FINAL BELL December 2017

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SKIP YEATON – The former Portland, Maine middleweight died December 31, 2017 at the age of 67. He was born Roland Albert Yeaton in Skowhegan, Maine on October 9, 1950 and fought professionally from 1967-1973. He retired with a record of 34-26-3 (KO 19/KO by 15). During his career he fought such fighters as former middleweight champion Vito Antuofermo,  Mark Rowe, Mike Pusateri, Johnny Coiley, Dennis McNamee, Johnny Hasson, Freddie Butts, Al Romano, Gene Herrick, Jerry Graci, Tommy Dragon, Manny Freitas, Aimee Morin and Paul Osborne. BoxRec 

SANDRO ABEL VAZQUEZ – The former Buenos Aires, Argentina middleweight died December 31, 2017 at the age of 50. He was born in Santo Tome, Santa Fe, Argentina on September 15, 1967 and fought professionally from 1988-2003. He retired with a record of 18-25-2 (KO 10/KO by 12). During his career he fought such fighters as Jorge Castro, Miguel Angel Arroyo, Hector Hugo Vilte, Mario Gaston, Ruben Dario Cabral, Ricardo Raul Nunez, Ernesto Rafael Sena, Roberto Coelho, Omar Eduardo Gonzalez and Richel Hersisia.  BoxRec

BARBARA ROACH – Whoever said “You can’t have it all” never met Barbara Roach. Wife of midcentury Lightweight Paul Roach and mother of boxers Freddie, Pepper and Joey Barbara shone on her own and made boxing history when she became the first female professional judge in Massachusetts. She went on to judge the Middleweight Championship of the World in 1981, featuring Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Vito Antuofermo. Barbara was a devoted friend and mother. Even after life took her out West, she never forgot her friends from New England boxing back home. She answered her final bell on December 27, 2017. By Christine Lewis

WILLIE TOWEEL – Willie Toweel one of the legends of the South African ring and the last of the fighting Toweel’s passed away at his home on Christmas night. He was 83. Willie who was born in Benoni on April 6 1934, was a magnificent fighter and trained by his father “Papa Mike” he developed into a brilliant amateur and won SA junior and senior titles and a bronze medal at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. It was reported that he lost only five fights as an amateur. In his professional debut, in Johannesburg in May 1953, he beat Jackie O’Connor on points over four rounds. He won his first six fights before stopping Matthew Raaf in the seventh round to win the vacant SA bantamweight title and then beat Tony Lombard, an old rival of the Toweel’s, to become the national featherweight champion. Willie won his next ten fights, beating the likes of Andre Valignat and Pappy Gault. By then he was ready to challenge Robert Cohen, a French Algerian, for the world bantamweight title. They fought in Johannesburg on September 3 1955. Willie was 22 years old and confident, but already battling to make the bantamweight limit. Cohen dropped Willie twice in the second round but the South African fought back and the 15-round battle turned into one of the most exciting fights in SA boxing history that ended in a draw. Moving up in weight he took on Johnny van Rensburg for the SA and Empire lightweight titles on December 10 1955. Toweel faded after a good start and retired at the end of the ninth round; his first defeat in 23 fights. It was reported that injuries to his right hand and an ankle had been the cause of his disappointing performance. The bout was the first of five between the two. Toweel won three and they drew over 15 rounds when he defended the SA and British Empire lightweight titles he had won from Van Rensburg on May 19 1956. Most experts later agreed that Willie Toweel never reached his full potential. The reason was undoubtedly the death of Hubert Essakow after their fight in the Johannesburg City Hall on March 19 1956. The tragedy haunted him for the rest of his life. After losing to Van Rensburg, Toweel had to defend his SA featherweight title against the top contender, Essakow. However, both failed to make the weight and they met in a non-title fight over twelve rounds. Toweel knocked out Essakow in the eleventh round and the 21-year-old never regained consciousness. He underwent brain surgery at the Princess Nursing Home in Johannesburg but died 52 hours after the knockout. Campaigning in the United Kingdom he retained his Empire lightweight against Dave Charnley and impressed in victories over Billy Kelly, Bobby Ros, Mario Calcaterra, Jimmy Carter and Jose Hernandez. He then came home and outpointed a tough Mexican, Alvaro Nevarez, in a brilliant performance before heading back to Britain when he defeated Orlando Zulueta and Fernand Nollett early in 1958. He lost the Empire lightweight title in return match with Charnley when he was stopped in the tenth round. But experienced observers had noticed that Toweel tended to hold back after hurting his opponents. His record proved it. Before beating Essakow, he had won 15 of his 23 fights inside the distance. In his last 30 fights he stopped only seven of his opponents. Moving into the welterweight division he stopped Paddy Graham in four rounds before one of the highlights of his career. He went to New York to become the first South African to top a bill at Madison Square Garden. His opponent on that night, November 20 1959, was Lenny Matthews, an excellent American boxer. Toweel was knocked down twice in the eighth round but produced a brilliant performance to win on points. By then, his brothers Alan and Maurice also thought he might have lost his edge. It was confirmed when, for the first time in his career, he lost on points – against Wally Swift in Nottingham. He seemed to be going through the motions in 1960 when he beat Julio Silva and Freddie Teidt. Even so, he won the vacant SA welterweight title – his fourth national crown – by beating Benny Nieuwenhuizen. He lost the title in his next fight when he was disqualified for a low blow against Jannie Botes at the same venue where he had fought Essakow. He then received an offer to fight Emile Griffith at Madison Square Garden on October 22 1960. He started well but was stopped in the eighth round. Griffith later won the world welterweight and middleweight titles. It was Toweel’s last fight. He retired at the age of 27, with a record of 46-6-2, including 23 wins inside the distance. He later became a successful manager and trained Charlie Weir as well as world champions Brian Mitchell and Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga. Willie Toweel was undoubtedly one of the best fighters South Africa ever produced. By Ron Jackson, Fightnews

