Final Bell September 2017

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JOE DeNUCCI – The former world middleweight contender died in his Newton home on September 8, 2017 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease at age 78. A janitor’s son, DeNucci grew up to be a world ranked middleweight contender and then the longest-serving state auditor in Massachusetts history, accumulating scars along the way in boxing and political arenas alike. “The ring is a tough business,” he once said. “Politics is a tough business in a different way.” He was born Angelo Giuseppe DeNucci in Newton, Massachusetts on August 30, 1939 and fought professionally from 1957-1973, compiling a record of 54-15-4 (KO 27/KO by 3). Young Joey, as he often was known in the ring, watched his father give boxing lessons for $1.25 an hour to boys from affluent families, and resented their good fortune. “I knew then that I had to be somebody,” he told the Boston Globe in 1972. “I didn’t want to be a janitor. It was then I made up my mind to be a fighter. I wanted recognition.” He turned pro at the Boston Garden as a 17 year old high school senior and over the course of his career he fought in more Boston Garden bouts than any other boxer in history, with 23. During his career he defeated such fighters as Joey Giambra, Denny Moyer, Ralph “Tiger” Jones, Mike Pusateri, Al Andrews, Tony Dupas, Willie Greene, Rudolph Bent, Eddie Connors, Johnny Otto, Johnny Cunningham, Jackson Brown, and Harold Simmons. He also fought such fighters as Joey Giardello, Emile Griffith, Chico Vejar, Florentino Fernandez, Don Fullmer, Jose Gonzalez, Blair Richardson, Jean Claude Bouttier and Larry Carney. DeNucci’s first State House job was as a page, after John F. Thompson, who would later become House speaker, saw him win a Golden Gloves bout in Lowell when DeNucci was 16. He turned professional a year later while still in high school, even though he hadn’t yet reached the age requirement of 18, which required tweaking the year on his birth certificate. “I got a senator to get a certificate that said instead of 1939, I was born in 1938,” he recalled. Later, he became a court officer before he was first elected to the House in 1976. DeNucci served as a state representative until he was elected auditor in 1986. He always remembered what it was like to step into a fight with the odds against him, and first campaigned for auditor saying he would be the “watchdog for the underdog.” DeNucci also never forgot his good fortune. “God’s been good,” he told the Boston Globe in December 2010. Portions of this report taken from Bryan Marquard of the Boston Globe.

SUGAR RAMOS – Former world featherweight champion Sugar Ramos passed away on September 2, 2017 in Mexico City after a long battle with cancer. He was 75. Born Ultiminio Ramos on December 2, 1941, in Matanzas, Cuba, he turned pro in 1957 at the age of 15 and retired in 1972 with a record of 55-7-4 (KO 40/KO by 4). He won the Cuban featherweight title in 1960 and then fled to Mexico City when Fidel Castro came into power. He settled in Mexico and was adopted as one of their own. He was a clever fighter with knockout power and had the misfortune to kill two men in the ring during his Hall of Fame career. The first was Jose Blanco in Havana in 1958 in what was his 12th fight. The second was Davey Moore in March 1963 for the world featherweight championship at Dodger Stadium in LA, a death immortalized in song by Bob Dylan. Ramos regrouped and won six in a row, including a controversial war with Floyd Robinson in Accra, Ghana, in May 1964, before losing the featherweight title four months later to Vincente Saldivar. Moving up to lightweight he won his next five fights before challenging Carlos Ortiz for the world lightweight title in October 1966 in Mexico City. The fight ended in controversy when referee Billy Conn stopped the fight in the fifth round in favor of Ortiz. The WBC overruled Conn’s decision and ordered Ortiz, who was now in his dressing room, to re-enter the ring and continue the fight. When Ortiz refused, Ramos was declared the winner and new champion. Only two days later the WBC president declared the title vacant and ordered a rematch while the WBA continued to recognize Ortiz as champion. In the return fight on July 1, 1967 Ortiz stopped him in the fourth round. After this he had another nine fights, winning five, losing three, with one draw. He was elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001. “We will always remember Ultiminio as a great champion,” said WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, “but even more so, as a wonderful, friendly, genuine and kind man. A man of discerning style, always smart and elegant, often rakishly sporting a flamboyant hat, Ultiminio was adored by the people of his adopted country, certainly for his fighting spirit, but also for his unique character, chuckling sense of humor and his love of dancing and fun. He embraced the rhythm and the very essence of life.”  Portions of this report taken from Robert Ecksel (Boxing.Com) and Ron Jackson (Super Sports)

