Duran In His Prime

Duran In His Prime

Miami, FL– To be called “one of greatest in your sport” is the best compliment you give an athlete. That being said, here are a list of past Hispanic boxers that not only were great, but dominated their weight class and some of there accomplishments in the ring have not yet been equaled. These men were considered heroes, they fought with such pride for their people that most have been immortalized in their homeland. We might not all agree in the order I put forth here, but we can all say this group was beyond great.

1) Panama’s Roberto “Manos De Piedra” Duran (104-16-69 KOs) fought from1967-2001, held titles 135 lbs,147, 154 and 160. His career expanded over three decades. Duran was the first Hispanic to win four titles, considered by some the best lightweight (135) ever. “Hands of Stone” held the title for seven years and defended the title 12 times 11 by K.O, only two men have held it longer Benny Leonard (85-5-1-12, 69 KOs), ,Joe Brown (104-44-13-1, 47 KOs). Biggest moment was UD 15 over the then over unbeaten “Sugar Ray” Leonard (36-3-1, 25 KOs) Low point was probably the “No Mas” second fight with Leonard.

2) Julio Cesar Chavez of Mexico (103-5-2, 86 KOs) was a three division times world champion 130, 135, 140. JC fought for over 20 years and against the some of the best. He unified at 135 & 140 and had a run as champion with a record that still stands 27 title defenses and holds the longest undefeated run with 90 fights. Highlight was the TKO 12 over Meldrick Taylor. Low point was his “quit job” against Frankie Randall.

3) Nicaragua’s Alexis Arguello (77-8, 62 KOs) fought from 1968 to 1995, held titles at 126, 130 & 135. This triple champion was the first man to try and win titles in four weight divisions, coming up short against Aaron Pryor (39-1, 35 KOs) in the famous fight when Panama Lewis said, “Give me the special bottle, the one I mixed.” Ring magazine lists his fight with Alfredo Escalera as #31 of the 100 of most brutal battles ever. Biggest moment, KO 13 of another great in Mexico’s Ruben Olivares (88-13-3, 78 KOs) Low point was his 1995 comeback.

4) Eder Jofre; Brazil (l 72-2-4,50kos) fought 1957-1976. He went undefeated for 53 fight and dominated the bantamweight division from 1961-1965. Only 2 lost were to the same man Fighting Harada both by decision. Biggest fight K.O in 4 to another great Vicente Saldivar (38-3,27kos)

5) Salvador Sanchez of México (41-1-1, 32 KOs) fought from 1975-1982 and held the WBC featherweight 126 lb. title. Because of his untimely death we will never get to know hoe great he would have been. Biggest fight when he destroyed the seemingly unbeatable Wilfredo Gomez via TKO 8. ;

6) Wifredo” Bazooka” Gomez of Puerto Rico (44-3-1,42 KOs) fought 1974-1989. Another triple champion 122, 126 & 130. He KO’d all of his opponents except for two in Juan Laporte (40-17, 22 KOs) and a hotly disputed (robbery) win over Rocky Lockridge (44-9, 36 KOs). He held the 122 lb. title and defended it 17 times all by KO, a record that still stand today. His won his first 32 fights all by KO make it the fourth longest streak of all time. Biggest fight, KO 5 over the great Carlos Zarate (61-4, 58 KOs)

7) Carlos Monzon of Argentina (87-3-9-1,59kos) fought 1963-1977 held the middleweight belt and made 14 successful defenses a record that stood until 2002. He was undefeated in his last 81 fights of his career. Major fight KO’d in 12 Hall of Famer Nino Benvenuti (82-7-1,35 KOs)

8) Manuel Ortiz was Mexican-American (96-28-3-49 KOs) Fought from 1938 to 1955. Considered by many as one of the best bantamweights in history seeing he made 15 successful defenses and was KO’d only once in 127 battles. Biggest fight was a 15 round win over Harold Dade (39-6-9,31 KOs)