YAQUI LOPEZ  – The 1960s Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico Light Heavyweight Jesus Lopez Preciado who fought as Yaqui Lopez (this is not former light heavyweight contender Alvaro “Yaqui” Lopez) died December 18, 2017. No age is given. He fought professionally from 1960-1963 and compiled a record of 2-5-0 (KO 2/KO by 5). His most notable opponents were Gene Bryant, Charlie Austin, Willie Ross and Alfredo Zuany.  BoxRec

JERRY HUSTON, JR – The former 1970s New England Heavyweight Champion died mid December 2017 at the age of 66. Huston fought professionally from 1971-1976 and compiled a record of 15-7-1 (KO 7/KO by 3). During his career he defeated such fighters as Charley Polite (split 2 fights), Brian O’Melia (split 2 fights), Jesse Crown and Bill Hardney. He also fought such fighters as John L. Gardner, Dino Denis, Kallie Knoetze and Jerry Judge. Huston won the New England Heavyweight Title on June 24, 1974 by a 10 round unanimous decision over defending champion Charlie Polite in New Bedford, MA. Ring 4 VBA

MARIO CAMARENA – The Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico light-welterweight was murdered on December 7, 2017 at the age of 37. He was born Mario Camarena Nambo in the same city on February 22, 1980 and fought professionally from 1992-2010. He retired with a record of 2-12-1 (KO 1/KO by 9). No further information available. BoxRec

DAI MERCHANT – The 1950s Cardiff, Wales featherweight died December 5, 2017 at the age 81. He was born in the same city on April 13, 1936 and fought professionally from 1956-1957. He retired with a record of 4-2-1 (KO 0/KO by 1). BoxRec

GUILLERMO MOSQUERA – The former Roma, Lazio, Italy based light welterweight died on December 4, 2017 at the age of 53. He was born Pantera Guillermo Mosquera in Columbia on October 26, 1964 and fought professionally from 1985-2012. He retired with a record of 42-10-3 (KO 21/KO by 5). Titles held: WBF Light Welterweight Title (2007); New Zealand Boxing Association Light Welterweight Title (2004); PABA Light Welterweight Title (1997-98); WBC International Light Welterweight Title (1990-91). During his career he defeated such fighters as Lovemore Ndou, Eduardo Roberto Benvenuti, Bruno Simili, Belaid Khaldi, Abraham Mieses, Patrick Vungbo,  Lance Gostelow and Fernando Sagrado. He also fought such fighters as Michael Katsidis, Jan Piet Bergman, Rodolfo Aguilar, Dindo Castanares, and Renee Ganoy. BoxRec

CESAR DIAZ – The 20 year old Palmdale, California bantamweight died in car accident on November 24, 2017. He was born Omar Diaz Sandoval in Aguascalientes, Mexico on July 16, 1997. His career record 7-0-0 (KO 6/KO by 0). BoxRec

FRANCISCO RUIZ  – The Ciudad Delgado, El Salvador boxer died November 23, 2017 at the age of 24 in San Salvador, after being knocked out in the eighth round by his compatriot Ricardo Cortez. His career record 3-1-0 (KO 0/KO by 1). BoxRec

