By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer (contributed to “dmboxing” since 2008)
In the early 1970′s he was the hottest light heavyweight in the world. He would eventually garner three shots at recognition as champion. All three would travel the true champiomship distance of fifteen rounds. In all three Jorge would come up short.
Jorge turned pro in 1968 in his native Argentina. In his home country he would meet future champion Victor Galindez four times. Jorge would win one by decision. On three occasions he was stopped by the great Galindez. They would meet again.
He split a pair of fights with the highly respected Avenamer Peralta. He also drew with the highly regarded Raul Loyola. When he decided to invade the US in the summer of 1973 he sported a 31-5-1 record. Little did he know the impact he would make when he hit New York City.
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer / contributed to dmboxing.com since 2008
He was a two time world champion and a perennial contender for the featherweight title for more then a decade. In a fifteen year career he amassed 150 fights. He won 134 of them. At one point in his career he reeled off over 50 straight wins. Are these the credentials for a future Hall of fame inductee?
Born in Cuba in 1943, Legra turned pro in 1960. Although active, most of his early fights took place in Cuba and Mexico. He made his first appearance in Spain in 1963. It is there that he decided to live and ply his trade. He was tall, lean and very fast. He would befuddle his opponents with his grace and boxing skills. He would emerge as a serious threat for world honors.
In 1965 Legra took a big step up meeting future champion Howard Winstone of Wales. The vastly talented Winstone defeated young Jose over ten rounds. Legra would not lose again until 1969. Some 50+ bouts later. On his march to a title fight Legra would defeat the likes of Love Allotey, Rafiu King, Don Johnson, Yves Desmarets (for the EBU title) and Joe Tetteh. This led to a 1968 title shot against the newly crowned WBC featherweight titleholder, Howard Winstone. The rugged Winstone had failed no less then three times to dethrone the great Vincente Saldivar. All three were great battles. Finally when Saldivar retired Winstone was matched with Japan’s worthy Mitsunori Seki for the WBC version of the vacated crown. Winstone finally cashed in halting the game Seki in round nine. Now it was Legra’s turn. It was sweet revenge for Jose as he dropped Winstone twice in the first round and damaged Howard’s eye badly enough to force a stoppage in round five.
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer / Contributed to dmboxing.com since 2008
Who was the best 168 pound boxer since the inception of the weight class in 1984. Many will favor Joe Calzaghe because of his numerous title defenses. It would be hard not to say Leonard or Hearns as their classic battle at 168 lbs. ended in a controversial draw. Really neither boxer spent a lot of time in this weight class to make a major impact. Well for my money I feel the most formidable super middleweight titleholder was Roy Jones Jr. In the two years he held the crown he made six successful defenses, all by knockout.
Roy won the title by defeating unbeaten James Toney. This much anticipated Super Bout took place on November 18, 1994. Toney had won the title in 1993 with an impressive stoppage of Iran Barkley. Entering the Las Vegas ring to face Jones, Toney sported a 44-0-2 record. The fight wasn’t even close. Jones scored a flash knockdown over Toney in the third round. Roy then proceeded to walk off with the title by scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 117-111.
Book Review: By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer
BOOK REVIEW ; “BECOMING TAZ” BY JEFF BUMPUS. INTRODUCTION BY PHIL RICE
In 1984 a young 140 pound fighter from the Midwest entered the ranks of professional boxers with the dream of becoming a world champion. He was a straight forward, no nonsense southpaw who would throw punches from bell to bell. In a nutshell, he was a crowd pleaser. It was this style that earned him several appearances on the ESPN and USA cable boxing networks. His name is Jeff Bumpus and he carried the nickname “The Tazmanian Devil”. He would eventually learn that his dream would not become reality.
By Jim Amato (Senior Boxing Writer)
He came from a fighting family and by the time his boxing career ended in 1971 he was the most beloved British boxer of all time. Only once did he challenge for the world’s title but he dominated the British heavyweight scene for over fifteen years. His popularity soared even more after retirement and eventually the Queen of England knighted him. Sir Henry Cooper was more than just a British fighter. He was a fine example of what British boxing is all about.
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer
This is a fight that would have made sense if it was put together. Each boxer has ties to the state of Michigan. It probably didn’t happen because by the time Toney became a heavyweight, Moorer’s star had diminished due to his one round kayo loss to David Tua. A loss two years later to Eliseo Castillo pretty much took Moorer out of the elite class. Toney’s knockout of Evander Holyfield made him a major player in the division.
What if Moorer and Toney would have met at their heavyweight peaks ? Who would have come out on top. This could have been a very interesting battle. How would Toney have handled Moorer’s southpaw stance ? What about Moorer’s quick, hard and accurate right jab ? How would Moorer have dealt with Toney’s defensive wizardry and his pinpoint counter punching ability ?
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer
No doubt the most well known heavyweight to come out of Canada is George Chuvalo. For a while Lennox Lewis called it his home and Trevor Berbick made his mark but George is still #1 in Canada. Nevertheless there is a very overlooked heavyweight contender from the 1960’s who at one time was closing in on a world title shot. His name was Robert Cleroux. The fact is that “Big Bob” had a trilogy of bouts with Chuvalo for the Canadian heavyweight title. Cleroux won two of those contests.
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer / contributed to “dmboxing.com” since 2008
It is not fun growing old. I am a product of my past. A victim of my era so to speak. I constantly bump heads with the young fans of today. They glorify Hopkins, Manny, Mayweather and the Klitschko brothers. Even from a decade or so before it’s all about Holyfield, Whitaker and a guy named Mike Tyson. They are all great fighters in their own right. Then you can go back a little farther. Now we’re talking Holmes, Duran, Hagler, Leonard, Hearns, Pryor, Michael Spinks and Benitez. How about Julio Cesar Chavez, Edwin Rosario and the great Salvador Sanchez ? Some great names and outstanding fighters.
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer
I cut my teeth on the sport of boxing in the mid-1960. At that time the sport was just coming out of a somewhat dreary period of champions although talented, they lacked charisma.
It was Cassius Clay, later to be Muhammad Ali that energized the sport and opened the door for a group of boxers who in the late 1960’s and early 1970′s established themselves and that time as a truly ” Golden Era ” in boxing.
By Jim Amato (Senior Boxing Writer) contributed to “dmboxing” since 2008
When you think of Mexican fighters it is usually a tough little hombre like a Ruben Olivares, Vincente Saldivar or Julio Cesar Chavez. More often then not the better boxers from Mexico scaled under 160lbs. In an exception to the rule during the mid 1960’s to the early 70’s this country produced a pretty fair heavyweight. He fought two world champions and nine others that attempted to win the heavyweight crown. His name was Manuel Ramos. Although he lost almost as many as he won, the names on his resume are quite impressive.