RAUL CASTANEDA – The former 2004 Mexican Olympian from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico was shot dead in an ambush in La Paz on September 6, 2017 at age 34. At the Olympics he had a first round bye but lost a decision in the 2nd round of the Light flyweight division by Russia’s eventual bronze medalist Sergey Kazakovin. Castaneda won the bronze medal in the same division one year earlier, at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. He fought professionally from 2005-2012, compiling a record of 15-2-0 (KO 8/KO by 2). BoxRec

ANGELIQUE DUCHEMIN – The World Boxing Federation (WBF) featherweight  champion tragically passed away at the age of 26 on August 29, 2017. She was training in her hometown gym in Perpignan, France, when she collapsed, the victim of a heart attack. Duchhemin turned pro on December 12, 2012 and compiled a record of 14-0-0 (KO 3). She won the vacant WBF featherweight championship by 10 round decision over Ericka Rousseau. Robert Coster, Fightnews

CAL BROWN – The former Priest River, Idaho middleweight died August 28, 2017 at age 80. He was born Calvin Lee Brown in the same city on July 22, 1937 and fought professionally from 1958-1967, compiling a record of 24-6-2 (KO 9/KO by 5). During his career he defeated such fighters as Jimmy King, Morio Kaneda, Willie Jemmings, Leroy Flamond and Ernie Gibson. He also fought such fighters as George Wright, Mel Ferguson, Bobby Horn, Ron Thompson and Mike Seyler. BoxRec

TONY WOLFE– The former Camp Hill, Pennsylvania middleweight died August 27, 2017 at age 87. He was born Anthony Tuzzi in Norristown, Pennsylvania on June 30, 1930 and fought professionally from 1946-1953, compiling a record of 20-16-3 (KO 4/KO by 11). He excelled academically in school, but found a passion in boxing by age 15. Although the legal age for boxing was 18, Tony turned pro at the tender age of 16. Even though he was following his boxing passion, he was still able to graduate from High School with high honors, playing basketball and baseball. After High School, he found employment with Pennsylvania Power and Light. He retired in 1995 after an incredible 43 years of outstanding service. Tony has been involved with boxing outside the ring since the 1970s in numerous roles including 26 years as a world class referee and judge, appearing on national and European TV. Tony’s dedication to boxing has led to numerous awards, not the least of which being Middle Atlantic Hall of Fame, Nat’l GG Hall of Fame, PA Sports Hall of Fame, and PA GG Hall of Fame. William Billingham, President, Middle Atlantic Association, USA Boxing

ROBERTO (LA BOA) TAVARES – The former Dominican Republic Super Featherweight champion died August 25, 2017 at age 53. He was born Roberto Antonio Núñez Tavares in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic on November 9, 1963 and fought professionally from 1982-1990, compiling a record of 7-5-0 (KO 6/KO by 2). During his career he defeated such fighters as Nelson Cruz Tamariz, Tony Miller, Abraham Mieses, and Antonio Cruz. He also fought such fighters as Kevin Marston, Danilo Cabrera and Ivan Samuco. BoxRec

TERRY RINDAL – The Saint Paul, Minnesota light heavyweight died August 12, 2017 at age 82. He was born Terence William Rindal in the same city on July 20, 1935 and fought professionally from 1955-1957, compiling a record of 25-5-1 (KO 10/KO by 1). During his career he fought such fighters as Wilfie Greaves, Rudy Ellis and Sherman Williams. BoxRec

ROCKY FUSCO – The former Staten Island, New York lightweight died August 11, 2017 at age 87. He was born Rocco S. Fusco in the same city in 1930 and fought professionally from 1948-1950, compiling a record of 15-1-3 (KO 8/KO by 0). BoxRec

TEDDY LEWIS – The former DagenhamEssex, UK featherweight died August 7, 2017 at age 87. Lewis was born in BowLondon on August 24, 1929 and fought professionally from 1947-1951, compiling a record of 29-8-1 (KO 21/KO by 5). During his career he fought such fighters as Johnny Lewis, Jack Lucraft, Benny Rees and Rob Greb. BoxRec

