Miguel Cotto takes the great welterweight challenge vs. Martinez
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Arguably the most accomplished of all the welterweight champs from Cuba, Napoles, who was nicknamed “Mantequilla” (“Butter”) because of his smooth style, made 13 defenses of the 147-pound belt over two celebrated title reigns. A popular fighter in both his adopted country of Mexico and in the U.S., Napoles was known for his powerful left hook, which he used against the best fighters of the 1960s and early ‘70s, including Curtis Cokes, Emile Griffith, Ernie “Indian Red” Lopez, Hedgemon Lewis, Billy Backus and Armando Muniz.
Won welterweight title: On April 18, 1969, stopping Cokes in Round 13. Napoles lost the belt to Backus, who stopped him on cuts in Round 4 of their title bout on Dec. 3, 1970, but he regained it with an eighth-round TKO on Jun4, 1971.
Fought for middleweight title: On Feb. 9, 1974, against Carlos Monzon. The long-reigning champ from Argentina stopped Napoles in Round 7.
Hall of fame induction: 1990