Lou Esa

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Lou Esa
Nickname(s) Big Lou Esa
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)[1]
Nationality American
Born (1952-01-10) January 10, 1952 (age 65)
Wayne, New Jersey
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 26
Wins 19
Wins by KO 16
Losses 6
Draws 1
No contests 0

Lou Esa (born January 10, 1952) is an American former professional heavyweight boxer from Wayne, New Jersey, who had 26 fights with 16 knockouts in 19 wins.

Amateur career[edit]

Esa began his amateur boxing career at the age of 17 in New Jersey, accumulating a record of 7-1 with 7 knockouts. His only loss was to future heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. At the age of 20, while preparing for the Olympic trials, Esa was hit in the face with a bottle and required over 300 facial stitches, which ended his amateur career.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

After playing defensive end in football for Saint Peter's College in New Jersey, Esa tried out for the Miami Dolphins.[2] He suffered a helmet strike to his knee which abruptly ended any football career. A few months later, after he successfully rehabilitated his knee, Esa heard that boxing legend Muhammad Ali was training at a local gym, so he headed down for the opportunity to meet his hero. While at the gym watching Ali, Esa hung out in the back and worked on the heavy bag. Angelo Dundee was impressed with Esa's technique and power and introduced himself. The next day Esa met with the Dundee brothers to discuss his professional career.[2]

Dundee introduced Esa to Murray Gaby who became his manager and Dwayne Simpson who became his trainer.[3] Esa fought under the Mendoza Group, who he credits for helping his professional boxing career. A few weeks later, on July 22, 1975, Esa made his professional debut at the Miami Beach Convention Hall against James Edwards. Esa won his first five fights, all by first-round knockout, before suffering his first loss in April 1976. Esa came back and won 13 of 15 fights with one draw and one loss by unanimous decision.

In October 1977, Esa fought a six-round undercard bout in Las Vegas against the newly turned professional and future heavyweight champion John Tate. Esa, who had been arrested in his hotel room and had spent the previous night in jail, was knocked out in the third round. The fight's promoters Lou Duva and Bob Arum were criticized for promoting a mismatch.[4]

Following losses in three of four fights during the next three years, Esa's career ended in 1981.[2] According to his cornerman, Ferdie Pacheco, Esa had a precarious reputation as a journeyman who "couldn't take a hard rap" and was "never in shape" enough to last more than a couple of rounds.[3]

In 2012, Lou Esa was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Professional boxing record[edit]

19 Wins (16 knockouts, 3 decisions), 6 Losses, 1 Draws[5]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location
Loss 19-6-1 United States Fossie Schmidt KO 1 1981-08-18 United States Blaisdel Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Loss 19-5 United States Barry Funches KO 5 1980-04-18 United States Felt Forum, New York City
Win 19-4 United States David Starkey KO 2 1980-03-16 United States Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida
Loss 18-4 United States Bill Connell UD 8 1979-07-31 United States Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey
Loss 18-3 United States John Tate KO 3 1977-10-22 United States Aladdin Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 18-2-1 United States Roger Russell UD 8 1977-07-17 United States Convention Hall, Miami, Florida
Win 18-1-1 United States Tommy Howard KO 2 1977-06-29 United States Gainesville, Florida
Win 17-1-1 United States John L. Johnson KO 2 1977-06-14 United States Orlando, Florida
Win 16-1-1 United States Roger Russell UD 6 1977-05-11 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win 15-1-1 United States Willie Goodman KO 2 1977-04-28 United States Tampa, Florida
Win 14-1-1 United States Jimmy Phillips KO 2 1977-03-25 United States Orlando, Florida
Win 13-1-1 United States Leroy Diggs KO 4 1977-03-15 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 12-1-1 United States Phil Fritz UD 6 1977-03-11 United States Orlando, Florida
Win 11-1-1 United States Fred Wallace KO 1 1977-02-16 United States Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Win 10-1-1 United States Leroy Keane KO 1 1977-01-25 United States Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Win 9-1-1 United States Billy Grant UD 4 1976-10-15 United States Sportatorium, Hollywood, Florida
Draw 8-1-1 United States Tom Prater Pts 8 1976-07-20 United States Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 8-1 United States Moses Harrell KO 2 1976-06-08 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 7-1 United States George Holden KO 4 1976-06-01 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 6-1 United States Angelo Garafolo KO 2 1976-05-21 United States Paterson, New Jersey
Loss 5-1 United States Sylvester Bump Kelly KO 4 1976-04-30 United States Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland
Win 5-0 United States Gene Idelette KO 1 1975-12-16 United States Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 4-0 United States Mike Green KO 1 1975-11-25 United States Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 3-0 United States Hydra Lacy KO 1 1975-10-28 United States Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 2-0 United States Clarence Morris KO 1 1975-08-05 United States Miami Beach, Florida
Win 1-0 United States James Edwards KO 1 1975-07-22 United States Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida


  1. ^ "Lou Esa". boxRec.com. Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Mladinich, Robert (2 October 2005). "Lou Esa - Size Matters". The Sweet Science. 
  3. ^ a b Pacheco, Ferdie (September 2005). Blood in My Coffee: The Life of the Fight Doctor. Sports Publishing. pp. 75–83. ISBN 1-58261-843-7. 
  4. ^ Newman, Bruce (April 10, 1989). "We've Crown Accustomed To His Face". Sports Illustrated: 92. 
  5. ^ "Lou Esa:bouts". boxRec.com. Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kaplan, Hank (August 1977). "Lou Esa: The Sunshine State Mammoth". Boxing Illustrated: 24.