José Nápoles

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José Nápoles
José Nápoles c1973.jpg
Nápoles c. 1973
Statistics
Real nameJosé Ángel Nápoles
Nickname(s)Mantequilla
Weight(s)Welterweight
Height5' 7½" / 171cm
Reach72" / 183cm
NationalityMexican
Born(1940-04-13)April 13, 1940
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
DiedAugust 16, 2019(2019-08-16) (aged 79)
Mexico City, Mexico
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights88
Wins81
Wins by KO54
Losses7
Draws0
No contests0

José Ángel Nápoles, nicknamed Mantequilla ("Butter", referring to his smooth boxing style), (April 13, 1940 – August 16, 2019)[1] was a Cuban-born Mexican professional boxer and a World Welterweight Champion.[2] He is frequently ranked as one of the greatest fighters of all time in that division and is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.[3] His record of the most wins in unified championship bouts in boxing history, shared with Muhammad Ali, was unbeaten for 40 years. After debuting professionally in Cuba, he fought out of Mexico and became a Mexican citizen.[4]

Mexico[edit]

Boxing glove of Mantequilla Nápoles at El Dux de Venecia bar in Mexico City.

Nápoles debuted as a professional boxer on August 2, 1958 in Cuba, knocking out Julio Rojas in the first round. Nápoles' first 21 bouts were in Cuba, against mostly unknown competition. He did beat Ángel García and Leslie Grant, but lost to Hilton Smith (in his first defeat).

After beating Enrique Carabeo in March 1961, Nápoles found himself a new challenge, outside of the ring; Cuban president Fidel Castro banned professional boxing in Cuba, and Nápoles soon found his career in jeopardy.

He found asylum in Mexico, where he soon found himself back inside the ring, beating Enrique Camarena by a knockout in two rounds on July 21, 1962. He won all four of his fights that year.

In 1963, he won seven bouts and lost two. He was defeated by Tony Perez and Alfredo Urbina, both by decision, but he beat JC Morgan, by knockout in seven rounds, in Venezuela.

1964 was a successful year for Nápoles. He travelled to Japan, where he beat Taketeru Yoshimoto by knockout in round one, and he beat future world champion Carlos Morocho Hernández by knockout in round seven, this time back in Venezuela. In addition to those wins, he avenged his loss to Urbina by knocking him out twice, the first time in the first round and the second time in the third.

He won three more fights in 1965, including another win against Morgan, before seeing a raise in opposition quality when he faced the former world Junior Welterweight champion Eddie Perkins, beating him by decision in ten rounds. For his next fight, he met his own future world title challenger, Adolph Pruitt, beating him by knockout in round three.

In 1966, he won five fights, all by knockout, and lost one, to arch-rival Morgan, who knocked him out in round four. This would be his last loss in four years.

Welterweight champion[edit]

Nápoles began a streak of 20 wins in a row, 13 of them before challenging for the world's welterweight title. These included avenging the loss to Morgan with a two-round knockout. During this period, Nápoles also became a fan favorite in southern California, and, after beating Fate Davis, on February 15 of 1969 in Mexico, he was given an opportunity to win the world championship when he faced the current champion Curtis Cokes in Inglewood, on April 18. Nápoles beat Cokes by a knockout in round 13 to become world welterweight champion, and, as was becoming common place for him, he wore a sombrero after the fight. On June 29, he retained the title in a rematch with Cokes by a knockout in round 10 in his hometown of Mexico City, and on October 12, he outpointed former world champion Emile Griffith in 15, also retaining the title.

Loss of title[edit]

Nápoles began the 1970s, by defeating Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez by a knockout in round 15 in front of an audience that included former world champion Sugar Ray Robinson on February 14, 1970. But after winning two non-title bouts, he suffered an upset when he was stopped due to being cut in four rounds by Carmen Basilio's nephew Billy Backus, who took the world's Welterweight title from Nápoles on December 3 at Syracuse.

Regaining the title[edit]

After winning one more fight, he and Backus fought again, for the world welterweight title now in Backus' hands. This time, it was held in Los Angeles, and Nápoles recovered the world championship via an 8th round stoppage. After three non-title wins, including one over Jean Josselin, he faced Hedgemon Lewis on December 14, retaining the world title with a decision in 15 rounds, but Nápoles' training habits were suffering; he was alleged to be coming into the gym stinking of alcohol with an attitude towards his seconds.

In 1972, he retained the title knocking out Ralph Charles in seven in England, and then, Pruitt resurfaced again, this time with the world Welterweight title on the line. Nápoles retained his crown by knockout in round two.