9) Puerto Rican Felix “Tito” Trinidad was 41-1, 34 KOs, fought from 1990 to 2002. A three division champion 147, 154, 160, another pick people may not agree with. Has the longest title reign at 147 and defeated the best at the weight. I think at 147 or 154, Tito was unbeatable over past or present fighters. Biggest moment 12 KO of Fernando Vargas (26-5, 22 KOs)

10) Alfonso Teofilo Brown A.K.A “Panama Al” Brown (123-19-11, 58 KOs). Panama fought from 1922 to 1942 and was the bantamweight champion for six years. In June of 1929, Brown became the first Hispanic to hold a world title and was regarded as an international star. Biggest moment was his win in 15 over Pete Sansol (96-6-8, 27 KOs).


Who do you think I left out that should be here?

Manny Caballero


  • As I revisit this issue over a year later, I’d replace Panama Al Brown with Carlos Zarate.

  • Alexander Villagran

    Remove Tito Trinidad, Manuel Ortiz and Al Panama Brown; insert Ricardo Lopez, Carlos Ortiz and Ruben Olivares; Carlos Monzon should be either #3 or #4.

  • As a panamanian, I’m proud that my country boasts the first (Panama Al Brown) and greatest (Roberto Duran) hispanic champions in boxing history. That said, I would replace Mr. Caballero’s 10th. ranked Brown with Wilfred Benitez, who once defeated Duran, and move-up Carlos Monzon from the 7th. to the 4th. spot after Duran, Chavez and Arguello.

  • A very good list….although an argument could be made for Miguel Canto, Wilfred Benitez and Eusebio Pedroza, among others. And I’m shocked that Carlos Zarate isn’t on this list.

  • Jesustheprophet

    A blind man could see that Oscar if not for lack of “Cojones” would have KO Tito
    Trinidad. And this is coming from one of Tito biggest fans. Look I bet on Tito that night and collected my winnings. Tito was giveng the fight for simply having more “cojones”.

    Oscar was a great talent that never materialized. He had a chin, great boxing ability, skill and a great lefthook. He lacked toughness and partied too much. And in the latter part of his career trained too little.

  • Felix Trinidad should NOT be on that list, he got a gift decision over Oscar Delahoya and that is his claim to fame, Tinidad was hammered by Winky`Wright, Hopkins and old Roy Jones and in his prime he beat very little of worth he is a vastly over rated fighter


  • But, yeah, tito’s fight with ferocious is one of my favorate knockouts….feint right cross, done with left hook…(if I remember correctly!)…and that might of just been a knock down…

  • I agree that dela beat trinidad…it wasn’t much of a fight, even in first half not much happened…but dela got off better and 2nd half was nothing at all…so, basically, dela shut tito down…

  • I’m a fan of Chavez but don’t believe he would have beaten Duran at lw. Duran was dynamic as a lw. Chavez would have all he could handle with say a Beau Jack. Ike Williams of the same era would have been another tuff out for Chavez much less any of the all time elite lightweights. Chavez was great though.

  • The Mad Scientist

    where is Barrera/Morales/Marquez on that list..noway should Trinidad be ranked higher than these 3..Finito Lopez is a must.

  • You Left José Angel “Mantequilla” Nápoles out. He could have handled Julio Cesar Chavez and Alexis Arguello at 140 lbs. El Cuban-Mexican belongs i9n the to 10.

  • Chavez was fighting cab drivers until meeting Mayweather and Taylor.

