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Former world champion Torres dies

Jose Torres (right) and Wayne Thornton
Torres defended his title against Wayne Thornton in 1966

Former light-heavyweight world champion Jose 'Chegui' Torres has died in his native Puerto Rico at the age of 72.

His widow, Ramonita Ortiz, said Torres died of a heart attack on Monday.

Torres won a silver at the 1956 Olympics and beat Willie Pastrano for the world light-heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden in 1965.

He made three title defences before losing to Dick Tiger in 1966. After his second defeat to Tiger, Torres fought twice more and retired in 1969.

Torres, who won 41 of 45 professional encounters, was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 1997.


He began fighting when he joined the US Army as a teenager and won his silver medal in Melbourne competing for the United States.

After retirement he became a representative of New York's Puerto Rican community, chaired the New York State Boxing Commission in the 1980s and served as supervisor for the World Boxing Organization.

He also wrote two biographies - Sting Like a Bee on Muhammad Ali and Fire and Fear on Mike Tyson.

"Puerto Rico has lost a great Puerto Rican, a very valiant person, who aside from being a great athlete, was a great human being," David Bernier, president of the US territory's Olympic committee, said.

The mayor of Ponce, on the island's southern coast, declared three days of mourning and ordered flags to be flown at half-mast.

see also
Boxing & Madison Square Garden
04 Nov 08 |  Boxing

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