FERDIE PACHECO –  “The fight doctor,” a boxing presence for four decades as the physician in Muhammad Ali’s corner and later a ringside television analyst, died November 16, 2017 at his home in Miami. He was 89. His death was confirmed by his wife, Luisita Pacheco. In the early 1960s, Dr. Pacheco’s love of boxing drew him to the gritty 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach, where Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was among the young fighters honing their skills under the renowned trainer Angelo Dundee. Dr. Pacheco joined with Dundee when Ali rose in the pro ranks and remained with Ali during most of his reign as the charismatic heavyweight champion. He played a last-minute role in the fight that first brought Ali the heavyweight title. When Ali’s “wild-eyed” behavior, as Dr. Pacheco put it, caused Ali’s blood pressure to soar at the weigh-in for his February 1964 fight in Miami Beach with Sonny Liston, the boxing commission’s doctor, who took the reading, asked Dr. Pacheco to examine Ali away from the circus atmosphere. Finally calm, Ali told Dr. Pacheco that he had acted “crazy” to scare the famously intimidating Liston, and when the doctor took his blood pressure it was normal. Dr. Pacheco reported that Ali was fit to fight, and when a battered Liston stayed in his corner as the bell rang for Round 7, Ali took away his championship. But for all his admiration of what he once called “the most perfect body I’ve ever seen,” Dr. Pacheco became alarmed by the blows Ali took over the years, notably in the so-called Thrilla in Manila in October 1975, when he retained his title in a furious battle with Joe Frazier. And after Ali took a beating in his decision over Earnie Shavers in 1977, Dr. Pacheco sent letters to Ali and his camp urging that he retire. He received no response, Dr. Pacheco said. “When Ali wouldn’t quit the exciting world of boxing, I did,” he wrote in “Muhammad Ali: A View From the Corner” (1992), one of several books he wrote. “If a national treasure like Ali could not be saved, at least I didn’t have to be part of his undoing.” Almost five months later, CBS hired Dr. Pacheco to be a TV analyst for Ali’s fight with Leon Spinks. He went on to become NBC’s director of boxing and ringside analyst, as well as a commentator for Showtime and the Spanish-language network Univision. He won two Emmy Awards, one for a series on Ali. Ferdie Pacheco, the son of a Spanish-born pharmacist who had come to America from Cuba, was born on Dec. 8, 1927, in the Ybor City section of Tampa, Fla., a neighborhood of Spanish, Italian and Cuban immigrants redolent of the aroma from cigar factories. He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and received a medical degree from the University of Miami in the 1950s, then set up two offices in the Miami area as a general practitioner. He often treated poor patients for nothing or a nominal charge. After he began visiting the 5th Street Gym, owned by the boxing promoter Chris Dundee, Angelo’s brother, Dr. Pacheco provided free medical treatment for fighters and their families. Angelo Dundee recalled that Dr. Pacheco had also helped him calm his boxers who were hypochondriacs. “Ferdie would furnish each of the so-called ‘sufferers’ with aspirins and other harmless medications, telling them they were ‘fine,’ ” Dundee recalled in “My View From the Corner” (2008), written with Bert Randolph Sugar. Dr. Pacheco, by his count, provided medical assistance to 12 world champions trained by Dundee. He was also an accomplished artist and storyteller. “It’s not easy to keep up with a man who has so many strings in the bow that he really needs a harp,” Budd Schulberg, author of the boxing novel “The Harder They Fall,” wrote in a passage — one of a number contributed by boxing figures, writers and family members — in Dr. Pacheco’s “Tales From the 5th St. Gym” (2010). Dr. Pacheco traced his love of drawing to his boyhood, when his maternal grandfather, a native of Spain, took him to the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. In college, he furnished caricatures for magazines to help pay his tuition. He later painted scenes from his childhood in Ybor City and from the boxing world. “I like realism with color and vivacity,” he said. Some of his works fetched high prices. Dr. Pacheco was also a prolific writer. In addition to remembrances of what he called the Ali Circus and the characters at the 5th Street Gym, he told of his boxing life in “Fight Doctor” (1977) and of his youth in “Ybor City Chronicles” (1995), in which he described the “old country” ways of his father, Joseph. Joseph Pacheco “never put on his own shoes, or tied the laces,” he wrote. “His ritual was to wake up my mother standing by the bed with a cup of espresso and a glass of ice water,” he continued. “When he finished drinking his coffee, she would put his socks on, then his shoes, and tie them.” In 1970 Dr. Pacheco married Karen Maestas, who danced under the stage name Luisita Sevilla. In addition to her, he is survived by a daughter from that marriage, Tina Pacheco; three children, Dawn, Evelyn and Ferdie Pacheco, from his marriage to Elva Sweeney, which ended in divorce; and two grandchildren. Ali fought until 1981, when he lost to the journeyman Trevor Berbick. He later began a slide into Parkinson’s disease. “I told Ali he must quit because of the damage the doctors were seeing to his brain,” Dr. Pacheco recalled in a statement when Ali died in June 2016, but “just like the rest of us, sometimes you don’t like what the doctor prescribes.” He remembered Ali as “simply the greatest of all time.” Dr. Pacheco became a vocal advocate for enhanced safety measures for boxers. He also had regrets, despite all his good moments in the world of the ring. “Why was I, an ethical physician with a large charity practice, part of a sport that allowed death?” he once asked. “I never found a suitable answer.” Richard Goldstein, NY Times 11/17/17

LUCIEN ALLARD – The 1950s Roux, Hainaut, Belgium Light Heavyweight died November 21, 2017 at the age of 88. He was born on May 27, 1929 in Liberchies, Hainaut, Belgium  and fought professionally from 1952-1955. He finished with a career record of 4-7-1 (KO 2/KO By 2). BoxRec

EVERARDO ARMENTA – The former 1960s Mexican middleweight champion died November 20, 2017 at the age of 80. Armenta was born on April 13, 1937 and fought out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, from 1956-1965. During his career he fought such fighters as Joey Giambra, Gaspar Ortega, LC Morgan, Eddie Pace, Hilario Morales, Juan Padilla, Eusebio Hernandez,  Enrique Esqueda, Alfredo Cota, Memo Ayon, Rafael Gutierrez, Jesse Bogart, David Cervantes and El Conscripto. He retired with a record of 20-18-2 (KO 14/KO By 9). BoxRec

JOSE FELIX UZIGA – The former Argentina and South American bantamweight champion died November 16, 2917 at the age of 65. He was born in Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 20, 1952 and fought professionally from 1977-1983. In September 1980 he was ranked the # 10 bantamweight contender of the world by The Ring magazine. In his only world title challenge he lost a 15 round decision to WBC bantamweight champion Lupe Pintor in Houston, Texas on February 22, 1981. During his career he also fought such fighters as Julio Cesar Saba, Jose Rufino Narvaez, Raul Eduardo Perez, Luis Adolfo Gerez, Rolando Manuel Lahoz, Ruben Higinio Butiler and Eduardo Humberto Chavez. He finished with a career record of 18-4-3 (KO 10/KO by 1). BoxRec

WILLIE PRICE – The 1940s-1950s Salt Lake City, Utah featherweight died November 15, 2017 at the age of 88. He was born William Lavon Price on January 27, 1929 in Mohrland, Utah and fought professionally from 1947-1954. He retired with a record of 18-7-2 (KO 12/KO By 7). BoxRec

