Willie Pastrano

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Willie Pastrano
Statistics
Real name Wilfred Raleigh Pastrano
Rated at Light heavyweight
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Nationality American
Born (1935-11-27)November 27, 1935
New Orleans, Louisiana,
United States
Died December 6, 1997(1997-12-06) (aged 62)
New Orleans, Louisiana,
United States
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 83
Wins 62
Wins by KO 14
Losses 13
Draws 8

Wilfred Raleigh Pastrano (November 27, 1935 – December 6, 1997) was a light heavyweight boxer who held the world crown from 1963 until 1965.

Early life[edit]

Pastrano was born in New Orleans. Pastrano's best friend, Ralph Dupas started training in boxing at a local gym. Pastrano, who weighed over 250 pounds, decided to start working out with his friend.

As Willie lost weight, he realized two things. First, he loved boxing. Second, he hated getting hit. So, Pastrano developed a style of boxing in which he hardly got hit, and in return, tried not to hurt his opponent as well.

Pastrano was already married as a teenager, and by 1962, he and his wife Faye, had five children; John (born 1955), Donna (1957), Frank (1959), Nicholas (1960), and Angelo (1962).

Pro career[edit]

Pastrano began his career at the age of 16. He fought many heavyweights and outpointed heavyweight contenders Rex Layne, Brian London and Tom McNeeley.

The talented Pastrano won the light heavyweight championship when he outpointed the great Harold Johnson on a close 15 round decision. He successfully defended his crown by stopping Gregorio Peralta of Argentina on a TKO, and by coming back from a certain defeat on points to KO English challenger Terry Downes in 11 rounds in Manchester, England. Pastrano lost his crown when he was TKOed by José Torres in 10 rounds (the same fight where the ringside doctor asked if he knew where he was, leading to Pastrano's legendary line of "You're damn right I know where I am! I'm in Madison Square Garden getting the shit kicked out of me!"). In the Torres fight, Pastrano was knocked down for the only time in his career by a powerful left hook to the liver. Pastrano retired after that match and never fought again.

Managed by the legendary Angelo Dundee, Pastrano was a smooth, quick boxer with a great left hand. He was a stablemate of Cassius Clay and often sparred with the future champion early in Clay's career. His talent was dissipated by his aversion to training and a fondness for partying and carousing. His success was also limited by his lack of punching power, hence his record of only 14 knockout wins in his 84 fights. Nevertheless, he defeated most of the light heavyweight challengers of his generation. He also outpointed former light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim, and boxed a draw with the legendary Archie Moore. He retired with a record of 63 wins (14 by KO), 13 losses and 8 draws.

Perhaps in the high point of his career, Pastrano appeared on the cover of March 22, 1965 issue of Sports Illustrated with the caption reading "Light Heavyweight Willie Pastrano Ready to Defend His Title".

Life After Boxing[edit]

After he retired from boxing, Pastrano became a spokesman for a local Miami, Florida milk company. On August 30, 1966 in the Milwaukee Sentinel, it was reported that Pastrano had been secretly training for a comeback, but an auto injury had sidelined it.[1]

In 1967, Pastrano became the official host of the Presidential Steak House in Miami Beach, Florida.

However, urged on by his good friend, singer Steve Alaimo, Pastrano embarked on a film career which spanned from 1967-1971.[2]

In 1964, Pastrano appeared on the Jackie Gleason Show.[3]

Pastrano's best regarded acting role was in the "B" motorcycle gang film, The Wild Rebels, which starred Steve Alaimo.

Pastrano said in a 1980 interview he was a heroin addict from 1966-1969.[4] In the same interview, he claimed to have robbed to support his drug addiction.

He became a drifter. Owen Thomas helped him out in his time of need.He worked as a host in a restaurant in Reno, Nevada; a chip runner in Las Vegas, and a bouncer in a strip-club in Miami[5]

His well-documented party life-style led to health problems, and Pastrano's film career ended. While living in Las Vegas in the early 1970s, he claimed to be training for a comeback when interviewed for the book, In This Corner.

Pastrano was reported to be boxing in Puerto Rico in 1972, but a fighter was using a name similar to the former champion, Willie Pastrana. Pastrano never made a comeback.

