Becerra was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, the youngest of the five children of a rich family. His parents were Maria Covarrubias and Jesus Becerra. At age 12, in the 5th grade, Jose quit school to work in a carriage repair shop.
Becerra was discovered by veteran Mexican fight manager, Pancho Rosales, who developed the youngster's skills.
Becerra received his first public notice in the Mexican sports world by scoring an upset over the vastly more experienced Manuel Armenteros. After some ups and downs, Becerra earned a top 10 ranking by knocking out former world champion Mario D'Agata. A short time later, Becerra won the World Bantamweight Championship with a knockout over Alphonse Halimi.
After two successful title defenses, Becerra lost a stunning upset, being knocked out by club-fighter Eloy Sanchez in a non-title fight. Becerra was so dejected by the defeat that he announced his retirement at age 24.
In 1962, Mexican club fighter, Rudy Coronado was seriously injured in a fight. On a special benefit show for Coronado and his family, Becerra returned to the ring and won a 6 round decision over Alberto Martinez. Becerra donated his fight-purse to the injured boxer's family. Becerra never fought again.
As world champion, Becerra went on a successful exhibition tour which drew big crowds. The tour was as follows:
- 1959: Sept. 1-Sandy Garcia, Fresno, CA....Exch. 4 rounds
- 1959: Date ?-Joe Vargas,Stockton, CA......Exch. TKO 3 rounds
- 1959: Sept.8- Willie Sanchez,San Jose, CA.Exch. 2 rounds
- 1959: Sept.8-Cy Ruiz, San Jose,CA,........Exch. 2 rounds
- 1959: Sept.9-Eduardo Santos, El Paso, TX..Exch. 4 rounds
- 1959: Sept.?-Jessie Leija, San Antonio,TX.Exch. 4 rounds
- 1959: Sept.14-Henry Miramontes, Dallas,TX.Exch. 4 rounds
- Dan Cuoco Bio Article
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