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José ("Chegüi") Torres (May 3, 1936 – January 19, 2009) was a Puerto Rican professional boxer. As an amateur boxer, he won a silver medal in the junior middleweight division at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. In 1965, he defeated Willie Pastrano to win the WBC, WBA and lineal light heavyweight championships. Torres trained with the legendary boxing trainer Cus D'Amato. In 1997, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

José Torres
Jose Torres1.jpg
Statistics
Real name José Torres
Nickname(s) Chegüi
Weight(s) Light heavyweight
Nationality  Puerto Rico
Born (1936-05-03)May 3, 1936
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Died January 19, 2009(2009-01-19) (aged 72)
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 45
Wins 41
Wins by KO 29
Losses 3
Draws 1
No contests 0

Contents

Amateur careerEdit

Born in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Torres began boxing when he joined the United States Army as a teenager (he was 17 years old).[1] His only amateur titles had come in Army and Inter-Service championships, several of which he had won. Torres was still in the Army when he won the Silver Medal in the light middleweight division at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, where he lost to László Papp of Hungary in the final.[2]

Torres trained at the Empire Sporting Club in New York City with trainer Cus D'Amato.[3]

He was the 1958 National AAU Middleweight Champion and also won the 1958 New York Golden Gloves 160 lb Open Championship.

Professional careerEdit

He debuted as a professional in 1958 with a first-round knockout of George Hamilton in New York. Twelve wins in a row followed, ten of them by knockout (including wins over contenders Ike Jenkins and Al Andrews), after which he was able to make his San Juan debut against Benny Paret, a future world welterweight champion from Cuba. Torres and Paret fought to a ten-round draw, and in 1960, Torres went back to campaigning in New York, where he scored three wins that year, all by decision, including two over Randy Sandy.

In 1961, Torres made his hometown debut with a four-round knockout win in a rematch with Hamilton at Ponce. He had six more fights that year, winning all of them by knockout.

Torres kept his knockout streak alive through 1962 with three more knockout wins but, in 1963, he suffered his first loss, being stopped in five by Cuba's Florentino Fernández, the only boxer ever to beat Torres by a knockout as a professional. After that setback, Torres went back to training and had one more fight that year, and that time around, he was able to beat another top contender in Don Fullmer, Gene Fullmer's brother, with a ten-round decision win in New Jersey.

In 1964, Torres beat a group of name boxers, including Jose Gonzalez, Walker Simmons (twice), Frankie Olivera, Gomeo Brennan and former world Middleweight champion Carl Olson (Bobo), taken out in one round. After this, Torres was ranked number 1 among Light Heavyweight challengers, and his title shot would soon arrive.

It happened in 1965 at Madison Square Garden. Torres defeated the International Boxing Hall Of Fame member, and World Light Heavyweight champion Willie Pastrano. In so doing, Torres became the third Puerto Rican world boxing champion in history and the first Latin American to win the world Light Heavyweight title, knocking Pastrano out in round nine. Later that year, he fought a non-title bout versus Tom McNeeley (father of former Mike Tyson rival Peter McNeeley) in San Juan, winning a ten-round decision.

In 1966, he successfully defended his crown three times, with 15-round decisions over Wayne Thornton and Eddie Cotton and a two-round knockout of Chic Calderwood. In his next defense, however, he would lose it to another Hall Of Fame member, Nigeria's Dick Tiger, by a decision in 15 rounds.

In 1967, he and Tiger had a rematch, and Torres lost a 15-round decision again. Many fans thought he should have won it that time, and as a consequence, a large riot followed the fight.[4]

After his second defeat to Tiger, Torres only fought twice more, retiring after 1969.