ROBBIE DAVIES – The Birkenhead, Merseyside, United Kingdom middleweight died August 4, 2017 at age 67. He was born in December 1949 and fought professionally from 1977-1980, compiling a record of 11-4-0 (KO 10/KO by 2). Davies was referred to in a 1977 issue of The Glasgow Herald as, “the most dangerous puncher in British amateur boxing for many years.” Davies represented Great Britain as a Light middleweight at the 1976 Montreal Olympic games. His results were: Defeated Wayne Devlin (Australia) KO 2; Lost to Alfredo Lemus (Venezuela) 1-4. Davies won the ABA middleweight title in 1977 defeating Mike Shone (Wrexham) in the finals by KO. BoxRec

PAUL STIVALETTA – The former Dedham, MA welterweight died August 3, 2017 at age 81. He was born in Dedham, MA on August 10, 1935 and fought professionally from 1958-1963, compiling a record of 18-1-0 (KO 17/KO by 0). Stivaletta was a tremendous puncher with either hand. He had a predictable style and came straight at an opponent. He was susceptible to fast moving boxers. He won his first 13 professional fights by knockout. His only professional loss was to Gaylord Barnes (L PTS 10) at the Boston Garden on December 12, 1961. Outside of boxing he was a successful building contractor. BoxRec

GEYCI LORENZO – The San Cristobal, Dominican Republic featherweight died August 3, 2017 at age 34 from injuries sustained in his knockout loss to Jeffery Castillo on July 29, 2017. Lorenzo fell into a coma after the fight and died the following Thursday. It had been Lorenzo’s second bout in three days. Born Geici Oneidy Lorenzo Montas in San Cristobal on October 17, 1982, he made his professional debut in June 2007 and compiled a record of 15-36-1 (KO 4/KO by 19). BoxRec

:IRISH” DANNY McALOON – The former Bronx, New York welterweight died at the age of 74 on August 2, 2017 at a hospice in Porter, Maine after a 12 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  When he first started as a professional boxer in 1966, he had just graduated from Manhattan College, and was teaching at the Browning School in Manhattan.  He rose to popularity quickly often being called by tabloid sports sections “the fighting schoolteacher.” By 1971, McAloon boasted a record of 22 wins and just four losses when he fought former welterweight champion of the world Emile Griffith. McAloon went the distance against Griffith, standing through all 10 rounds of the headline event at Madison Square Garden, ultimately losing by unanimous decision. But the fighting schoolteacher wasn’t only a success in the ring. He went from teaching at the Browning School to the dean of discipline at I.S. 174 Eugene T. Maleska School in Soundview. In 1975 McAloon took a job as the groundskeeper at Fieldston, a position he held until he retired 30 years later in 2005. “Working at Fieldston gave him some flexibility,” Daniel Jr., said. “He was able to take care of us, get our stuff ready, get off to work, and then right after work, it was straight to the gym.” McAloon went on to win 29 fights, including six knockouts, and losing 15, six by kayo before retiring in 1981. During his career he defeated such fighters as Donato Paduano, Irish Pat Murphy, Al Massey, Ronnie Gibbons, Willie Williams, Bobby O’Brien, Mike Michaud and Steve Arvin. Besides Griffith, he also fought such fighters as Vito Antufermo, John Stracey, Billy Backus, Tony Licata, Jean Josselin, Roger Menetry, Charlie Weir, Johhny Turner and Doug DeWitt. Portions of this report from Anthony Capote, The Riverside Press

THUNAHAN KESER – The Hamburg, Germany junior welterweight died July 22, 2017 at age 22. He was born in the same city on August 30, 1994 and fought professionally from August 2013 to March 2017, compiling a record of 8-2-1 (KO 6/KO by 0). No further details available. BoxRec  

