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Juan Laporte won the 1976 112 lb New York Golden Gloves Sub-Novice Championship. He defeated Long Island's Ricky Brown in the finals. Laporte was defeated by Joseph Nieto of the Police Athletic Leagues Lynch Center in the 1977 118 lb Open Championship. Laporte trained at the Lunar Boys Club in Brooklyn, New York. He had an amateur record of 29-6, according to the March 1983 Ring Magazine.
Juan Laporte moved to New York at a young age, where he grew up into a pretty well known contender, but one that many boxing critics didn't consider to be material to become a world champion earlier in his career.
Laporte built a number of wins, combined with 1 loss, including a 7 round knockout of Jean Lapointe. But he still was an unknown when given his first chance at a world championship on December 1980 in San Antonio, Texas.
He met legendary Mexican world Featherweight champion Salvador Sánchez there. Laporte made Sanchez work hard and won a handful of rounds. He lost to Sanchez by a 15 round unanimous decision.
Given a second title shot, this time by the WBA, Laporte met the also legendary World featherweight champion Eusebio Pedroza in 1982, losing a close and controversial split decision. The fight was so close that WBC president José Sulaimán decided to give Laporte a rematch vs Sanchez for the World Boxing Council's world title.
This rematch wasn't going to happen, because Sanchez died in a car accident the morning of August 12, in Mexico City. Then, the WBC decided to put Laporte vs. Colombian Mario Miranda for the vacant world title in a fight held at the Madison Square Garden. Laporte dropped Miranda in the eighth round and Miranda quit on his stool before the start of the 11th. Juan Laporte, the tough kid from New York who couldn't figure to become a world champ versus the legendary champions of the day, had become a world champion.
In 1985, he went to Ireland, where he lost a ten round decision to future world champion Barry McGuigan.
In 1986, Laporte fought Julio César Chávez at the Madison Square Garden, and many[who?] thought Laporte deserved the 12 round decision that night, but he lost a unanimous decision in a contest for Chavez's WBC world Jr. Lightweight title.
His career went on and off after that day, and in 1989, his son died in a drowning accident. Laporte buried his title belt along with his son.
Upon hearing this, Sulaiman sent him a new world title belt to show him support and respect from the boxing community. Laporte lost another disputed decision, this time to former world Jr Welterweight champion Billy Costello in 1999 and then finally retired from boxing.
Life after boxing
He currently works with the athletic department of the City of New York, and as a boxing trainer of youth.
- List of famous Puerto Ricans
- French immigration to Puerto Rico
- List of Puerto Rican boxing world champions
Died, title vacated
|World Boxing Council Featherweight Champion
15 September 1982– 31 March 1984