José Torres

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José ("Chegüi") Torres (May 3, 1936 – January 19, 2009), was a Puerto Rican professional boxer. As an amateur boxer, he won a silver medal in the junior middleweight at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. In 1965, he defeated Willie Pastrano to win the WBC and WBA light heavyweight championships. In 1997, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.


Amateur career

Born in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Torres began boxing when he joined the U.S. Army as a teenager (he was 18 years old).[1] His only amateur titles had come in Army and Inter-Service championships, several of which he had won. Torres was still in the Army when he won the Silver Medal in the light middleweight division at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, where he lost to László Papp of Hungary in the final.[2]

Torres trained at the Empire Sporting Club in New York City. He was the 1958 National AAU Middleweight Champion and also won the 1958 New York Golden Gloves 160 lb Open Championship.

Professional career

He debuted as a professional in 1958 with a first round knockout of George Hamilton in New York. Twelve wins in a row followed, ten of them by knockout (including wins over contenders Ike Jenkins and Al Andrews), after which he was able to make his San Juan debut against Benny Paret, a world welterweight and Middleweight champion whose death after a fight would later on become one of the turning points in the history of boxing. Torres and Paret fought to a ten round draw, and in 1960, Torres went back to campaigning in New York, where he scored three wins that year, all by decision, including two over Randy Sandy.

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