DOUG JONES – Word has reached us that the former light heavyweight and heavyweight contender of the early 1960s passed away recently at the age of 80. Prior to Muhammad Ali’s three and a half year exile that began in 1967 Doug Jones gave the fighter then known as Cassius Clay his toughest fight. On March 13, 1963, before a sold out Madison Square Garden crowd of 18,732 fans, Clay struggled to win a close but controversial 10 round decision over his persistent foe. Opinion was split as to who deserved to win. Many fans in the Garden and those watching the bout at 40 closed circuit locations thought Jones had done enough to edge Clay who chalked up his 18th straight victory. Doug’s record fell to 22-3-1. (Eleven months and two fights later Cassius would upset Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight title). Interviewed 20 years later the defeat still rankled Jones. “Clay ran like a thief”, he said. “I carried the fight to him. Suppose I went the other way, what kind of fight would it have been? Clay didn’t hit me with any solid punches. There wasn’t any real power in his punches.” Few boxers at his weight have engaged in so many tough fights against top competition in so short a time as Doug Jones. He was a talented boxer with a powerful right hand but what separated him from the crowd was his incredible toughness and heart. Doug had an extensive and successful amateur career during military service in the Air Force. (He was alternate light heavy for the 1956 U.S. Olympic team). Doug turned pro in 1958 with a four round decision over Jimmy McNair. He was rushed much too quickly yet managed to survive and attain contender status in spite of Madison Square Garden matchmaker Teddy Brenner’s tendency to destroy up and coming talent through horrible matchmaking. Doug only had 10 pro fights when fought his first main event against tough former New York Golden Gloves champ Juan Pomare. After two more victories he took on hard punching Philadelphia prospect Von Clay in back to back 10 rounders. His next outing was a nationally televised bout against former middleweight champion Bobo Olsen. Doug ended matters with a left right combination in the 6th round. He followed up with knockouts of Floyd McCoy and Pete Rademacher before taking on Von Clay for the third and final time winning via a 10th round TKO. Up next was top heavyweight contender Eddie Machen. Doug lost the decision and five months later faced Harold Johnson for the undisputed light heavyweight title. Doug never stopped trying but with only 20 pro bouts under his belt he was just too inexperienced to take the measure of the great boxer and lost a unanimous 15 round decision. On October 20, 1962 Doug was matched with a 9 bout pro named Bob Foster. He stopped the future light heavyweight champion in the 8th round. (Previously Doug had defeated Bob twice in the amateurs while both were in the Air Force). Although he rarely weighed more than 190 pounds the rest of Doug’s career was spent fighting heavyweights. A dramatic 7th round KO of top ranked Zora Folley (a few months earlier he dropped a decision to Folley) moved Jones into the ranks of heavyweight contenders and led to his match with young Cassius. Doug’s manager Alex Koskowitz and his trainer Rollie Hackmer decided the best strategy was for Doug to slip past Clay’s jab while constantly pressuring him, upset his rhythm, and land the right. Jones at 188 pounds and 6 feet tall was 14 pounds lighter and three inches shorter but was significantly faster than Clay’s previous opponents. In the first round Clay was sent back on his heels by Jones’s right cross. He was tagged solidly again in the 4th and 7th rounds. Clay responded with swift combinations and it was anybody’s fight going into the ninth round. Clay turned it on in the final round landing frequently with combinations to seal his victory. After splitting two fights with Billy Daniels, Doug’s tenure as a heavyweight contender ended with an 11th round TKO loss to George Chuvalo on October 2nd 1964. During the fight Chuvalo centered his attack on Doug’s body and many punches strayed into foul territory. As a result of the punishment Doug suffered a hernia and was out of action for close to a year. His last chance for a title ended with a 15 round loss to WBA heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell on June 28, 1966. By the time up and coming Joe Frazier knocked him out in the 6th round on February 21, 1967 Doug was pretty much used up and punched out. If he needed any more convincing to retire it was provided six months later by young Boone Kirkman who TKO’d him in six. The Harlemite ended his career with a 30-10-1 (20 KOs) record. He appeared in 11 nationally televised bouts. Doug was an unlucky fighter. He came along at the wrong time when Harold Johnson was light heavy champ. If not for that Doug was a good bet to have won that title but he chose to go for the big money and take on heavyweights. Never an easy opponent at any time during his nine year pro career, he would be a terror among the light heavyweights of today. They did not come any tougher than Doug Jones. By Mike Silver, November 15, 2017

RAFAEL GARCIA – Legendary cutman Rafael Garcia passed away November 14, 2017 at the age of 88. Garcia, who was also a top hand wrapper spent more than seven decades in the sport he loved and worked with the likes of Lupe Pintor, Roberto Duran, Alexis Arguello, Erik Morales, Wilfredo Gomez and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

OSCAR ALEXIS CHAYLE – The Catamarca, Argentina Light Middleweight died at the young age of 20 on November 12, 2017. No further details available. He fought professionally from November 18, 2016 – June 16, 2017 and compiled a record of 4-0-0 (KO 2). BoxRec

CARLA WITHERSPOON – The Williamsport, Pennsylvania lightweight died November 11, 2017 at the age of 49. She was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania on April 16, 1968 and fought professionally from 1997-2005. During her career she fought such fighters as Lucia Rijker, Meliassa Del Valle, Isra Girgrah, Mary Jo Sanders, Jane Couch, Jenifer Alcorn, Belinda Laracuente,  Mariana Juarez and Jelena Mrdjenovich. She finished with a career record of 11-41-1 (KO 4/KO by 11). BoxRec

