie Pastrano in ninth round in May ’65 ÔǪ Made three successful title defenses against Thornton, Cotton and Calderwood ÔǪ Title reign ended with unanimous-decision loss to Dick Tiger in December ’66 ÔǪ Lost rematch to Tiger by split decision in May ’67 ÔǪ Closed career by stopping Charley Green in two rounds in July ’69 ÔǪ Perfected D’Amato’s peek-a-boo, hands-held-high style ÔǪ Effective combination puncher ÔǪ Remained heavily involved with boxing after retirement ÔǪ Served as New York State Athletic Commissioner from ’84 to ’88 ÔǪ Authored Sting Like A Bee, a biography of Muhammad Ali, and Fire And Fear about Mike Tyson ÔǪ Died Jan. 19, 2009, at age 72 of a heart attack at his home in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

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