World traveller Nápoles began 1973 by retaining the title against Lopez again, by knockout in seven, then he visited Grenoble, France, where he retained the crown with a 15-round decision over Roger Menetrey, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he beat Clyde Gray, once again retaining the world title with a 15-round decision.

Middleweight[edit]

Nápoles with El Santo during the filming of Santo y Mantequilla Nápoles en la venganza de la Llorona (1974)

After this, many boxing fans were asking for a fight between Nápoles and World Middleweight Champion Carlos Monzón. The fight was made possible when Nápoles moved in weight to challenge Monzon for Monzon's title, so the two dueled on February 9, 1974 at a parking lot in Paris. This would be Nápoles' only bout at the Middleweight division, as he was defeated by quitting the match. Nápoles then went back to the Welterweight division, and retained the title twice before the year ended, with a knockout in nine over Lewis, and with a knockout in three over Horacio Saldaño.

In 1975, Nápoles had two wins over Armando Muniz, both times to retain his world title. The first time, a technical decision win in 12 rounds at Acapulco was a controversial win, so a return match was fought in Los Angeles, where Nápoles prevailed by decision.

Retirement[edit]

On December 6 of that year, however, Nápoles lost his title to British boxing teacher John H. Stracey, who won over Nápoles by a technical knockout in round six at Mexico City despite being floored by Nápoles in round one. After this fight, Nápoles announced his retirement. Remarkably, he was able to stay away from the temptation of a comeback, much like Marvin Hagler.

Nápoles had a final record of 81 wins and 7 losses, with 54 wins by knockout, which makes him a member of the exclusive group of boxers that won 50 or more fights by knockout in their careers.

Personal life[edit]

Napoles was the son of Pedro Napoles, a schoolteacher, and his wife Rosa. He had a brother, Pedro Napoles Jr. had nine children.[5] He resided in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico with his wife Bertha.[6]

Napoles co-starred with superstar Santo in a 1974 Mexican wrestler/horror film called Santo en la venganza de la llorona, aka Santo and Mantequilla Napoles in the Revenge of the Crying Woman.

Death[edit]

Nápoles died on August 16, 2019 in Mexico City after a long-illness at the age of 79.[7]

Honours[edit]