  • My Top Ten Hispanics: 1 – Duran ( Just look at is entire body of work unbeatable as lightweight .2 Eder Jofre,could punch or box depending on who he was fighting. Always in control). 3- Ricardo Lopez, near perfect fighting machine record speaks for itself. Being only 105 pounds kept from being givin credit he deserves. 4- Carlos Monzon superb fighter, unbeaten his last 12 years as a pro. took time disecting oponents over 15 round distance. 5- Napoles – A pleasure to watch smooth as butter with one punch KO power in either hand. 6- Arguello , dominate in 3 seperate weight classes, cheated out of 4 the title. Kid Gavilan, great instincts, Never KOd or TKO d in over 125 pro fights, gave Sugar Ray fits. 7- Zarate, tremendous puncher never lost as a bantemweight has KO percentage record. 8 – Carlos Ortiz longtime champion beat many hall of famers when it meant something to be in Hall of Fame. 9- W. Gomez- Pleasure to watch great boxing and punching skills made it look so easy, 10- Salvador Sanchez, complete fighter, super tough, never tired , smart fighter, could adapt to any style, would methodically break down oponents. Heartbeat returned to normal with one minute rest .

  • GREAT list of fighters ,but I agree with some of the other readers Benitez [my favourite fighter of all time ]should be on the list.

  • Jesustheprophet

    There is no way in hello Chavez is not to three. Finito Lopez was the better technical, but Chavez was the better all around and more accomplished.

    Chavez destroyed the careers of Edwin Rosario and Hector Macho Camacho. These 2 were done after Chavez punished them senseless.

    Wilfred Benitez to me is one of the greatest Puerto Rican fighters, along with Wilfredo Gomez.

    Tito and Cotto were hyped. Tito still better than Cotto.

    Mexican fighters in general are better than Puerto Ricans.

    Cuban fighters are slick and fast and some of the best in History. Cuban fighters are African American really and Dominican fighters too.

  • The writer clearly didn´t do his entire homework there are many fighters that he just didn´t think about or just forgot or his knowledge about boxing it´s that large and that´s okay alright just because he writes about boxing doesn´t mean that he knows about boxing, just look at Steve Kim, he knows all the names, the dates, the details and writes good but does not know real boxing. The only person that I agree in all of the comments that are clearly far better that the writes himself is the last one from Irg Chavez is and will be the best.

  • lets face it,,, hispanics as one,,, the list of fighters would go on and on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • joel u gotta be crazy and puerto rican to say sal sanchez is not an all time great!!!!!!!!!!!! he whooped gomez and azuma and many other fighter. remember those wr the times wr u had to fight everyone! no ifs ands or buts. my list…….chavez, trinidad,sanchez,duran,lopez (not juanma) lol gomez,wilfredo vazquez,morales and marco antonio b

  • I was a huge Duran fan and have to agree with Caballero’s placement on this list. In his prime he was a relentless boxer/puncher who could overwhelm you with a fierce continuous attack from every angle. In addition to being able to take a great punch. Ray Arcel fine tune those abilities to make him a greater, smarter fighter still. He is not only one of the greatest hispanic fighters but one of the greatest fighters ever. He was at his best as a lightweight because, although still great, once he went up in weight was giving many advantages to other fighters in their natural weight (ex. height, strenght, ability to take a bigger punch, etc.). Used to gain a lot of weight in between fights. Also he skipped the Jr Welter division. Otherwise he would’ve won five titles. I wouldn’t have placed Sanchez above Wilfredo Gomez, the greatest 122 lbs ever, 17 title defenses all by knockout a record that still stands today. In a 122 lbs Gomez was an unbeatable monster with his great boxing skills and power punching, however he couldn’t handle going up in weight a mere four lbs. and became an average fighter at those weight divisions. There are many fighters that can’t handle going up in weight and become more vulnerable to naturally bigger fighters. Not everyone is a Manny Pacquiao. However, I don’t feel that being able to go up in weight is what makes you a greater fighter, but fighting at your natural weight in your prime and beating the best fighters in that division. When Sanchez beat Gomez, the latter was going up in weight for Sanchez’s title and couldn’t handle the power of a bigger man. Although. Gomez connected some big punches after that first round knockdown, Sanchez hardly noticed them. Gomez’s carefree lifestyle didn’t help either. Have to agree with Joel, Gomez accomplishments were far greater than Sanchez’s. However, I don’t agree with him on the comment that De La Hoya dominated Tito. He was throwing a lot of punches and although it look pretty doing it, he wasn’t connecting. I saw the fight for Tito by one point, could’ve been a draw, though. Loved Arguello, RIP. Went to a heavier weight division too many and lost to another monster hall of famer in Aaron Pryor. Although he connected some big bombs that would’ve knockout most mortals, Pryor was able to take them and continue with his own relentless attack eventually overpowering and knocking out Arguello. I sometimes think what would the outcome be had Pryor fought Arguellp at 135 lbs. Benitez needed to be in that top ten. One of the greatest pure boxers ever.