In 1980, Pastrano was the manager for pro-boxer, Chubby Johnson in New Orleans.[6]

After many years of failing health, Pastrano died of liver cancer on December 9, 1997 at the age of 62.[7]

Professional boxing record[edit]

62 Wins (14 knockouts), 13 Losses (2 knockouts), 8 Draws[8]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round
Time
Date Location Notes
Loss 62–13–8 Puerto Rico José Torres TKO 9 (15)
3:00
1965–03–30 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Lost WBA and WBC
Light heavyweight titles.
Win 62–12–8 England Terry Downes TKO 11 (15)
1:17
1964–11–30 England Kings Hall,
Manchester, North West England
Retained WBA and WBC
Light heavyweight titles.
Win 61–12–8 Argentina Gregorio Peralta TKO 5 (15)
3:00
1964–04–10 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Retained WBA and WBC
Light heavyweight titles.
Win 60–12–8 South Africa Mike Holt PTS 10 1963–11–30 South Africa Rand Stadium,
Johannesburg, Gauteng
Non-title fight.
Loss 59–12–8 Argentina Gregorio Peralta UD 10 1963–09–20 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Non-title fight.
Win 59–11–8 United States Ollie Wilson UD 10 1963–08–31 United States Jacksonville Coliseum,
Jacksonville, Florida
Non-title fight.
Win 58–11–8 United States Harold Johnson SD 15 1963–06–01 United States Las Vegas Convention Center,
Paradise, Nevada
Won WBA and WBC
Light heavyweight titles.
Win 57–11–8 United States Wayne Thornton MD 10 1963–05–04 United States Las Vegas Convention Center,
Paradise, Nevada
Draw 56–11–8 United States Wayne Thornton MD 10 1963–03–23 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Loss 56–11–7 United States Wayne Thornton UD 10 1963–02–09 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Win 56–10–7 Argentina Rodolfo Diaz SD 10 1962–09–08 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 55–10–7 United States Billy Ryan UD 10 1962–06–25 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Draw 54–10–7 United States Archie Moore MD 10 1962–05–28 United States Los Angeles Sports Arena,
Los Angeles, California
Win 54–10–6 United States Tom McNeeley UD 10 1962–05–01 United States Boston Arena,
Boston, Massachusetts
Draw 53–10–6 Sweden Lennart Risberg PTS 12 1961–08–06 Sweden Stockholm Olympic Stadium,
Stockholm, Södermanland
Loss 53–10–5 United States Jesse Bowdry UD 10 1960–12–27 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Loss 53–9–5 Scotland Chic Calderwood PTS 10 1960–09–16 Scotland Kelvin Hall, Glasgow
Win 53–8–5 United States Sonny Ray UD 10 1960–06–01 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 52–8–5 United States Alonzo Johnson UD 10 1960–05–06 United States Fairgrounds Coliseum,
Louisville, Kentucky
Win 51–8–5 United States George Kartalian RTD 6 (10) 1960–04–09 United States Bell Auditorium,
Augusta, Georgia
Win 50–8–5 United States Jerry Luedee UD 10 1960–01–20 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 49–8–5 Canada Charley Pavlis UD 10 1959–12–07 United States Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory,
Tampa, Florida
Win 48–8–5 United States Tom Davis TKO 3 (10) 1959–08–20 United States Knoxville, Tennessee
Loss 47–8–5 United States Alonzo Johnson UD 10 1959–07–24 United States Freedom Hall State Fairground,
Louisville, Kentucky
Loss 47–7–5 Wales Joe Erskine PTS 10 1959–02–24 England Wembley Stadium,
London, Greater London
Loss 47–6–5 England Brian London TKO 5 (10) 1958–09–30 England Harringay Arena,
London, Greater London
Win 47–5–5 United States Tommy Thompson KO 4 (10)
2:31
1958–08–25 United States City Auditorium,
Columbus, Georgia
Win 46–5–5 Italy Franco Cavicchi PTS 10 1958–06–15 Italy Sports Palace,
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 45–5–5 Jamaica Joe Bygraves PTS 10 1958–04–21 England Granby Halls,
Leicester, Leicestershire
Win 44–5–5 England Brian London PTS 10 1958–02–25 England Harringay Arena,
London, Greater London
Win 43–5–5 Germany Willi Besmanoff UD 10 1957–11–27 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 42–5–5 Wales Dick Richardson PTS 10 1957–10–22 England Harringay Arena,
London, Greater London
Win 41–5–5 United States George Peyton TKO 8 (10) 1957–09–10 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Loss 40–5–5 United States Roy Harris UD 10 1957–06–11 United States Houston, Texas
Win 40–4–5 United States Neal Welch UD 10 1957–05–14 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 39–4–5 United States John Holman UD 10 1957–02–20 United States State Fairgrounds,
Louisville, Kentucky
Win 38–4–5 United States Charley Norkus UD 10 1956–12–26 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 37–4–5 United States Pat McMurtry UD 10 1956–08–24 United States Lincoln Bowl,
Tacoma, Washington
