Puerto Rican boxer Jose ‘Cheguí’ Torres dies at 72
Updated Monday, January 19th 2009, 5:55 PM
Jose “Cheguí” Torres sparing with Cleo Daniels in a training session before a fight in 1969
Hall of Fame boxer Jose “Chegui” Torres, the former light heavyweight champion and Olympic Silver Medalist who went on to become a newspaper columnist, author, boxing official and revered representative of the Puerto Rican community, died at his home in Puerto Rico early this morning of a massive heart attack. He was 72.
On March 30, 1965, Torres electrified the Latin American world when he defeated Willie Pastrano by a technical knockout at Madison Square Garden to become the first Hispanic light heavyweight champion.
Before the match, Torres exhibited his fierce pride in his Puerto Rican heritage when insisted he would not get in the ring unless Madison Square Garden officials agreed to play the island’s national anthem as well as the Star Spangled Banner. Garden officials agreed.