HOGAN JIMOH – The former 1970s British Empire and Nigerian Lightweight Champion died July 30, 2017 at age 61. He was born in Ilorin, Nigeria on December 29, 1955 and fought professionally from 1974-1981, compiling a record of 30-6-0 (KO 24/KO by 6). Known as the “Atomic Bomb,” the hard-punching Jimoh won the British Empire Lightweight title on October 25, 1978 with a fifth round knockout over Lennox Blackmore in Lagos, Nigeria. He held the title until December 7, 1980 when he was stopped in the seventh round by Langton Tinago in Lagos, Nigeria. Tinago also kayoed Jimoh in the eighth round three months later in defense of his British Empire title. Besides Blackmoore, Jimoh’s most notable wins were over such fighters as Julio Rubio, Johnny Claydon and Freddie Mensah (split 2 fights). In addition to Tinago he also fought such fighters as Jonathan Dele and Robert Gambini. BoxRec

CIRILO GIL –  The former 1950s Argentina and South American welterweight champion died July 20, 2017 at age 85. He was born Luis Cirilo Gil in Ciudad Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina on July 29, 1931. He fought professionally from 1952-1959 and compiled a record of 65-4-2 (KO 24/KO by 2). During his career he defeated such fighters as Luis Federico Thompson (split 2 fights), Oscar Pita, Mario Salinas, Oscar Flores (2-0-1), Jose Valdes (3-0-0), Martiniano Pereyra (3-1-0), Adalberto Ochoa (3-0-0), Alfonso Moreno, (2-0-0), Guenter Hase, and Francisco Ciucci. He also fought such fighters as Kid Gavilan (L PTS 10) and Issac Logart (L KO 8). BoxRec

CARLOS ALBERTO ARO –  The former Argentina and South American lightweight champion died July 16, 2017 at age 77. Aro, who was born in El Carrizal, Mendoza, Argentina on September 22, 1939, represented Argentina at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Competing as a featherweight he defeated Lajos Baranyi of Hungary on points in the first round of competition, but lost on points to the Soviet Union’s Boris Nikanorov in the second round of competition.  Carlos fought professionally from 1961-1972, compiling a record of 63-11-10 (KO 21/KO by 3). Between February 1968 and April 1970 The Ring magazine rated him as high as the # 7 world lightweight contender in the world. He held the Argentina lightweight title from July 1967 to November 1969 and from June 1972 to December 1972. He held the South American lightweight championship from February 1968 to November 1971. During his career he defeated such fighters as Pedro Benelli (split 2 fights), Valentin Brown, Hector Hugo Rambaldi, Sebastiao Nascimento, Omar Victor Gottfredi, Cirilo Pausa,  George Foster, Juan Carlos Salinas (going 1-2), Hector Jorge Pace (going 2-1-2), Raul Celestino Venerdini (going 2-2), and Hugo Gutierrez (split 2 fights). He also fought such fighters as Alfonso Frazier, Carlos Maria Gimenez and Juan Alberto Aranda. BoxRec

EDDIE “THE ANIMAL” LOPEZ – The Los Angeles-area heavyweight who once drew with Leon Spinks, died on July 15, 2017, according to friends. Lopez was found dead in his room by his daughter, with whom the ex-fighter lived in East L.A. He had problems with drugs for much of his life but it’s not clear whether that led directly to his death. He was believed to be in his early 60s. Lopez (25-4-2, 17 knockouts) was a good-looking, popular figure and one of the best Mexican-American heavyweights ever. He turned pro in 1976 and fought until 1984, losing to big-name opponents John Tate, Gerry Cooney and Tony Tucker but drawing with Spinks. The Spinks fight occurred in March 1980, 16 months after Spinks lost the heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali in their rematch. Some believe Lopez deserved the decision. “He was a hell of a fighter,” said former fighter and friend Ruben Castillo. “He came right at you, he would try to take your head off. That’s all that mattered to him. And he was a super, super, super guy.” Lopez became close to Carol Steindler, who once ran the Main Street Gym in L.A. “Eddie could’ve had a great career but he was in and out of jail and took drugs. He was in that element and couldn’t get out of it,” she said. John Montes, another former fighter, said Lopez was involved with the wrong people much of his life – he was a member of one of the biggest gangs in East L.A. – and didn’t always respect authority but was well liked in the boxing community. “He had a habit of hanging out with the wrong crowd,” Montes said. “He got caught up in that, in drugs. No one could tell him what to do. He was that type of person. “He was a great guy, though. And a good fighter. He was a little like Chris Arreola as a fighter. He did what he wanted to do. It’s amazing he accomplished what he accomplished given how he lived his life.” Michael Rosenthal, Ring TV