FRANK CALABRO – The former New England AAU and New England Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion died October 30, 2017 at the age of 76. Frank was born in Quincy, MA in 1941 and fought as an amateur from 1959 to 1966 and as a professional from 1966-1967. During his amateur career he won the New England AAU heavyweight title in 1959 and 1964; the Greater Lowell and New England Golden Gloves heavyweight titles in 1965. As a professional from 1966-1967 he compiled a record of 3-1-0 (KO 0/KO by 1). Frank was a graduate of Quincy High School, Class of 1960, and later continued his education in criminal justice with an Associate degree from Quincy College, a Bachelors degree from Northeastern University, and later a Masters degree from Anna Maria College. After boxing Frank was a Quincy Police officer for thirty-six years. He was appointed to the Quincy Police Department on November 21, 1968 and during his career worked as a patrolman, a detective in the drug unit, and later with the organized crime unit. He also worked in community policing prior to his retirement on February 26, 2004. He loved his job and helping people. He received over fifty commendations and was proud to have received the Robert Dana Distinguished Service Award at Law Day in 1984 and the Community Hero Award in 2004 for his work in the prevention of substance abuse in Quincy. Frank served in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division from 1960 to 1962. Besides boxing he enjoyed the outdoors and hunting and was an antique car enthusiast and in particular, vintage corvettes. Frank loved all sports, especially football at all levels. Portions from the Quincy Ledger

TONY MADIGAN – Australian three time Olympian Tony Madigan has sadly passed away on October 29, 2017 at the age of 87. Madigan competed at Helsinki (1952), Melbourne (1956) and Rome (1960). Madigan boxed the great Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, in a semi-final at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Madigan went on to take bronze at the event. He had also fought Clay at the Intercity Golden Gloves light-heavyweight championship in Chicago in 1959 losing by decision. AOC president John Coates said: “Tony was a true legend of Australian boxing and Olympic history, best known for his battle with Muhammad Ali. He is and will remain Australia’s greatest amateur boxer and a milestone of Australian sporting history.” Madigan is survived by wife, Sybilla, with whom he lived in the south of France and the UK, as well as son Kendall and brother Mark. Tony Madigan was inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010. Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

POLEON TAGOE – The former Accra, Ghana light heavyweight died October 25, 2017 at the age of 44. Tagoe was born in the same city on May 26, 1973 and competed in three weight divisions (middleweight, light-heavyweight and cruiserweight) from 1993-2000. During his career he won the Ghanian middleweight title and the WBC Continental Americas light-heavyweight title. He was unsuccessful in an attempt at the WBC cruiserweight title in 1999 losing by ninth round kayo to Juan Carlos Gomez. Besides Gomez he also fought such fighters as Ramon Garbey, Ray Berry, Flash Issaka, Napoleon Pitt, Esteban Cervantes, Troy Weaver and Darren Whitley. After his career Tagoe founded the Will Power Boxing Street Academy, a gym in Accra, and Will Power Boxing Promotions in Ghana. His final ring tally is 21-4-0 (KO 14/KO by 1). Box Rec

JEFFREY CLARO – The Makati City, Philippines super flyweight died unexpectedly on October 22, 2017. Claro was hit with a seemingly innocuous punch in a sparring session on October 20th just two days after his 20th birthday.  He passed away on Sunday morning, October 22, 2017 with his father, sister, and girlfriend by his side. Claro, whose gym is close to the Philippines capital Manila, was due to fight on November 19. Lorence Rosas, a pro boxer who trained with him at the Empire Boxing Gym was with Claro and trainer Remus Arsula when the incident occurred. Claro was sparring a smaller boxer and the session was scheduled for two rounds. Rosas said that Claro looked fine until going down with 45 seconds of the second session remaining. He smiled and asked to finish the round but the session, during which there were no illegal blows to the back of the head, was stopped. Rossas claims about 10 minutes passed before Claro showed any signs of being in trouble. The Sun

RAY ELSON – The former 1970s New York light heavyweight died October 20, 2017 at the age of 69. He was born Walter Raymond John Elson on May 10, 1948 and was managed and trained by Paddy Flood. When he was ready to turn pro Flood shortened his name to Ray J. Elson. Elson fought professionally from 1972-1979 and compiled a record of 16-5-0 (KO 11/KO by 4).  During his career he defeated such fighters as Macka Foley, Tommy Hicks, Dave Hilton, and Biff Cline. He also fought former light-heavyweight champions Victor Galindez (L TKO 8), Michael Spinks (L KO 1) and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (L TKO 2). Prior to turning to boxing Elson was a weight lifter winning several Metropolitan New York State Championships and at one time held the New York State pressing record of 335 pounds.

SPIDER DENNY – The Milwaukee, Wisconsin heavyweight died October 20, 2017 at the age of 73. He was born Reynold Denny in the same city on August 22, 1944 and fought professionally from 1967-1971 compiling a record of 1-5-2 (KO 0/KO by 3). He most notable opponents were Larry Beilfuss, Frank Schram and Charley Singleton BoxRec

ENRIQUE OROZCO – The former Merida, Yucatán, Mexico NABF flyweight champion died October 18, 2017 at the age of 43. He was born Daniel Enrique Orozco Herrera in the same city on June 13, 1947 and fought professionally from 1989-2012, He was inactive from 1998-2011. During his career he defeated such fighters as Rafael Orozco, Ismael Rodriguez, Raul Rios, Agustin Lorenzo, Joselino Gonzalez, Martin Perez, Ruben Padilla, Arturo Estrada, Pablo Tiznado, Luis Enrique Adame, and Oscar Arciniega. He also fought such fighters as Mark Johnson,  Adan Vargas, Miguel Martinez, Raul Rios and Ladislao Vazquez. He finished with a career record of 35-5-1 (KO 28/KO by 4). BoxRec

