New York City
Nero Chen (c.1890–1924), a.k.a. El Negro, was Puerto Rico's first professional boxer to gain international recognition.
Little is known about Chen's early years except that "Nero Chen" was his nickname, and that he was born in Puerto Rico.
He became interested in boxing and trained with the military personnel stationed in Camp Las Casas. A boxing championship was held in Las Casas known as the Campeonato Las Casas (Las Casas Championship).
There he continued to train in the sport of boxing. In 1917, Chen became the first Puerto Rican professional boxer when he fought "Panama" Joe Gans at the Palace Casino on 136th Street and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. At the time Chen, a Puerto Rican of African descent, went by the name of El Negro. He lost his first fight against Gans, but beat him in the rematch.
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