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Luis Manuel Rodríguez (June 17, 1937 – July 8, 1996) was a professional boxing champion. Known as "El Feo", Rodriguez began his career in pre-Castro Havana. In Cuba, Rodriguez twice defeated the ill-fated future welterweight champion Benny Paret. Rodriguez held the lineal, WBC, and WBA world middleweight titles in 1963.

Luis Manuel Rodríguez
Nino Benvenuti vs Luis Manuel Rodríguez 1969.jpg
Rodríguez (right) vs. Nino Benvenuti in 1969
Real nameLuis Manuel Rodríguez
Nickname(s)El Feo
Born(1937-06-17)June 17, 1937
Camagüey, Cuba
DiedJuly 8, 1996(1996-07-08) (aged 59)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights121
Wins by KO49

After the Cuban Revolution, Rodríguez campaigned in the United States. Fighting out of Miami, Rodriguez decisioned top welterweights such as Virgil Akins and Rudell Stitch.


Professional careerEdit

He was unbeaten in 36 fights before losing a split decision to Emile Griffith in a 1960 non-title fight. In 1963, Rodriguez and Griffith fought twice for the World Welterweight Championship.[1] Rodriguez defeated Griffith by a unanimous decision to win the title, but Griffith regained it three months later with a split decision. Their fourth and final meeting came in 1964, with Griffith retaining the welterweight title with a split decision.[2]

Rodriguez was trained by Angelo Dundee at the old 5th street gym in Miami beach alongside Ralph Dupas, Willie Pastrano, Florentino Fernández and Pinklon Thomas.[3]

Rodriguez was ringside and provided ancillary television commentary for the nationally televised Thursday night, March 21, 1963 Dodger Stadium featherweight championship bout between reigning champ Davey Moore and Sugar Ramos, won after 10 rounds by TKO by Ramos and resulting within the hour in a comatose state for Moore, and ultimately his death on March 25. The incident was memorialized by recording artist Bob Dylan in his long-unreleased (but widely bootlegged) song, "Who Killed Davey Moore?" (the complete telecast of the fight is available on YouTube, as are several of Dylan's various performances of the song.)

In November 1969, Rodriguez challenged Nino Benvenuti in Rome, Italy, for the World middleweight title. In the 11th round, slightly ahead on points but tiring and badly cut, Benvenuti suddenly landed a perfect left hook that left Rodriguez on the floor for 5 minutes.[4]

Rodriguez retired in 1972.[4] He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997.

In 2009 the Ring magazine ranked Rodriguez as the third greatest Cuban boxer of all time, behind Kid Gavilán and Kid Chocolate.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Lineal Welterweight Champs". Cyber Boxing Zone.
  2. ^ Luis Manuel Rodriguez. Retrieved on April 2, 2016.
  3. ^ Angelo Dundee To Enter Florida Hall Of Fame. (November 10, 2009). Retrieved on 2016-04-02.
  4. ^ a b Luis Rodriguez. Retrieved on April 2, 2016.
  5. ^ 10: Greatest Cuban boxers of all time – Ring TV. (January 11, 2009). Retrieved on 2016-04-02.

External linksEdit