 WALTER CEVOLI – The former Italian Light Heavyweight Champion from Rimini, Emilia Romagna, Italy died October 16, 2017 at age 53. He was born in the same city On May 25, 1958 and fought professionally from 1980-1985. During his career he defeated such fighters as Avenamar Peralta, Gennaro Mauriello (going 1-2), Jerry Halstead, Cosimo Funto, Eric Kopec, Luciano Di Giacomo, Gino Freo and Vedat Akova. He finished with a record of 29-3-1 (KO 12/KO by 0). BoxRec

SERGIO LUCIANO DE OLIVEIRA -The former Brazilian light middleweight champion died October 15, 2017 at the age of 47. De Oliveira whose alias was Jofrinho was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil on February 2, 1970 and fought professionally from 1994-2006 (inactive 2000, 2002-2005). He finished with a career record of 13-5-0-1 (KO 5/KO by 3). BoxRec  

LEONARDO PAREDES  – The former Panamanian light flyweight champion died October 14, 2017 at the age of 62. Peredes was born in Panama on May 7, 1955 and fought professionally from 1980-1990, compiling a record of 10-18-2 (KO 3/KO by 7). During his career he fought such fighters as Leo Gamez, Fidel Bassa, Francisco Tejedor and Robinson Cuesta. BoxRec

AZAEL SANTOS  – The Ponuga, Veraguas, Panama Featherweight died October 12, 2017 at the age of 49. He was born in the same city on December 3, 1967 and fought professionally from 1989-1993. He finished with a career record of 6-3-2 (KO 3/KO by 3). BoxRec

KOKKIE OLIVIER – Former South African lightweight champion Kokkie Olivier, who fought as a professional from 1968 to 1977, died in Boksburg recently. He was 69. Born Jacobus Andries Olivier on 18 April, 1948, he was a promising amateur and won the lightweight class at the 1966 South African championships. He made his pro debut on 19 February, 1968 with a first round stoppage win over Willie Gerber, who fought under the name of Frankie Bettz. Trained by Alan Toweel Snr, Kokkie was a rugged, rough and tough come-forward fighter, and he won his next 12 fights before winning the vacant South African lightweight title with a points victory over Henry Brooks on 30 April, 1970 in Cape Town. He made a successful defence of the title in a rematch with Brooks before losing the title to Andries Steyn on 8 May, 1971. Kokkie had three fights with Steyn, one of the finest boxers produced in South Africa. Even though he lost all three fights to Steyn, he made him work hard for victory on each occasion. Known for his body punching, Olivier beat local rivals like Harry Barbaries, Jimmy Carroll, Chris du Plessis and Dirk van der Westhuizen. Fighting mostly under the banner of the Toweel family’s Springbok Promotions, he also beat quality overseas fighters like Tony Riley, Willie Reilly, Giacomo Gulino, George O’Neill, Roger Zami, and lost on points to future world lightweight champion southpaw Jim Watt. He finished with a record of 36-10-3-1nc (KO 11/KO by 1). Ron Jackson, Fightnews

TERRY DOWNES – The former world middleweight champion passed away of bladder cancer on October 6, 2017 at the age of 81. The Londoner’s nickname was “Dashing, Bashing, Crashing” – and no one would ever sue Downes under the Trades Descriptions Act. With his aggressive hard-hitting style, the Paddington battler thrilled crowds in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His rough and ready, blunt-talking Cockney persona also earned him followers at a time when television was just taking off. Two years in the US Marines had toughened him up and early setbacks – he lost to future two-weight world champ Dick Tiger in a 1957 prelim – merely delayed Downes’ rise to the top, which culminated in a trilogy with Paul Pender. Terry lost the first encounter in Pender’s Boston backyard on cuts (seven rounds) in January 1961. But he would get revenge six months later in London. “The Paddington Express” didn’t have it easy though, and even in the build-up to his famous victory his notorious nose – which he labelled “My bleedin’ hooter” – threatened to scupper his triumph. “Just my luck,” Downes would explain many years later, “on the very last day of sparring, about four days before the fight, I cracked heads in a clinch with [sparring partner] Wally Swift and tore the skin off my nose!” Downes put a patch on the injury and faced the press; “I told them I’d been given a special prescription to keep on my nose for a few days because it hardened the skin. It was some special jollop made up in Harvey Street at a pound an ounce, I told them… “Luckily, come fight time, we managed to clean up the skin and powder the ol’ nose like a pansy.” The hooter survived and Downes, with skill and an unbreakable will to win, snatched the title in nine rounds when Pender retired on his stool. Back in Boston, he would lose their final fight – and the championship – on points in April 1962. Five months later at Wembley’s Empire Pool, he clashed with another former world champion, the fading Sugar Ray Robinson. Downes took the verdict after 10 rounds. Afterwards he said, “I didn’t beat Sugar Ray. I beat his ghost.”  Downes – an underrated fighter in his day – went very close to a world title at light-heavy, troubling Willie Pastrano in 1964 before suffering an 11th-round stoppage. The loss took his record to 35-9 (28).  Terry, a savvy operator, retired following that defeat at the age of just 28 to concentrate on his investments in high street betting shops. “I never thought of making a comeback,” he told The Independent’s Alan Hubbard in 2011. “That was as good as I could do. When you’ve been on top of the mountain, the only way is down.” In later years – when he also found time for a 25-year acting career – he could always be relied upon for an acerbic take on the latest boxing action. Downes remained immensely popular figure in boxing circles, and in 2011 referee and former fighter Bob Williams – alongside several others – campaigned for Downes to be knighted following the 50-year anniversary of winning the world title. After some tremendous work by the campaign team, Downes was awarded the BEM the following year. Brilliant trainer Howard Rainey said of Downes during the campaign: “I spent some time with Terry Downes in the 80s, just one lovely man. He would help any worthy cause, and must have raised thousands for charity. “I will always remember a weekend away with him in the Lakes, for charity. We were going up the M6 and we stopped at a services. As we were going for a drink we were stopped by a guy from the AA who said, ‘Terry Downes, you gave me a lot of pleasure watching you fight.’ To which Terry replied, ‘You have given me a lot of pleasure too, when I’ve been broken down on the motorway and been sat there in the p*****g rain waiting for you.’ The look on the AA guy’s face was a classic.” The final paragraph of Downes’ 1989 autobiography – My Bleeding Business – perhaps says it best. “I’ve lived the life I wanted, been blessed with a good family, done all the things I ever dreamed of, from birds to booze. I haven’t got a lot of money but I haven’t got to go out and get any. I’m too old to alter. Accept me as I am.” Terry Downes, one of a kind, is already sorely missed. Matt Christie and Daniel Herbert, Boxing News