Win 36–4–5 United States Chuck Spieser SD 10 1956–05–30 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 35–4–5 South Africa Johnny Arthur UD 10 1956–04–04 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Draw 34–4–5 United States Chuck Spieser PTS 10 1956–01–27 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 34–4–4 United States Rex Layne UD 10 1955–12–19 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 33–4–4 United States Joey Rowan UD 10 1955–11–18 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Win 32–4–4 United States Paddy Young UD 10 1955–10–03 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 31–4–4 United States Chuck Spieser UD 10 1955–07–27 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 30–4–4 United States Joey Maxim UD 10 1955–06–28 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Draw 29–4–4 United States Willie Troy PTS 10 1955–04–22 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 29–4–3 United States Al Andrews UD 10 1955–03–23 United States Chicago Stadium,
Chicago, Illinois
Win 28–4–3 United States Tony Johnson UD 10 1955–03–01 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 27–4–3 United States Bobby Dykes UD 10 1954–11–23 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 26–4–3 United States Jackie LaBua SD 10 1954–09–14 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 25–4–3 United States Jimmy Martinez PTS 10 1954–08–24 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 24–4–3 United States Tommy Bazzano TKO 8 (10) 1954–08–09 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 23–4–3 United States Tommy Hatcher KO 1 (10) 1954–06–18 United States Abba Temple Auditorium,
Mobile, Alabama
Win 22–4–3 France Jacques Royer-Crecy UD 10 1954–04–12 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 21–4–3 United States Jimmy Martinez UD 10 1954–03–29 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Loss 20–4–3 Italy Italo Scortichini SD 10 1953–11–30 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 20–3–3 United States Elmer Beltz MD 8 1953–10–05 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Draw 19–3–3 United States Elmer Beltz PTS 10 1953–09–22 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Loss 19–3–2 United States Del Flanagan SD 8 1953–07–14 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Loss 19–2–2 United States Johnny Cesario MD 8 1953–05–25 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 19–1–2 Mexico Chato Hernandez UD 8 1953–04–06 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 18–1–2 United States Roger Trevino UD 8 1953–03–16 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 17–1–2 United States Chick Boucher TKO 3 (10)
1:08
1953–03–03 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 16–1–2 United States Emerson Butcher UD 8 1953–02–24 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 15–1–2 Italy Alfredo LaGrutta UD 8 1953–01–26 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Draw 14–1–2 United States Alvin Pellegrini MD 8 1952–12–15 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 14–1–1 United States Alvin Boudreaux TKO 2 (6)
1:59
1952–11–24 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 13–1–1 United States Alvin Pellegrini UD 6 1952–11–17 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 12–1–1 United States Lonnie Rylant KO 3 (6)
1:44
1952–10–14 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Loss 11–1–1 United States Alvin Pellegrini PTS 6 1952–10–06 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 11–0–1 United States Johnny Capitano PTS 6 1952–09–08 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 10–0–1 United States Sonny Luciano PTS 8 1952–08–19 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 9–0–1 United States Sonny Luciano PTS 8 1952–08–05 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 8–0–1 United States Jimmy Carter KO 4 (6)
1:00
1952–07–28 United States Sports Palace,
Pensacola, Florida
Win 7–0–1 United States Al McCoy KO 2 (6) 1952–07–22 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 6–0–1 United States John Chaney PTS 6 1952–07–08 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Win 5–0–1 United States Buzz Brown KO 2 (4)
2:56
1952–07–01 United States Miami Beach Auditorium,
Miami Beach, Florida
Draw 4–0–1 United States Alvin Pellegrini PTS 4 1952–04–21 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 4–0 United States Alvin Boudreaux PTS 4 1952–04–01 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 3–0 United States Jimmy Conino PTS 4 1951–10–01 United States Coliseum Arena,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 2–0 United States Frankie Speed PTS 4 1951–09–17 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 1–0 Puerto Rico Domingo Rivera PTS 4 1951–09–10 United States Municipal Auditorium,
New Orleans, Louisiana

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Harold Johnson
World Light Heavyweight Champion
1 Jun 1963 – 30 Mar 1965
Succeeded by
José Torres
Awards
Preceded by
Emile Griffith
BWAA Fighter of the Year
1964
Succeeded by
Muhammad Ali