EDDIE (BOSSMAN) BROOKS – The Milwaukee, Wisconsin heavyweight, born Edward Mack Brooks in Monticello, Arkansas in June 1938, died July 15, 2017 at age 79. He fought from 1966-1979 and compiled a record of 18-4-1 (KO 7/KO by 4). During his career he defeated such fighters as Terry Daniels, Aaron Eastling, Vic Brown, Joe Byrd, Joe Shelton and Charles Singleton. He also fought such fighters as Cleveland Williams, Leroy Caldwell, Orville Qualls and Stan Johnson. Pete Ehrmann’s tribute to Eddie Brooks appears in this issue. BoxRec

PAUL FERRERI – The former 1970s and 1980s world ranked bantamweight and featherweight contender died July 14, 2017 at the age of 69. Paul was also Commonwealth (British Empire) and Australian bantamweight and featherweight champion. He was world ranked by The Ring magazine for a total of 54 months from July 1973 to November 1982 in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. His highest rating # 5. Paul was born in Aidone, Sicilia, Italy on January 2, 1948.  His family immigrated to Melbourne, Australia when he was four-years-old. Without a single amateur bout, Ferreri turned professional in 1968 under the guidance of former Australian middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Ambrose Palmer, and later Jack Rennie who would take him to a WBC featherweight title challenge in 1976. He built up an impressive streak of 18 consecutive wins on the preliminaries of televised cards at Festival Hall in Melbourne before winning the Australian bantamweight title on October 17, 1969 by 15 round decision over Alan Pressnell. He ran his undefeated streak to 27-0-2 before losing his first fight on points to Willie Cordova on June 7, 1971. He won the vacant Commonwealth (British Empire) bantamweight title on September 16, 1972 by 15 round decision over John Kellie. He held the title until January 29, 1977 when he lost it by 15 round decision to Sulley Shittu in Accra, Ghana. However, he regained the vacant title on May 21, 1981 by 15 round decision over Mike Irungu in Copenhagen, Denmark. He won the Australian featherweight title on December 5, 1977 by 8th round knockout over Roger Henry. He held the title until June 1981 when he lost it by 15 round split decision to Gary Williams. Three months later on September 30, 1981 he regained the title from Williams by 15 round split decision. Although the majority of his fights took place in Australia he also boxed with varying success in California, Wales, Denmark, Oregon, Italy, Ghana and the Philippines. He lost in his only world championship challenge to future IBHOF hall of famer Carlos Zarate, but defeated former and future world champions Venice Borkhorsor and Roland Navarette. He also defeated such fighters as Brian Roberts (going 7-1-1), Big Jim West, Rocky Gattellari, Johnny McCluskey, Fernando Sotelo, Carmelo Massa, Reg King, Jim Bowen, Paddy Maguire, Merv Wockner, John Feeney, and Jeff Smith. He also fought such fighters as Arnold Taylor, Johnny Owen, Ray Minus,  Gilberto Roman and Heleno Vitor Ferreira. His final ring tally was 78-13-5 (KOs 26). He was only stopped twice. Contributed by Paul Cupitt and Dan Cuoco