An active retirementEdit

In his years after retiring from boxing, he became a representative of the Puerto Rican community in New York, meeting political leaders, giving lectures and becoming the New York State Athletic Commission's Commissioner from 1984 to 1988. In 1986, he was chosen to sing the United States National Anthem before the world Lightweight championship bout between Jimmy Paul and Irleis Perez in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1990 he became President of the WBO, and he was President until 1995. He was also a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

AuthorEdit

Torres regularly contributed a column for El Diario La Prensa, a Spanish language newspaper in New York City. He also wrote for The Village Voice. In 1971 he co-authored Sting Like a Bee, a biography of Muhammad Ali.[5] In 1989, he wrote the Mike Tyson biography Fire and Fear: The Inside Story of Mike Tyson (which would be adapted into the 1995 HBO television movie Tyson).[6]

Later yearsEdit

In 2007, Torres announced his decision to move back to his hometown of Ponce, Puerto Rico and concentrate on writing books and articles related to sports and history. On August 6, 2008, Torres received a recognition for his military career.[7]

Death and legacyEdit

Torres died in the morning of January 19, 2009, of a heart attack at his home in Ponce, Puerto Rico.[6][8] There are plans to move his remains to the Panteón Nacional Román Baldorioty de Castro, a national pantheon and museum.[9] He is also recognized at Ponce's Parque de los Ponceños Ilustres in the area of sports.[10] During his life Torres was the subject of two documentaries by famed Japanese film director Hiroshi Teshigahara.

Professional boxing recordEdit

41 Wins (29 knockouts), 3 Losses (1 knockout), 1 Draw[11]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round
Time
Date Location Notes
Win 41–3–1   Charley Green KO 2 (10)
1:31
1969–07–14   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
Win 40–3–1   Bob Dunlop TKO 6 (10) 1968–04–01   Sydney Stadium,
Sydney, New South Wales
Loss 39–3–1   Dick Tiger SD 15 1967–05–16   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
For WBA, WBC & Lineal Light heavyweight titles.
Loss 39–2–1   Dick Tiger UD 15 1966–12–16   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
Lost WBA, WBC & Lineal Light heavyweight titles.
Win 39–1–1   Chic Calderwood KO 2 (15)
2:06
1966–10–15   Hiram Bithorn Stadium,
San Juan
Retained WBA, WBC & Lineal Light heavyweight titles.
Win 38–1–1   Eddie Cotton UD 15 1966–08–15   Las Vegas Convention Center,
Las Vegas
Retained WBA, WBC & Lineal Light heavyweight titles.
The Ring Fight of the Year.
Win 37–1–1   Wayne Thornton UD 15 1966–05–21   Shea Stadium,
New York City
Retained WBA, WBC & Lineal Light heavyweight titles.
Win 36–1–1   Tom McNeeley UD 10 1965–07–31   Hiram Bithorn Stadium,
San Juan
Non-title fight.
Win 35–1–1   Willie Pastrano TKO 9 (15)
3:00
1965–03–30   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
Won WBA, WBC & Lineal Light heavyweight titles.
Win 34–1–1   Carl Olson KO 1 (10)
2:51
1964–11–27   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
Win 33–1–1   Gomeo Brennan MD 10 1964–09–04   Miami Beach Convention Hall,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 32–1–1   Walker Simmons KO 6 (10) 1964–07–20   Sargent Field,
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Win 31–1–1   Frankie Olivera TKO 5 (10) 1964–06–22   Sargent Field,
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Win 30–1–1   Wilbert McClure UD 10 1964–05–15   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
Win 29–1–1   Walker Simmons TKO 8 (10)
2:29
1964–04–21   Sunnyside Gardens,
New York City
Win 28–1–1   José Gonzalez UD 10 1964–01–03   Madison Square Garden,
New York City
Win 27–1–1   Don Fullmer PTS 10 1963–10–09   Teaneck Armory,
Teaneck, New Jersey
Loss 26–1–1   Florentino Fernández TKO 5 (10)
2:07
1963–05–25   Hiram Bithorn Stadium,
