José Ribalta

José Manuel Ribalta (born March 31, 1963) is a Cuban former professional boxer who competed in the heavyweight division from 1982 to 1999. He is best known for his fight against Mike Tyson in 1986.

José Ribalta
Profesional bóxer.jpg
Statistics
Real nameJosé Manuel Ribalta
Nickname(s)El Nino
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Reach80 in (203 cm)
NationalityCuban
Born (1963-03-31) March 31, 1963 (age 59)
Rodrigo, Cuba
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights56
Wins38
Wins by KO27
Losses17
Draws1

Early yearsEdit

Ribalta's family fled Cuba by way of the Freedom Flights in 1967 and settled in Adams Morgan area of Washington, D.C. Then four years later the family moved to Miami, the city with the largest Cuban diaspora outside of Cuba. Both of his older brothers (all three were named José) were boxers. The oldest brother (the first to move to the United States) competed in the welterweight division and had three professional fights in the US. The middle of the three brothers was a boxer in Cuba, where he faced Teófilo Stevenson three times in the amateur ring and lost to him three times, and also fought Aziz Salihu. The younger José started boxing in the United States in the mid-1970s. He did not go through the Cuban school, but became the best known of the Ribalta brothers.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Ribalta made his professional debut in 1982. He had 10 straight wins. In 1983, he lost to Ricardo Richardson by TKO in the 7th round. Then Ribalta won another 7 fights. Advancing on the list of professional boxing rankings, Ribalta made his living as a sparring partner for WBC champion Trevor Berbick and title contender Gerry Cooney.[2]

In July 1985, his first nationally televised bout took place against James "Bonecrusher" Smith. Ribalta lost by a split decision. The audience was loudly outraged by the decision of the judges, and Ribalta considered that he was "robbed". In September 1985, Ribalta faced Marvis Frazier. After a close battle, Frazier won the fight by a majority decision. In May 1986, he was knocked down by David Jaco, but managed to turn the tide of the fight and won by knockout in the fifth round.

On 17 August 1986, Ribalta faced Mike Tyson in a fight broadcast on HBO prepaid. At the time of the fight, Ribalta was ranked #10 in the WBC ranking. In the fight, Ribalta was knocked down three times and eventually lost by TKO in the 10th round, when the fight was stopped after Tyson's next series of strikes landed on Ribalta, who was pressed against the ropes. Tyson hit Ribalta 220 times. In 2014, Tyson rated Ribalta as the strongest opponent he faced, and the one with the best chin.[3]

In 1987, Ribalta defeated Leon Spinks, knocking him down three times in the first round. Then he defeated Mark Young and Steve Zouski.

In 1990, Ribalta faced Tim Witherspoon and lost by majority decision.

In 1991, he lost to Bruce Seldon and Pierre Coetzer.

In April 1992, he was knocked out by Frank Bruno in the 2nd round. In October 1992, Ribalta faced Michael Dokes and lost by unanimous decision.

In September 1993, he lost against Larry Holmes by unanimous decision. In December 1993, Ribalta lost a unanimous decision in a 3-round bout against Tony Tubbs in a national heavyweight tournament in the Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.

In 1994, Ribalta lost against Joe Hipp by knockout in the 2nd round. Then he won five fights, which were followed by losses against Axel Schulz, Larry Donald, Vitali Klitschko, and Chris Byrd.

In 1999, Ribalta lost by knockout in the 1st round against Donovan Ruddock, after which he retired from professional boxing.

He was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.[4]

Ribalta is the author of “Courage in the Ring“, his auto biography of his life as a professional athlete.