EVAN ARMSTRONG – Armstrong who died July 8, 2017, aged 73, was one of Scotland’s greatest ever featherweight boxing champions. He reigned supreme for four years, giving up his prized belt in 1974 after a 54-fight professional career in which he lost only 14. Born in Ayr, surrender in the boxing ring was a totally alien concept to Armstrong. He only ever conceded to the very best bantamweight and featherweights during his professional career, which lasted between 1963 and 1974. Examine the roll call of the 14 boxers who beat Armstrong in his career and you get a measure of his talent and the fact that only the very best could beat him. Future world champion David Kotey, for example, needed 11 rounds to grind the Ayrshire man down and that was at the very end of Armstrong’s career. Later, Armstrong clashed with the Mexican Joe Medel in the latter’s backyard and despite the high altitude the Mexican press was of the opinion that it was Armstrong, not Medal, who should have received the points verdict. Armstrong was only ever knocked once in his career – by the South African world champion Arnold Taylor in his home country and in his prime. Even in his amateur career, only the best could master Armstrong. Thus in 1962 it took the eventual Scottish Commonwealth gold medal winner John McDermott to defeat Armstrong in a box-off in Possilpark. McDermott responded to Armstrong’s death by paying tribute to his old rival. “Evan Armstrong was one of the best boxers and hardest punchers that I ever encountered,” said McDermott. “He was also a lovely man outside the ring.” With 39 wins in 54 contests, Armstrong was more acquainted with ring triumph than defeat. Witness his knockout in 1966 of Edinburgh’s former 1958 Commonwealth games gold flyweight medallist Jackie Brown, a superb ring stylist. Also noteworthy was Armstrong’s defeat of Edinburgh’s supposed featherweight wonderkid Vernon Sollas. Similarly, in 1971, Armstrong came from being well behind on points to Londoner Jimmy Revie to win the British featherweight title and Lonsdale Belt by stopping Revie in the 12th round. Three years later, Armstrong travelled 12,000 miles to Brisbane to stop Aussie Bobby Dunne in the eighth round for the Commonwealth nine-stone crown. Survivor of a fractured skull in his youth after a cycling accident, Armstrong showed that he was a champion too in dealing with deep personal adversity. Faced with his daughter suffering from spina bifida and his wife becoming seriously ill, he still managed to look after his two children, work as a labourer and carry out demanding boxing training at the same time. Fishing, breeding rabbits and following the fortunes of Ayr United were Armstrong’s main non-boxng hobbies. Later life was cruel to Armstrong as he suffered progressively from Alzheimers disease. In 1998, in an interview with The Herald, he spoke about his first problems with his memory and how painting had helped him focus his thoughts. ”Boxing is definitely the cause of my problems but I would do it all again,” he said. “Fighting was my life. Now I have taken to painting and it is wonderful for me and I feel it is helping improve my condition. When I was at school I had no interest in art and I would rather have been in a playground fight.” Mr Armstrong said his head injuries were first noticed when he was working as an electricity linesman. He said: ”My neighbour was always behind the wheel and it was me up the poles working with 33,000 volts. He drove me to a farm one day and I had to go back the next day alone. I thought I knew the area like the back of my hand but I just couldn’t find the farm. ”I had no idea where it was or how to find it and I was then sent to hospital and scans revealed I had cerebral injuries. I now have trouble with my sight as well as my memory and some people say my speech is affected.” Brian Donald, The Sunday Herald

DAVID LOPEZ – The former junior middleweight contender died July 6, 2017 at age 39. He was born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico on November 24, 1977 and fought professionally from 1995-2015.  Know as the “Destroyer” he was matched tough early in his career. From 1995-2002 he won 19 fights  (KO 11) and lost 11 (KO 8). Starting in 2003 with 30 fights of experience under his belt and better training habits he started winning regularly. From that point on until his retirement in 2015, he won 23 fights (KO 13), lost 5 (KO 2), with 1 draw. During that stretch he scored upset wins over unbeaten Lonnie Bradley (tko 7), unbeaten Jerson Ravelo (tko 9), welterweight contender Danny (Dynamite) Perez (pts 12), Edifanio Mendoza (ko 7), Sergio Rios (ko 1), Rocky Montoya (tko 6), Billy Lytell (tko 5), Ossie Duran (pts 10), Saul Roman (pts 12), and Michael Rosales (pts 12). His win over Rosales earned him a title shot against WBA world light-middleweight champion Austin Trout in San Luis Potosi, Mexico on June 11, 2011. The talented Trout was just too good that night and retained his title by a unanimous 12 round decision. Lopez would only engage in 6 more fights during the next four years, winning two (KO 1), losing three (KO 1) and drawing once. BoxRec

MARLON B. WRIGHT – The former professional boxer, referee and judge was remembered as a promising welterweight fighter who went on to become one of Canada’s top boxing referees, officiating title bouts around the world. The 51-year-old Wright died July 6, 2017 at Sacré-Coeur Hospital surrounded by his family, said Michel Hamelin, head of Quebec’s combat sports commission. The Jamaica native who grew up in Montreal had been suffering from melanoma, a form of skin cancer, since 2014 but was still working as recently as Feb. 24 when he handled a bout in Quebec City between former super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute and Eleider Alvarez. Wright’s resume in two decades as third man in the ring includes Kell Brook’s loss to Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight title unification bout in London in September and David Lemieux of Montreal’s middleweight title win over Hassan N’Dam in 2015. He worked title fights in Europe, Asia and North America but was also a regular on fight cards large and small around Quebec. Montreal Gazette, July 6, 2017

