Thursday, June 01, 2023  |


Miguel Cotto takes the great welterweight challenge vs. Martinez

Fighters Network

Emile Griffith


Griffith, a New York City-based native of the Virgin Islands, won the welterweight title three times before moving up to the junior middleweight and middleweight divisions, where he faced the best fighters of the 1960s and ‘70s – including Dick Tiger, Nino Benvenuti, Jose Napoles and Carlos Monzon. A quick, extremely athletic and immensely strong ring general, Griffith was a fan favorite and fixture at Madison Square Garden.

Won welterweight title(s): On April 1, 1961, stopping Benny “Kid” Paret in Round 13. He lost the title in his rematch with Paret and regained it via 12th-round TKO in their tragic rubber match on March 24, 1962. Griffith lost it again to Luis Rodriguez via 15-round decision but regained it in their immediate return bout via 15-round decision on June 8, 1963.

Fought for middleweight title(s): On April 25, 1966, outpointing Dick Tiger over 10 rounds. He lost the title to Nino Benvenuti (in THE RING’s Fight of the Year for 1967) but regained it in their immediate rematch on Sept. 29, 1967 (both bouts went the 15-round distance). Griffith lost the title in his rubber match with Benvenuti, and twice unsuccessfully challenged Carlos Monzon in 1971 and 1973, getting stopped in Round 14 and dropping a 15-round decision to the long-reigning champ.

Hall of fame induction: 1990



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