TONY HUGHES -The 1950s-60s Cleveland, Ohio heavyweight died October 5, 2017 at the age of 82. He was born Anthony J. Hughes on May 17, 1935 and fought professionally from 1956-1963, compiling a record of 26-4-0 (KO 10/KO by 3). Hughes won his first 24 fights before dropping his first fight to Alonzo Johnson by a split decision at the Civic Center in Pittsburgh on December 8, 1961. During his career he defeated such fighters as Bill Nielsen, Jackie Richards, Claude Chapman, Rodolfo Diaz, Herb Siler and Bob Biehler. Besides Alonzo Johnson he also fought such fighters as Henry Cooper, Bob Cleroux and Franco DePiccoli. BoxRec

KEITH HENDRYX – BoxRec reports that the Battle Creek, Michigan Cruiserweight died of injuries sustained in a car accident on October 1, 2017 at the age of 41. He was born Keith Levern Hendryx in Jackson, Michigan on January 21, 1976 and fought professionally from 2004-2007, compiling a record of 2-3-0 (KO 2/KO by 3). BoxRec

JOEL BISHOP –  BoxRec reports that Cruiserweight Joel Bishop of Clinton, Maine died October 1, 2017 at the age of 31. He was born in Skowhegan, Maine on April 11, 1986. Known as the “The Baby Bull” he fought professionally from 2014-2016 and compiled a record of 0-0-2. No further details available. BoxRec

JOSE PEYRE  – The Charleroi, Hainaut, Belgium heavyweight died September 25, 2017 at age 84. He was born Josef Perkovic in the same city on March 26, 1933 and fought professionally from 1953-1970, compiling a record of 21-25-1 (KO 10/KO by 13). During his career he defeated such fighters as Jean Serres, Maurice Robensyn, Hennie Quentemeijer, Alain Cherville (1-2), Al Bernard, Willi Fanzlau, Al Bernard, and Jean-Paul Schiller. He also fought such fighters as Brian London, Erich Schoppner, Werner Wiegand, Pat Stapleton, Plinio Scarabellin, Gerhard Zech, Giacomo Bozzano, Billy Walker, Thoerner Ahsman, Ivan Prebeg, Jose Manuel Urtain, Paul Roux, Lion Ven, Bernard Thebault and Jan Lubbers. BoxRec     

SINETHEMBA MAGIBISELA – A day after chalking up a points win over six rounds against Mbulelo Nxazonke in Willowvale in the Eastern Cape‚ light flyweight Sinethemba Magibisela was stabbed to death in his hometown of King Williams Town on September 24, 2017. Matchmaker Luyanda Kana broke the news to TimesLIVE and said the 30-year-old Magibisela was with his friends at the time of the attack. “Then as he was walking back home‚ he was attacked and stabbed. He died on the spot‚” Kana said. He turned professional on July 6, 2008 and fought such fighters as Vuyani Kheswa (D 8), Jetly Purisima (W PTS 10), and Nkosinathi Joyi (L TKO 5). The win on September 23rd brought his career record to 10-7-2 (KO 1/KO by 2). TimesLive

MARIO MOLO – The former Panama City, Panama featherweight died September 21, 2017 at the age of 70. He was born Mario Felix Molo Gomez in the same city on August 18, 1947 and fought professionally from 1965-1975, compiling a record of 16-15-5 (KO 7/KO by 7). The biggest win of his career occurred on March 26, 1971 when he defeated Bernardo Caraballo on points in Barranquilla, Columbia. Caraballo exacted revenge on Molo by fifth round kayo in their return bout in Barranquilla, Columbia on January 28, 1972. During his career he also fought such fighters as Ernesto Marcel, Ramiro Bolanos, Jose Isaac Marin and Miguel Riasco. BoxRec