  • chavez is number one for the simple fact that he showed no weakness in his prime duran lost in his prime he was dropped by esteban de jesus an beaten chavez didnt loose till after his 30’s after he was addicted to drugs hqd very underated defense always had head movement that made guys miss had the most complete punch arsenal and had great technique made it look like art work the way he punched the chavez that beat rosario would of beat any lightweight in history if de jesus can drop duran chavez would of broke him down

  • What about California’s Latin fighters: Bobby Chacon?, Carlos Palomino and Armando Muniz and there epic bout that went 15 rds?

  • Ricardo”Finito”Lopez was good beyond belief. He used to fight on DKP undercards and he would awe everyone with his awesome talent. He was a truly great finisher. Probaply the best of the best. Great effort on the list because there are some many to consider and it is impossible to avoid some backlash.

  • Bazooka Limon, Daniel Zaragoza, Humberto ‘Chiquita’ Gonzalez, Jose Napoles, Marco Antonio Barrera among others should figure in there. (Eder Jofre fought mostly tin cans, Rio taxi drivers, stiffs, bums and nobodies, but fans liked him)

  • the mighty, NOT, Oscar is not in the same league with Gavilan and Napoles. Please, there are some guys who read this website that know something about the history of boxing. All the fighters you rated are from the last 40 years.

  • you forgot the GREAT Kid Gavilan and Kid Chocolate. Gavilan ranks higher than all but Duran on your list. He went 25 rounds with the great Ray Robinson and each fight was close. Watch tapes of him. He was amazing. Duran at welterweight does not beat him. No doubt in my mind.

  • Hector Duarte Jr.

    Where is Ruben Olivares? The man ranks ahead of Salvador Sanchez, hands down! Even Vicente Saldivar ranks ahead of Sanchez at featherweight!

  • Jose Napoles should be no less than #3 on your list. He would have destroyed Tito Trinidad for lunch and had Oscar DLH for desert.

  • How can the 1st Hispanic World Champion only be ranked number 10? Shouldn’t that accomplishment make him closer to the number one spot?

  • Ricardo Lopez was the best of all!!!! And 1 thing he retired unbeaten how many on that list boast over fifty wins and no losses??? And he beat very good opposition. We just didn’t know them because the majority in those weights are Asians. He had great power great technique and tons of heart!!!! Look at his fights with Alvarez when he was already slipping he overcame adversity. That’s a bad dude

  • Alberto, I understand why you would laugh. But I tried to put aside my dislike for DelaHoya and make a decision based on what I saw. (I dont mean the washed up chavez getting beaten by Delahoya), rather how would each fair in their absolute prime. Great record by Chavez but his kid Chavez Jr. also has a great record. I graded on quality of opposition rather than length of time being undefeated. I had no doubt most of you would disagree but I worshipped the great Chavez too. Just feel in his prime, Delaphoney had too many weapons.

