Lou Esa

Lou Esa (born January 10, 1952) is an American former professional heavyweight boxer from Wayne, New Jersey, who had 26 fights with 16 knockouts in 19 wins.

Lou Esa
Nickname(s)Big Lou Esa
Height6 ft 6 in (198 cm)[1]
Born (1952-01-10) January 10, 1952 (age 68)
Wayne, New Jersey
Boxing record
Total fights26
Wins by KO16
No contests0

Amateur careerEdit

Esa began his amateur boxing career at the age of 17 in New Jersey, accumulating a record of 7-1 with 7 knockouts. His only loss was to future heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. At the age of 20, while preparing for the Olympic trials, Esa was hit in the face with a bottle and required over 300 facial stitches, which ended his amateur career.[citation needed]

Professional careerEdit

After playing defensive end in football for Saint Peter's College in New Jersey, Esa tried out for the Miami Dolphins.[2] He suffered a helmet strike to his knee which abruptly ended any football career. A few months later, after he successfully rehabilitated his knee, Esa heard that boxing legend Muhammad Ali was training at a local gym, so he headed down for the opportunity to meet his hero. While at the gym watching Ali, Esa hung out in the back and worked on the heavy bag. Angelo Dundee was impressed with Esa's technique and power and introduced himself. The next day Esa met with the Dundee brothers to discuss his professional career.[2]

Dundee introduced Esa to Murray Gaby who became his manager and Dwayne Simpson who became his trainer.[3] Esa fought under the Mendoza Group, who he credits for helping his professional boxing career. A few weeks later, on July 22, 1975, Esa made his professional debut at the Miami Beach Convention Hall against James Edwards. Esa won his first five fights, all by first-round knockout, before suffering his first loss in April 1976. Esa came back and won 13 of 15 fights with one draw and one loss by unanimous decision.

In October 1977, Esa fought a six-round undercard bout in Las Vegas against the newly turned professional and future heavyweight champion John Tate. Esa, who had been arrested in his hotel room and had spent the previous night in jail, was knocked out in the third round. The fight's promoters Lou Duva and Bob Arum were criticized for promoting a mismatch.[4]

Following losses in three of four fights during the next three years, Esa's career ended in 1981.[2] According to his cornerman, Ferdie Pacheco, Esa had a precarious reputation as a journeyman who "couldn't take a hard rap" and was "never in shape" enough to last more than a couple of rounds.[3]

In 2012, Lou Esa was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Professional boxing recordEdit

19 Wins (16 knockouts, 3 decisions), 6 Losses, 1 Draws[5]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location
Loss 19-6-1   Fossie Schmidt KO 1 1981-08-18   Blaisdel Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Loss 19-5   Barry Funches KO 5 1980-04-18   Felt Forum, New York City
Win 19-4   David Starkey KO 2 1980-03-16   Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida
Loss 18-4   Bill Connell UD 8 1979-07-31   Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey
Loss 18-3   John Tate KO 3 1977-10-22   Aladdin Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 18-2-1   Roger Russell UD 8 1977-07-17   Convention Hall, Miami, Florida
Win 18-1-1   Tommy Howard KO 2 1977-06-29   Gainesville, Florida
Win 17-1-1   John L. Johnson KO 2 1977-06-14   Orlando, Florida
Win 16-1-1   Roger Russell UD 6 1977-05-11   Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win 15-1-1   Willie Goodman KO 2 1977-04-28   Tampa, Florida
Win 14-1-1   Jimmy Phillips KO 2 1977-03-25   Orlando, Florida
Win 13-1-1   Leroy Diggs KO 4 1977-03-15   Miami Beach, Florida
Win 12-1-1   Phil Fritz UD 6 1977-03-11   Orlando, Florida
Win 11-1-1   Fred Wallace KO 1 1977-02-16   Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Win 10-1-1   Leroy Keane KO 1 1977-01-25   Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Win 9-1-1   Billy Grant UD 4 1976-10-15   Sportatorium, Hollywood, Florida
Draw 8-1-1   Tom Prater Pts 8 1976-07-20   Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 8-1   Moses Harrell KO 2 1976-06-08   Miami Beach, Florida
Win 7-1   George Holden KO 4 1976-06-01   Miami Beach, Florida
Win 6-1   Angelo Garafolo KO 2 1976-05-21   Paterson, New Jersey
Loss 5-1   Sylvester Bump Kelly KO 4 1976-04-30   Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland
Win 5-0   Gene Idelette KO 1 1975-12-16   Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 4-0   Mike Green KO 1 1975-11-25   Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 3-0   Hydra Lacy KO 1 1975-10-28   Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 2-0   Clarence Morris KO 1 1975-08-05   Miami Beach, Florida
Win 1-0   James Edwards KO 1 1975-07-22   Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida


  1. ^ "Lou Esa". boxRec.com. Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Mladinich, Robert (2 October 2005). "Lou Esa - Size Matters". The Sweet Science.
  3. ^ a b Pacheco, Ferdie (September 2005). Blood in My Coffee: The Life of the Fight Doctor. Sports Publishing. pp. 75–83. ISBN 1-58261-843-7.
  4. ^ Newman, Bruce (April 10, 1989). "We've Crown Accustomed To His Face". Sports Illustrated: 92.
  5. ^ "Lou Esa:bouts". boxRec.com. Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 1 January 2011.

Further readingEdit

  • Kaplan, Hank (August 1977). "Lou Esa: The Sunshine State Mammoth". Boxing Illustrated: 24.