San Juan
Win 26–0–1   Al Hauser TKO 3 (10) 1962–12–14   Boston Garden,
Boston
Win 25–0–1   Obdulio Nuñez KO 7 (12) 1962–07–27   Estadio Sixto Escobar,
San Juan
Won Puerto Rican Middleweight title.
Win 24–0–1   Jimmy Watkins RTD 7 (10) 1962–04–10   Utica Memorial Auditorium,
Utica, New York
Win 23–0–1   Tony Montano KO 4 (10) 1961–11–28   Houston, Texas
Win 22–0–1   George Price KO 2 (10)
2:31
1961–10–31   Sam Houston Coliseum,
Houston, Texas
Win 21–0–1   Ike White KO 3 (10)
1:30
1961–06–27   Boston Arena,
Boston
Win 20–0–1   Mel Collins KO 7 (10)
0:30
1961–06–05   Boston Arena,
Boston
Win 19–0–1   Bob Young TKO 5 (10) 1961–05–23   Boston Arena,
Boston
Win 18–0–1   Bobby Barnes KO 3 (10) 1961–04–01   Plaza Ballroom,
Paterson, New Jersey
Win 17–0–1   Gene Hamilton TKO 4 (10)
1:21
1961–02–17   Estadio Francisco Montaner,
Ponce
Win 16–0–1   Randy Sandy UD 10 1960–06–11   Sunnyside Gardens,
New York City
Win 15–0–1   Tony Dupas MD 10 1960–03–15   Buffalo Memorial Auditorium,
Buffalo, New York
Win 14–0–1   Randy Sandy PTS 10 1960–01–30   Armory,
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Draw 13–0–1   Benny Paret PTS 10 1959–09–26   Estadio Sixto Escobar,
San Juan
Win 13–0   Al Andrews TKO 6 (8)
0:42
1959–06–26   Yankee Stadium,
New York City
Win 12–0   Joe Shaw TKO 5 (10)
2:40
1959–04–23   Sunnyside Gardens,
New York City
Win 11–0   Leroy Oliphant TKO 3 (10) 1959–03–19   Sunnyside Gardens,
New York City
Win 10–0   Eddie Wright TKO 5 (8)
2:10
1959–02–26   Sunnyside Gardens,
New York City
Win 9–0   Isaac Jenkins TKO 5 (10) 1958–12–04   Sunnyside Gardens,
New York City
Win 8–0   Burke Emery TKO 5 (10)
2:07
1958–11–03   St. Nicholas Arena,
New York City
Win 7–0   Frankie Anselm KO 9 (10)
2:12
1958–10–13   St. Nicholas Arena,
New York City
Win 6–0   Otis Woodward TKO 5 (10) 1958–09–29   St. Nicholas Arena,
New York City
Win 5–0   Benny Doyle KO 1 (6) 1958–08–18   Wrigley Field,
Los Angeles
Win 4–0   Wes Lowry PTS 6 1958–07–05   Eastern Parkway Arena,
New York City
Win 3–0   Joe Salvato KO 4 (6)
1:40
1958–06–21   Eastern Parkway Arena,
New York City
Win 2–0   Walter Irby PTS 6 1958–06–07   Eastern Parkway Arena,
New York City
Win 1–0   Gene Hamilton KO 1 (4) 1958–05–24   Eastern Parkway Arena,
New York City

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Associated Press[dead link]
  2. ^ "Olympic Sports". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  3. ^ Brozan, Nadine (1993-10-29). "CHRONICLE". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "A new black eye for boxing". News.google.com. 1967-05-18. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Induction Weekend: The Class of '97". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  6. ^ a b "Boxing Champion And Author. '' The Washington Post''". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  7. ^ "Reconocimiento a "Cheguí" Torres" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2008-08-07. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  8. ^ "Former Hall of Fame boxer Jose Torres dies at age 72". International Herald Tribune. Reuters. 2009-01-20. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-08 – via Web.archive.org. 
  9. ^ Juan Alindato y Chegüi Torres al Panteon Nacional Román Baldorioty de Castro, nuestro cementerio museo. Periodico "La Voz de la Playa de Ponce", Edicion 131, October 2010. Page 2.
  10. ^ Sports. TravelPonce.com Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  11. ^ "José Torres Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com. 

External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by
Willie Pastrano
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
30 March 1965 – 16 December 1966
Succeeded by
Dick Tiger
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
30 March 1965 – 16 December 1966
The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion
30 March 1965 – 16 December 1966
Lineal Light Heavyweight Champion
30 March 1965 – 16 December 1966