In 1985, Nápoles was inducted into The Ring boxing hall of fame, and in 1990 into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
88 fights 81 wins 7 losses
By knockout 54 4
By decision 26 3
By disqualification 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
88 Loss 81–7 John H. Stracey TKO 6 (15) Dec 6, 1976 Monumental Plaza de Toros, México, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico Lost WBC and The Ring welterweight titles
87 Win 81–6 Armando Muñíz UD 15 Jul 12, 1976 Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico Retained WBC and The Ring welterweight titles
86 Win 80–6 Armando Muñíz TD 12 (15) Mar 29, 1975 Centro Internacional Acapulco, Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
85 Win 79–6 Horacio Agustin Saldano KO 3 (15) Dec 14, 1974 Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
84 Win 78–6 Hedgemon Lewis TKO 9 (15) Aug 3, 1974 Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
83 Loss 77–6 Carlos Monzon RTD 6 (15) Feb 9, 1974 Puteaux, Hauts-de-Seine, France For WBA, WBC, and The Ring middleweight titles
82 Win 77–5 Clyde Gray UD 15 Sep 22, 1973 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
81 Win 76–5 Roger Menetrey UD 15 Jun 23, 1973 Palais des Sports, Grenoble, Isère, France Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
80 Win 75–5 Ernie Lopez KO 7 (15) Feb 28, 1973 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
79 Win 74–5 Edmundo Leite TKO 2 (10) Aug 5, 1972 Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
78 Win 73–5 Adolph Pruitt TKO 2 (15) Jun 10, 1972 Plaza de Toros, Monumental, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
77 Win 72–5 Ralph Charles KO 7 (15) Mar 28, 1972 Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
76 Win 71–5 Hedgemon Lewis UD 15 Dec 14, 1971 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Retained WBA, WBC, and The Ring welterweight titles
75 Win 70–5 Esteban Alfredo Osuna UD 10 Oct 16, 1971 Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
74 Win 69–5 Jean Josselin KO 5 (10) Aug 23, 1971 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
73 Win 68–5 David Melendez TKO 5 (10) Jul 31, 1971 Arena Coliseo, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
72 Win 67–5 Billy Backus TKO 8 (15) Jun 4, 1971 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Won WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring welterweight titles
71 Win 66–5 Manuel Gonzalez KO 6 (10) Mar 27, 1971 Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
70 Loss 65–5 Billy Backus TKO 4 (15) Dec 3, 1970 War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, New York, U.S. Lost WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring welterweight titles
69 Win 65–4 Pete Toro TKO 9 (10) Oct 5, 1970 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
68 Win 64–4 Fighting Mack KO 3 (10) Aug 14, 1970 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
67 Win 63–4 Ernie Lopez TKO 15 (15) Feb 14, 1970 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Retained WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring welterweight titles
66 Win 62–4 Emile Griffith UD 15 Oct 17, 1969 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Retained WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring welterweight titles
65 Win 61–4 Curtis Cokes RTD 10 (15) Jun 29, 1969 Monumental Plaza de Toros, México, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico Retained WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring welterweight titles
64 Win 60–4 Curtis Cokes RTD 13 (15) Apr 18, 1969 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Won WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring welterweight titles
63 Win 59–4 Fate Davis TKO 6 (10) Feb 15, 1969 Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
62 Win 58–4 Lennox Beckles KO 1 (10) Dec 22, 1968 Monumental Plaza de Toros, México, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
61 Win 57–4 Des Rea TKO 5 (10) Nov 4, 1968 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
60 Win 56–4 Eddie Pace UD 10 Jul 15, 1968 Plaza de Toros, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
59 Win 55–4 Leroy Roberts TKO 1 (10) Jun 14, 1968 Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.
58 Win 54–4 Peter Cobblah PTS 10 Jun 2, 1968 Monumental Plaza de Toros, México, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
57 Win 53–4 Herbie Lee TKO 6 (10) Apr 29, 1968 Plaza de Toros, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
56 Win 52–4 Mike Cruz TKO 4 (10) Feb 18, 1968 Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico
55 Win 51–4 Charlie Watson KO 6 (10) Dec 3, 1967 Merida, Yucatán, Mexico
54 Win 50–4 Johnny DePeiza TKO 1 (10) Sep 11, 1967 Plaza de Toros, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
53 Win 49–4 LC Morgan TKO 2 (10) Jul 10, 1967 Plaza de Toros, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
52 Win 48–4 Johnny Brooks KO 7 (10) Jun 4, 1967 Merida, Yucatán, Mexico
51 Win 47–4 Eugenio Espinoza TKO 6 (10) Dec 17, 1966 El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
50 Win 46–4 Jimmy Fields TKO 10 (10) Oct 30, 1966 Plaza de Toros Fermin Rivera, San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
49 Loss 45–4 LC Morgan TKO 4 (10) Aug 22, 1966 Estadio Adolfo López Mateos, Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico
48 Win 45–3 Humberto Trottman KO 2 (10) Jul 27, 1966 Plaza de Toros, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
47 Win 44–3 Al Grant TKO 4 (10) Apr 17, 1966 Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico
46 Win 43–3 Johnny Santos KO 3 (10) Feb 12, 1966 Monumental Plaza de Toros, México, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
45 Win 42–3 Aldolph Pruitt TKO 3 (10) Dec 11, 1965 El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
44 Win 41–3 Eddie Perkins UD 10 Aug 3, 1965 Plaza de Toros, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
43 Win 40–3 Giordano Campari TKO 2 (10) Mar 25, 1965 Nuevo Circo, Caracas, Venezuela
42 Win 39–3 LC Morgan KO 3 (10) Feb 28, 1965 Plaza de Toros Monumental, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
41 Win 38–3 Carlos Rios KO 5 (10) Jan 1, 1965 Plaza de Toros, Torreon, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico
40 Win 37–3 Alfredo Urbino KO 3 (10) Nov 14, 1964 El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
39 Win 36–3 Eduardo Moreno TKO 5 (12) Aug 15, 1964 Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico
38 Win 35–3 Carlos Morocho Hernández TKO 7 (10) Jun 22, 1964 Nuevo Circo, Caracas, Venezuela
37 Win 34–3 Alfredo Urbina TKO 1 (10) Apr 25, 1964 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
36 Win 33–3 Taketeru Yoshimoto KO 1 (8) Mar 1, 1964 Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
35 Win 32–3 LC Morgan KO 7 (10) Nov 30, 1963 Caracas, Venezuela
34 Win 31–3 Tony Perez TKO 3 (10) Nov 16, 1963 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
33 Win 30–3 Francisco Cancio KO 1 (10) Oct 23, 1963 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
32 Win 29–3 Pulga Serrano TKO 10 (10) Aug 19, 1963 Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
31 Win 28–3 Baby Vasquez PTS 10 Jul 13, 1963 Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
30 Win 27–3 Raul Soriano KO 4 (10) May 27, 1963 Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
29 Loss 26–3 Alfredo Urbina PTS 10 Apr 27, 1963 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
28 Win 26–2 Baby Vasquez UD 10 Mar 30, 1963 Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
27 Win 25–2 Baby Gutierrez TKO 7 (10) Feb 9, 1963 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
26 Loss 24–2 Tony Perez SD 10 Jan 5, 1963 Plaza de Toros, HermosilloPlaza de Toros, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
25 Win 24–1 Tony Perez PTS 10 Nov 10, 1962 Plaza de Toros, Los Mochis, Plaza de Toros, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
24 Win 23–1 Bobby Cervantes TKO 1 (10) Sep 29, 1962 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
23 Win 22–1 Kid Anahuac KO 9 (10) Aug 25, 1962 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
22 Win 21–1 Enrique Camarena KO 2 (10) Jul 21, 1962 Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
21 Win 20–1 Angel Robinson Garcia PTS 10 Jun 3, 1961 Havana, Cuba
20 Win 19–1 Rolando Chico Morales UD 10 Mar 18, 1961 Havana, Cuba
19 Win 18–1 Guillermo Valdez UD 10 Jan 28, 1961 Havana, Cuba
18 Win 17–1 Tony Padron DQ 5 (10) Dec 17, 1960 Palacio de Deportes, Havana, Cuba
17 Win 16–1 Rolando Chico Morales PTS 10 Nov 26, 1960 Havana, Cuba
16 Win 15–1 Tony Padron UD 10 Oct 15, 1960 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba
15 Win 14–1 Bunny Grant PTS 10 Jul 2, 1960 Havana, Cuba
14 Win 13–1 Angel Robinson Garcia PTS 10 May 21, 1960 Havana, Cuba
13 Win 12–1 Diwaldo Ventosa UD 10 Feb 20, 1960 Coliseo de la Ciudad, Havana, Cuba
12 Win 11–1 Isaac Espinosa UD 10 Jan 2, 1960 Coliseo de la Ciudad, Havana, Cuba
11 Win 10–1 Bobby Cervantes TKO 1 (10) Nov 28, 1959 Arena Trejo, Havana, Cuba
10 Win 9–1 Augusto Narvalle UD 8 Nov 14, 1959 Coliseo de la Ciudad, Havana, Cuba
9 Win 8–1 Cristobal Gonzalez UD 8 Oct 3, 1959 Coliseo de la Ciudad, Havana, Cuba
8 Loss 7–1 Hilton Smith UD 8 Aug 22, 1959 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba
7 Win 7–0 Clodoaldo Hernandez UD 8 Jul 25, 1959 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba
6 Win 6–0 Clodoaldo Hernandez TKO 3 (6) Jul 11, 1959 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba
5 Win 5–0 Juan Bacallo TKO 4 (6) May 16, 1959 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba
4 Win 4–0 Armando Castillo PTS 4 Feb 21, 1959 Coliseo de la Ciudad, Havana, Cuba
3 Win 3–0 Felix Pomares TKO 2 (4) Nov 29, 1958 Havana, Cuba
2 Win 2–0 Euripides Guerra TKO 4 (4) Oct 11, 1958 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba
1 Win 1–0 Julio Rojas TKO 1 (4) Aug 2, 1958 Coliseo Nacional, Havana, Cuba