  • You have come up with a great list,although i believe “the bible of boxing”Wilfredo benitez should had made the list,he fought on a era where there was a lot of great fighters and he did do well,so did chiquita gonzales. “QUE VIVA MI GENTE”

  • Benitez always get forgoten he beat the migthy Pambele as a 17 year old kid , lost to the Great Leonard who always said nobody made him miss as many punches as Benitez, beat Duran easy and lost a decision to power punching Hearns, I belive his record in this fight show he was better than Duran, although Duran achivements where far more. Finito was more complete than Chavez, so was Arguello who lost to Pryor may be the best 140 ever in two really great fights, and I agree with the comment about Sanchez his carrer was too short the win over Gomez was awesome but Nelson was too green, and even Gomez was deteriorating with hi lifestyle.

  • Joel rated Oscar De La Hoya higher than JC Chavez… HAHAHA…that is too funny…I can’t even think of anything to say but laugh…

  • 1. Roberto Duran, agreed for all the stated reasons (despite the fact that he was vulnerable to slicksters).

    2. Ricardo (finito) Lopez. A reporter once asked Chavez what its like being Mexicos greatest fighter and he responded, “I’m not, he is” while pointing to Lopez who was seated nearby. Even the great ones are self aware when completely honest.

    3. Wilfredo Gomez. Though he lost to Salavador Sanchez, I picked the overall accomplishments rather than the loss. Sanchez built his rep on a green Azumah Nelson and Gomez. Calling Sanchez an all time great is like saying Edwin Valero and his perfect knockout record is as well. Dont think so. Sanchez could have been had he lived, but the legend has far surpassed the reality of his accomplishments.

    4. Delahoya. Yes, as much as I dont like the pretty…uh I mean golden boy, he can, or rather could fight. Took on any and all comers in his prime and past it. Dominated Tito and if not for bad corner advice telling him to dance, would have, and frankly, still did win despite the verdict.

    5. Alexis Arguello. The explosive thin man was truly a master in the ring. Had his flaws, but that right hand made up for mistakes when you least expected it.

    6. JC Chavez. Strengh and determination often resulted in him breaking the will of his opponent…that plus a wicked left to the ribs.

    7.Eusebio Pedroza. Has the honor of watching this figher as a kid and never saw a boxer make it look so easy. Every move was perfected.

    8. Carlos Monzon. His accomplishments and quality of opposition speaks for itself.

    9. Reuben Olivarez. If not for his hard partying lifestyle could have been top 5.

    10. Marco Antonio Barrera. Exhibit A in how to become a complete fighter to extend your career. Went from slugger to boxer puncher with ease.

  • Well you left out the second latin world Champ 126-130lbs Kid Chocolate, Napoles, Pambele, Luis rodriguez and Gavilan, all of those fighters deserved to b there, that is why I’ll never try to make a list that short, and ranking fighters that way is very hard, Chavez was fighting bums right before he fought Martinez for the Belt, and Duran fought better opposition after he left the LW division, losing most of those fights, 1-2 leonard, 0-1 Benitez, 0-1 Hagler, 0-1 Hearns, 1-0 Palomino, 1-0 Cuevas, at LW the best he fought was Buchanan (controversial win) and De Jesus 2-1.

  • An impressive list Manny, kudos to you as you obviously did your homework. However, while I realize you can only list ten, I find it difficult to believe my favorite fighter of all-time Wilfred Benitez did not make the cut. (53-8-1, 31 KO’s) over a 17 year career, ‘El Radar’ (The Radar) was a three time/multi-division champion who defeated the number one fighter on your list Roberto Duran in their one and only meeting in ’82.

    While he did lose to both Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns, he went the virtual distance with both, losing by TKO against Leonard in the 15th and final round. Nicknamed ‘El Radar’ for his keen sense of dodging punches, he was arguably one of the greatest defensive/counter punching fighters of all-time. He also has the distinction of being the youngest world champion in boxing history winning the light welterweight title at an astonishing 17 years old.

    I’m sure others, including yourself, would agree he should have a place in your top ten. Great read; thanks.

  • Damn I miss Tito what a great run he had until he fought Hopkins I wish he would have stayed 154!

  • What about Jose Napoles?

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