José Torres

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José "Chegüi" Torres
Jose Torres1.jpg
Statistics
Real name José Torres
Nickname(s) Chegüi
Rated at 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
External audio
You may hear José "Chegüi" Torres vs Willie Pastrano here

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 at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. In 1965, he defeated Willie Pastrano to win the WBC and WBA 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.

Amateur career[edit]

Born in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Torres began boxing when he joined the U.S. Army as a teenager (he was 18 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 career[edit]

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 world welterweight and Middleweight champion whose death after a fight would later on become one of the turning points in the history of boxing. 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 retirement[edit]

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.

Author[edit]

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 years[edit]

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 legacy[edit]

Torres died in the morning of January 19, 2009, of a heart attack at his home in Ponce, Puerto Rico.[8][9] There are plans to move his remains to the Panteón Nacional Román Baldorioty de Castro, a national pantheon and museum.[10] He is also recognized at Ponce's Parque de los Ponceños Ilustres in the area of sports.[11]

Professional boxing record[edit]

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

Professional championships[edit]

Preceded by
Willie Pastrano
World Boxing Council Light Heavyweight Champion
30 March 1965 – 16 December 1966
Succeeded by
Dick Tiger
Preceded by
Willie Pastrano
World Boxing Association Light Heavyweight Champion
30 March 1965 – 16 December 1966
Succeeded by
Dick Tiger
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg

Puerto Ricans in the International Boxing Hall of Fame
Number Name Year inducted Notes
1 Carlos Ortíz 1991 World Jr. Welterweight Champion 1959 June 12- 1960, September 1, WBA Lightweight Champion 1962 Apr 21 – 1965 Apr 10, WBC Lightweight Champion 1963 Apr 7 – 1965 Apr 10, WBC Lightweight Champion 1965 Nov 13 – 1968 Jun 29.
2 Wilfred Benítez 1994 The youngest world champion in boxing history. WBA Light Welterweight Champion 1976 Mar 6 – 1977, WBC Welterweight Champion 1979 Jan 14 – 1979 Nov 30, WBC Light Middleweight Champion.
3 Wilfredo Gómez 1995 WBC Super Bantamweight Champion 1977 May 21 – 1983, WBC Featherweight Champion 1984 Mar 31 – 1984 Dec 8, WBA Super Featherweight Champion 1985 May 19 – 1986 May 24.
4 José "Chegui" Torres 1997 Won a silver medal in the junior middleweight at the 1956 Olympic Games. Undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion 1965 Mar 30 – 1966 Dec 16
5 Sixto Escobar 2002 Puerto Rico's first boxing champion. World Bantamweight Champion 15 Nov 1935– 23 Sep 1937, World Bantamweight Champion 20 Feb 1938– Oct 1939
6 Edwin Rosario 2006 Ranks #36 on the list of "100 Greatest Punchers of All Time." according to Ring Magazine. WBC Lightweight Champion 1983 May 1 – 1984 Nov 3, WBA Lightweight Champion 1986 Sep 26 – 1987 Nov 21, WBA Lightweight Champion 199 Jul 9 – 1990 Apr 4, WBA Light Welterweight Champion 1991 Jun 14 – 1992 Apr 10.
7 Pedro Montañez 2007 92 wins out of 103 fights. Never held a title.
8 Joe Cortez 2011 The first Puerto Rican boxing referee to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame
9 Herbert "Cocoa Kid" Hardwick 2012 Member of boxing's "Black Murderers' Row". World Colored Welterweight Championship - June 11, 1937 to August 22, 1938; World Colored Middleweight Championship - January 11, 1940 until the title went extinct in the 1940s; World Colored Middleweight Championship - January 15, 1943 until the title went extinct in the 1940s
10 Felix "Tito" Trinidad 2014 Captured the IBF welterweight crown in his 20th pro bout. Won the WBA light middleweight title from David Reid in March 2000 and later that year unified titles with a 12th-round knockout against IBF champ Fernando Vargas. In 2001 became a three-division champion.

     = Indicates the person is no longer alive

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Associated Press
  2. ^ Olympic Sports
  3. ^ Brozan, Nadine (1993-10-29). "CHRONICLE". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ A new black eye for boxing
  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. ^ Boxing Champion And Author. The Washington Post
  7. ^ "Reconocimiento a "Cheguí" Torres" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-08-11. [dead link]
  8. ^ Herald Tribune
  9. ^ Boxing Champion And Author. The Washington Post
  10. ^ Juan Alindato y Chegüi Torres al Panteon Nacional Roman Baldorioty de Castro, nuestro cementerio museo. Periodico "La Voz de la Playa de Ponce", Edicion 131, October 2010. Page 2.
  11. ^ Sports. TravelPonce.com Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  12. ^ "José Torres Professional boxing record". BoxRec.com. 

External links[edit]