March 24, 2007 – Raul “Raton” Macias – One of Mexico’s greatest boxing idols died March 23, 2009 at 74 years of age of cancer. Former N.B.A. Bantamweight Champion Macias is known in many circles as one of the many greats to come out of Mexico including Baby Arizmendi, Baby Casanavoa, Kid Azteca, Jose Becerra, Ruben Oliveras, Lupe Pintor, Salvatore Sanchez and Julio Cesar Chavez among others. The country would stop to listen to all of his fights. Over 50,000 people showed up at the bull ring to watch him beat US fighter Nate Brooks in 1954. Raul was born on July 28, 1934 in Tepito a small suburb of Mexico City which is known as one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and as the birthplace of many champions. His two older brothers Gaby and Jose were professional fighters and Raul learned to fight under their guidance. Macias started to box when he was eleven years old and at twelve was able to hold his own in sparring sessions with many pro fighters who trained at the gym. He got his nickname Raton, which means mouse in Spanish, when a visitor to the gym saw him dart between the legs of a heavyweight with whom he was boxing. He retired from the ring at age 24 in 1959. Although he remained retired he did return for one fight on a special benefit show in Guadalajara, Mexico on October 13, 1962. Fighting a six rounder he kayoed Chocolate Zambrano in five rounds. The win brought his final ring record to 41-2-0 (25).