RODOLFO DIAZ – The 1950s-1960s Ciudad Lerdo, Durango, Mexico welterweight died June 29, 2017 at age 78. He was born Rodolfo Díaz Hernández in the same city on October 12, 1938 and fought professionally from 1956-1966, compiling a record of 38-27-2 with 1 no contest (KO 25/KO by 17). During his career he defeated such fighters as Don Jordan, Zorrito Ramirez, Gildo Montoya, Humberto Martinez (split 2 fights), James Shelton (split 2 fights), Ray Mejia, Jimmy Flood, and Victor Baerga. He also fought such fighters as Alvaro Gutierrez, Gene Gresham, Alfredo Cota, Marshall Wells, Dick Knight, Marcelo Vargas, Jesse Bogart, Sergio Rodriquez, Tony Perez, and Jorge Rosales. BoxRec

LUIS PATINO – The former Panamanian bantamweight champion died June 27, 2017 at age 76. Patino was born in Panama on May 7, 1941 and fought professionally from 1961-1970, compiling a record of 23-13-3 (KO 9/KO by 7). During his career he fought such fighters as Roberto Duran, Waldemiro Pinto, Antonio Amaya, Alfonso Frazer, Eugenio Hurtado, Diego Acala, Chocolate Zambrano and Killer Solomon. BoxRec

RAFAEL CHAVEZ – The older brother of Julio Cesar Chavez was shot to death on June 25, 2017 during a robbery of his home. He was 58 years of age. He was born Rafael Chavez Gonzalez and fought professionally as a welterweight from 1979-1984, compiling a record of 9-2-0 (KO 8/KO by 1).  BoxRec

GERALD JACOB  – The former French featherweight champion died June 24, 2017 at age 66. He was born in Criel, Seine-Maritime, France on June 19, 1951 and fought professionally from 1974-1982, compiling a record of 31-24-2 (KO 14/KO by 16). During his career he fought such fighters as Roberto Castanon, Michele Siracusa, Heleno Vitor Ferreira, Laurent Grimbert, Daniel Londas and Michel Lefevbre. BoxRec

BRIAN RENNEY – The 1960s Cardiff, Wales lightweight died June 22, 2017 at age 76. He was born in the same city on January 4, 1941 and fought professionally from 1963-1965, compiling a record of 13-2-0 (KO 7/KO by 2). During his career he defeated such fighters as Don Gibson, Billy Secular, Tommy Atkins and Billy Bowman. He also fought such fighters as Eric Cartmell and Gordon Davies. BoxRec

TONY BURNETT – The former Llanbradach, Wales middleweight died June 26, 2017 at age 66. Burnett was born in Cardiff, Wales on December 29, 1950 and fought professionally from 1969-1978, compiling a record of 17-33-3 (KO 10/KO by 8). During his career he fought such fighters as Tony Sibson, Des Morrison, Eddie Burke, and Steve Fenton. BoxRec