Professional boxing recordEdit

56 fights 38 wins 17 losses
By knockout 27 9
By decision 10 8
By disqualification 1 0
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
56 Loss 38–17–1   Donovan Ruddock TKO 1 (10), 1:40 Oct 8, 1999   Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, New York, U.S.
55 Loss 38–16–1   Chris Byrd RTD 3 (10), 3:00 Jun 3, 1999   Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, U.S.
54 Loss 38–15–1   Vitali Klitschko TKO 2 (8), 2:13 Jun 5, 1998   Sporthalle Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany
53 Loss 38–14–1   Larry Donald TKO 6 (10) Jul 15, 1997   Riverside Convention Center, Rochester, New York
52 Loss 38–13–1   Axel Schulz UD 10 Dec 7, 1996   Vienna, Austria
51 Win 38–12–1   James Holley TKO 1 (10) Apr 6, 1996   Peel's Palace, Erlanger, Kentucky, U.S.
50 Win 37–12–1   Bruce Johnson KO 1 (10) Dec 9, 1995   MARK of the Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois, U.S.
49 Win 36–12–1   Carlton West TKO 1 (10) Oct 11, 1995   International Ballroom, Washington, D.C., U.S.
48 Win 35–12–1   George Harris TKO 2 (10) Sep 22, 1995   Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Chester, West Virginia, U.S.
47 Win 34–12–1   John Basil Jackson PTS 8 (10) Mar 15, 1995   Harmarville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
46 Loss 33–12–1   Joe Hipp KO 2 (12), 1:53 May 10, 1994   Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S. For NABF heavyweight title
45 Loss 33–11–1   Tony Tubbs UD 3 Dec 3, 1993   Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
44 Win 33–10–1   Derek Williams SD 3 Dec 3, 1993   Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
43 Loss 32–10–1   Larry Holmes UD 10 Sep 28, 1993   Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
42 Win 32–9–1   Wes Turner TKO 4 Jul 10, 1993   Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, U.S.
41 Loss 31-9–1   Michael Dokes UD 10 Oct 6, 1992   Mahi Shrine Temple, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
40 Loss 31–8–1   Frank Bruno KO 2 (10), 1:44 Apr 22, 1992   Wembley Arena, London, England
39 Loss 31–7–1   Pierre Coetzer PTS 10 May 11, 1991   Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
38 Loss 31–6–1   Bruce Seldon RTD 3 (10), 3:00 Jan 11, 1991   Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
37 Loss 31–5–1   Tim Witherspoon MD 10 Jul 19, 1990   Kingdome, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
36 Win 31–4–1   Michael Johnson KO 2 Feb 9, 1990   Palacio de los Deportes, Zaragoza, Spain
35 Win 30–4–1   Jose Allencastro KO 2 Oct 6, 1989   Zaragoza, Spain
34 Win 29–4–1   Jeff Sims UD 10 Jul 21, 1989   Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
33 Win 28–4–1   Jerry Hairston KO 1 Jun 2, 1989   Holiday Inn, Parkersburg, West Virginia, U.S.
32 Win 27–4–1   Jose Garcia KO 1 Jun 3, 1988   Raleigh County Armory, Beckley, West Virginia, U.S.
31 Win 26-4-1   Steve Zouski UD 10 Sep 12, 1987   James L. Knight Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
30 Win 25–4–1   Mark Young UD 10 May 16, 1987   Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
29 Win 24–4–1   Leon Spinks TKO 1 (10), 2:10 Jan 17, 1987   Coconut Grove Convention Center, Miami, Florida, U.S.
28 Win 23–4–1   John Williams TKO 2 (10), 0:50 Sep 26, 1986   Abel Holtz Stadium, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
27 Loss 22–4–1   Mike Tyson TKO 10 (10), 1:37 Aug 17, 1986   Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
26 Win 22–3–1   Rick Kellar KO 1 (10) Jun 20, 1986   Milander Auditorium, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
25 Win 21–3–1   David Jaco KO 5 (10) May 13, 1986   Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
24 Win 20–3–1   Jeff Freeney KO 1 (10) Apr 4, 1986   Convention Center, Coconut Grove, Florida, U.S.
23 Win 19–3–1   Al Houck KO 3 (10) Mar 4, 1986   Auditorium, Coconut Grove, Florida, U.S.
22 Loss 18–3–1   Marvis Frazier MD 10 Sep 11, 1985   Trump Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
21 Win 18–2–1   Ernie Barr UD 10 Jul 23, 1985   Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
20 Loss 17–2–1   James Smith SD 10 Apr 29, 1985   Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
19 Draw 17–1–1   Cecil Coffee PTS 10 Oct 18, 1984   Atlantis Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
18 Win 17–1   Nate Robinson TKO 2 (8) Jul 26, 1984   Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
17 Win 16–1   Jimmy Jones PTS 8 Mar 8, 1984   James Knight Convention Center, Miami, Florida, U.S.
16 Win 15–1   Juan Antonio Figueroa DQ 7 (10) Dec 15, 1983   Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
15 Win 14–1   Ishaq Hussein TKO 6 (6) Oct 25, 1983   Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
14 Win 13–1   Robert Evans UD 8 Sep 1, 1983   Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
13 Win 12–1   Tom Prater UD 8 Jun 3, 1983   Milander Auditorium, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
12 Win 11–1   Ron Harry TKO 6 (8) Apr 29, 1983   Ventura Skating Center, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
11 Loss 10–1   Ricardo Richardson TKO 7 (10) Feb 18, 1983   Milander Auditorium, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
10 Win 10–0   Miles Prince TKO 2 Jan 14, 1983   Milander Auditorium, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
9 Win 9–0   Nate Robinson TKO 5 Nov 6, 1982   War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
8 Win 8–0   John L Johnson KO 1 Oct 21, 1982   Ventura Skating Center, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
7 Win 7–0   Al Leticky KO 1 (8) Sep 30, 1982   Ventura Skating Center, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
6 Win 6–0   Curtis Gaskins TKO 2 (6) Jul 20, 1982   War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
5 Win 5–0   Gabriel Saenz KO 2 (6) Jul 9, 1982   Milander Auditorium, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
4 Win 4–0   Kenneth Wring KO 3 (6) Jun 18, 1982   Milander Auditorium, Hialeah, Florida, U.S.
3 Win 3–0   Ken Davis UD 4 May 21, 1982   Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
2 Win 2–0   Douglas Fowler KO 2 (4) Feb 5, 1982   North Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
1 Win 1–0   J C Richardson TKO 1 (4) Jan 20, 1982   War Memorial Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mike Tyson vs Jose Ribalta 26th of 58 Aug. 1986, HBO.
  2. ^ Jose Ribalta confident he can defeat Tyson in tonight's fight (UPI), Abbeville Meridional, August 17, 1986, Page 9A.
  3. ^ "Best I faced: Mike Tyson". The Ring. 13 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Former heavyweight Jose Ribalta set to join Florida Boxing Hall of Fame". Miami Herald. 16 June 2014.

External linksEdit