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Welterweight legend Napoles dies at age 79". ESPN.com. August 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Lineal Welterweight Champs". Cyber Boxing Zone. Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  3. ^ "Jose (Mantequilla) Napoles". International Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on November 16, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  4. ^ Boyle, Robert H. "EVERYTHING'S ROSY WITH JOSE". Vault. Archived from the original on 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  5. ^ Video on YouTube
  6. ^ "Azúcar! The tale of two Cuban-Mexican boxers". May 14, 2015.
  7. ^ "Welterweight legend Napoles dies at age 79". ESPN. August 16, 2019. Archived from the original on August 17, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2019.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
Preceded by WBA Welterweight champion
April 18, 1969 – December 3, 1970
Succeeded by
WBC Welterweight champion
April 18, 1969 – December 3, 1970
Undisputed Welterweight champion
April 18, 1969 – December 3, 1970
The Ring Welterweight champion
April 18, 1969 – December 3, 1970
Preceded by WBA Welterweight champion
June 4, 1971 – May, 1975
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Ángel Espada
WBC Welterweight champion
June 4, 1971 – December 6, 1975
Succeeded by
Undisputed Welterweight champion
June 4, 1971 – May, 1975
Titles fragmented
Vacant
Title next held by
Sugar Ray Leonard
The Ring Welterweight champion
June 4, 1971 – December 6, 1975
Succeeded by