FREDDY RAFFERTY – Freddy Rafferty who fought as a professional from 1983 to 1997 and won the South African junior-heavyweight title in October 1988 died from a heart attack at the age of 53 on June 19, 2017 in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal. Rafferty was at his gym in Empangeni where he trained a number of fighters when he collapsed, before he was taken to the local hospital where he passed away. Rafferty who was born Frederick Horn in Welkom, OFS on August 30, 1963 used the name Rafferty as there were a number of other Horns who were no relation to him boxing at the time. After a short amateur career he made his pro debut on March 26 1983 with a fourth round knockout win over Gideon Mketshane. Trained by Willie Lock and Jeff Ellis at Lock’s gym in Yeoville and fighting at light-heavyweight he won his next five fights inside the distance. In 1984 things seemed to go wrong after fighting to a draw with Jonjo Greene from the United Kingdom in Durban and winning against Weaver Qwabe he lost three in a row which included a return match with Greene. In 1985 and 1986 he had three cracks at trying to winning the South African light-heavyweight title, fighting to a draw with Sakkie Enslin and losing to Sakkie Horn and Thulani “Sugaboy” Malinga. Through 1987 to 1988 thing improved with an upset seventh round knockout win over former South African light-heavyweight and WBA junior-heavyweight champion Piet Crous at Sun City. Moving into the junior-heavyweight class he won the vacant Transvaal junior-heavyweight title with a first round knockout win over Reginald Mazingane and in his next fight he captured the vacant South African junior-heavyweight title with a third round stoppage against Gideon Hlongwa at the West Ridge Tennis Stadium in Durban. He subsequently lost the South African title to Howard Mpepsi May 1990 but regained it in a return match with Mpepsi four months later. Rafferty would lose the title once again when Leonard Friedman stopped him in the tenth round but then regained the title in May 1993 in a return match with Friedman. In April 1994 he would once again lose the SA title when he was outpointed over 12 rounds by Jacob Mofokeng. He was then inactive until March 1997 when he beat Alex Mchunu and in his last fight on July 6 he was outpointed over ten rounds by Douglas Sibiya at the Empangeni Town Hall in a clash for the Natal junior heavyweight title. He finished with a record of 32-14-2 (KOs 23). He was stopped twice. Ron Jackson, Fightnews

TIM HAGUE — The former UFC fighter known as “The Thrashing Machine,” died June 18, 2017, two days after he was critically injured when he was knocked out in a boxing match against former Edmonton Eskimos defensive end Adam Braidwood. The match on June 9th at the Shaw Conference Centre was promoted by KO Boxing. The 33-year-old Hague, who grew up on a farm in Boyle, Alberta, was a heavyweight trained in jiu-jitsu. He was 21-13 as an MMA fighter before switching to boxing last summer. His professional boxing record was 1-3-0 (KOs 1). He was stopped twice.

DICK GAMBINO – The Providence, Rhode Island light-heavyweight, born Richard J. Quattrocchi in the same city on March 5, 1941, died June 11, 2017 at the age of 76. He fought professionally from 1963-1968 and compiled a record of 16-1-2 (KO 14/KO by 0). During his career he fought such fighters as Dick Harrison, Herb Ramsey, Doug Clay, Cleo Daniels and Jimmy Cherrico. Dick was a successful real estate investor in Las Vegas for many years until an illness forced him to return to RI eight years ago. 

ERROL CHRISTIE – Christie, one of Britain’s most decorated amateur boxers, died June 11, 2017 aged 54 after losing his fight with lung cancer. Leicester-born and Coventry-raised Christie won a record ten national titles at amateur level before turning professional at the age of 19 — where he regularly appeared on UK terrestrial television. Christie — who worked with promoter Frank Warren — was watched by large audiences on free-to-air ITV in the 1980s, but his potential as an amateur did not lead to success in the punch-for-pay business and a professional title eluded him. “Errol didn’t follow through the promise he showed in the amateurs in the pro game,” Warren told ESPN. “He was a very personable guy, always smiling, but unfortunately he didn’t have what it takes at the top level. “He was a brilliant amateur and we thought he was going to be the next Sugar Ray Leonard. He had a string of wins and all of his fights were televised on ITV, so he had a great profile back then. “Then he trained for a bit at Emanuel Steward’s Kronk gym in Detroit, against my advice, and he came back a different fighter because there were a lot of gym wars there. He got beat by Jose Seys and then there were other defeats. He couldn’t take a shot.” Two years after his professional debut in 1982, Christie was stopped by Belgium’s Jose Seys. Three months earlier he enjoyed a stoppage win on the undercard of Thomas Hearns-Roberto Duran at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Christie was knocked out in the eighth round by Mark Kaylor in the most high profile fight of his career at Wembley Arena in 1985. The pair met each other in a British middleweight title eliminator after brawling at a press conference to announce their fight. Christie accused Kaylor of calling him an “ugly black b*****” and the pair then fought outside a London hotel in the rain. Further stoppage defeats followed to the likes of James Cook and Michael Watson before Christie’s career finished on 32-8-1, 26 KOs in 1993. After boxing he worked as a personal trainer, market trader and had a spell as a stand-up comedian. Nick Parkinson, ESPN






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