Edwin "El Chapo" Rosario (March 15, 1963 – December 1, 1997) was a Puerto Rican boxer. He was the WBC world lightweight champion from 1983–84 and the WBA world champion in 1986–87 and again in 1989–90. After moving up to the junior welterweight class, he became a WBA world champion once more, holding the title from 1991 to 1992.
Early life and career
Chapo, as he was known in the world of boxing, was born in Barrio Candelaria, Toa Baja, an extremely poor barrio. Rosario's brother, Papo Rosario, was a professional boxer in the beginning of a promising career. His boxing manager and coach (trainer) was Eulalio "Lalo" Medina. Rosario was inspired by his brother, and had a stellar amateur boxing career.
Papo died unexpectedly, supposedly due to drugs, two years after his Rosario's move to professional boxing. Rosario persevered, wanting to honor his brother's memory by winning a world championship. He scored big knockout wins over Young Ezzard Charles and Edwin Viruet, the former in 3 rounds on the Holmes-Cooney undercard. He eventually gained a record of 21-0 with 20 knockouts. This led to talks of a title fight against world lightweight champion Alexis Argüello, to be held in Miami, but Argüello abandoned the division to challenge Aaron Pryor.
Rosario was then matched with Mexico's José Luis Ramírez on May 1, 1983. Rosario dominated the first 7 rounds, but tired down the stretch to make for a very close fight. The judges, as well as most of the public present, felt Rosario had done enough to win, and Rosario had become world lightweight champion by the unanimous score of 115-113 on all 3 judging cards. Rosario injured his hand during the fight and needed surgery, for which the World Boxing Council gave him a dispensation.
Rosario returned to the ring in 1984. In his first defense of the title, he faced Roberto Elizondo, who had lasted 7 rounds with Argüello in a previous world title challenge and was expected to give Rosario a tough challenge. However, Rosario knocked out Elizondo in a single round. Howard Davis Jr proved more of a challenge—he led Rosario on all scorecards with ten seconds remaining in the bout, but was dropped by Rosario and lost a split decision.
A rematch with Ramírez was scheduled, again in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on November 3, 1984. Rosario dropped Ramírez once in round one and again in the second, but Ramírez was well trained and got off the canvas to take Rosario's title away with a four round TKO. This was Rosario's first defeat, and he seemed to never fully recover.
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