JAKE LaMOTTA – the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” for which Robert De Niro won an Academy Award, died on September 19, 2017. He was 95. LaMotta died at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia, according to fiancee Denise Baker. “Rest in Peace, Champ,” De Niro said in a statement. The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts, in a career that began in 1941 and ended in 1954. LaMotta fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson the first defeat of his career and losing the middleweight title to him in a storied match. In the fight before he lost the title, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly on all three scorecards, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left in the fight. LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before the Kefauver Committee, a U.S. Senate committee investigating organized crime in 1960. “I purposely lost a fight to Billy Fox because they promised me that I would get a shot to fight for the title if I did,” LaMotta said in 1970 interview printed in Peter Heller’s 1973 book “In This Corner: 40 World Champions Tell Their Stories.” LaMotta was “stopped” by Fox in the fourth round on Nov. 14, 1947, in Madison Square Garden. He didn’t get a title shot until 10 fights later. On June 16, 1949, in Detroit, he became middleweight champion when the Frenchman Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round. Of the claim that Cerdan had to quit because of a shoulder injury, LaMotta said in 1970: “Something’s bound to happen to you in a tough fight, cut eye, broken nose or broken hand or something like that. So you could make excuses out of anything, you know, but you got to keep on going if you’re a champ or you’re a contender.” Renowned for his strong chin, and the punishment he could take, and dish out, LaMotta was knocked down only once — in a 1952 loss to light-heavyweight Danny Nardico — in his 106 fights. LaMotta’s first defense was supposed to be a rematch with Cerdan, but the Frenchman was killed when a plane en route to the United States crashed in the Azores in 1949. So in his first defense, LaMotta outpointed Tiberio Mitri on July 12, 1950, in New York, then on Sept. 13, he rallied to knock out Dauthuille at Detroit. LaMotta’s title reign ended on Feb. 14, 1951, when Robinson stopped him in the 13th round in Chicago. In a fight that became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, LaMotta gave as good as he got in the early rounds, then took tremendous punishment. He would not go down. In their second match, on Feb. 5, 1943, in New York, LaMotta won a 10-round decision, giving Robinson his first defeat in the 41st fight of his illustrious career. LaMotta was born July 10, 1922, on New York City’s Lower East Side but was raised in the Bronx. After retiring from boxing in 1954, he owned a nightclub for a time in Miami, then dabbled in show business and commercials. He also made personal appearances and for a while in the 1970s he was a host at a topless nightclub in New York. The 1980 film “Raging Bull,” based on LaMotta’s memoir written 10 years earlier, was nominated for eight Academy Awards. Though director Martin Scorsese was passed over, De Niro, who gained 50 pounds to portray the older, heavier LaMotta, won the best actor award. In 1998, LaMotta, who had four daughters, lost both of his sons. Jake LaMotta Jr., 51, to cancer and Joe LaMotta, 49, was killed in a plane crash off Nova Scotia. LaMotta was inducted into The Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1985; the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1986; and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Associated Press

ALBERTO MORA – The Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico featherweight died on September 15, 2017 after being shot in the head on September 11th. He was 22. He was born Alberto Mora Zúniga in Mexico City, Mexico on October 14, 1994 and fought professionally from 2012-2017. His only stoppage loss was to former IBF super featherweight titlist Gervonta Davis in Atlanta City, New Jersey on May 22, 2015. His last fight occurred on August 22, 2017, where he lost a six round decision to Ahmed Majed Mahmood, which brought his career record to 12-8-0 (KO 6/KO by 1). Robert Padilla, BoxRec

DAVID BEY – The former heavyweight contender was killed on September 13, 2017 in an industrial accident at the Camden Towers when he was reportedly hit by a steel sheet Pyle. He was working as a Pyle driver with Local Carpenters’ 179 in Camden, New Jersey. Bey is perhaps best remembered by boxing fans for his 1985 IBF world title fight against Larry Holmes. Holmes beat the then-undefeated Bey by way of tenth round TKO. But many boxing fans nonetheless remembered the gritty performance from Bey, who rocked Holmes in the second round. Holmes was later quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying Bey “got my attention” in the second round of the fight. But Bey’s legacy in boxing went beyond the fight with Holmes. Bey’s career would ultimately mimic another famous, albeit fictional, Philadelphia boxer. Having been brought in as the sacrificial lamb in his professional debut in 1981 Bey stunned the boxing world when he knocked out an undefeated prospect with a 5-0 record from Columbus, Ohio in the second round. That fighter’s name was James “Buster” Douglas. After stopping Douglas, Bey would go on to string together another twelve wins before he was again brought in as an “opponent”, this time against another future world champion named Greg Page in August of 1984. Bey would score a stunning upset over Page, winning the USBA heavyweight title by way of twelve round decision. Bey also earned the admiration of boxing fans the world over when he declined a $750,000 offer to fight then WBA champion Gerrie Coetzee in 1985. The offer came with an important caveat: Bey would have to fight Coetzee in the champion’s home country of South Africa. At the time South Africa was ruled by a pro-apartheid regime and Bey, worried that fighting Coetzee in South Africa would give the apartheid regime legitimacy, refused the offer. Bey would ultimately fight six heavyweight champions in his career as well as an undefeated Olympic gold medalist named Tyrell Biggs. His final fight was a TKO over Dave Jaco in 1994, which brought his professional career to a close with a record of 18-11-1 (KO 14/KO by 6). He was 60-years old. David Finger, Fightnews

DAVE CLARK – Dave Clark passed away on September 1, 2017, at the age of 85. He was a boxing teacher, trainer and youth development professional of the highest ranking. Dave was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. Among many of the world-ranked professionals he worked with are James Warring, Uriah Grant, Robert Daniels, Freddie Pendleton and Jose Ribalta. Don Cogswell











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