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Jose Napoles

Jose Napoles Profile Image
  • Nickname: Mantequilla
  • Date of Birth: 13th April 1940
  • Died: 16th August 2019 (79 years old)
  • Career length: 17 years 4 months
  • Status: Deceased
  • Nationality: Cuba Flag Cuba
  • Birthplace: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Flag Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
  • Residence: Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico Flag Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Division: Welterweight
  • Height: 172cm
  • Reach: 183cm
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • BoxRec: Jose Napoles
  • Debut: 2nd August 1958

Biography

José Ángel Nápoles, also known as "Mantequilla" (Butter), was a Cuban-born Mexican professional boxer who significantly impacted the welterweight division during the 1960s and 1970s. Born on April 13, 1940, Nápoles is widely regarded as one of the greatest welterweight boxers of all time and a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Nápoles began his professional boxing career in Cuba in 1958. Still, after the Cuban government banned professional boxing in 1961, he sought asylum in Mexico, where he continued his career and eventually became a Mexican citizen.

Throughout the 1960s, Nápoles built an impressive record, defeating notable opponents such as Eddie Perkins, Adolph Pruitt, and Emile Griffith. His success in the ring earned him a shot at the world welterweight title against Curtis Cokes in 1969. Nápoles emerged victorious, knocking out Cokes in the 13th round to claim the championship.

As the reigning welterweight champion, Nápoles defended his title numerous times, showcasing his exceptional skills and punching power. He suffered a setback in 1970 when he lost the title to Billy Backus, but he regained the championship in a rematch just a few months later.

Nápoles' reign as welterweight champion was marked by his dominance and ability to overcome challengers worldwide. He successfully defended his title against contenders such as Hedgemon Lewis, Ernie Lopez, and Armando Muniz, cementing his status as one of the best welterweights of his era.

In 1974, Nápoles made a bold move by challenging Carlos Monzón for the world middleweight title. Although he was defeated by Monzón, Nápoles' willingness to take on the best fighters in multiple weight classes demonstrated his competitive spirit and confidence in his abilities.

Nápoles' career ended in 1975 when he lost his welterweight title to John H. Stracey. After the defeat, Nápoles announced his retirement, leaving behind a remarkable legacy in boxing.

Over the course of his career, Nápoles compiled a record of 81 wins and seven losses, with 54 wins coming by knockout. His inclusion in the exclusive group of boxers who have won 50 or more fights by knockout is a testament to his extraordinary punching power.

Nápoles had a brief foray into acting outside the ring, co-starring alongside the famous Mexican wrestler El Santo in the 1974 film "Santo en la venganza de la Llorona."

José Ángel Nápoles' contributions to boxing were recognised with his induction into The Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1985 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. His technical skill, punching power, and longevity in the sport have earned him a place among the greatest welterweight boxers of all time.

Nápoles passed away on August 16, 2019, in Mexico City, at the age of 79. He left behind a legacy that continues to inspire boxers and fans around the world.