Former light heavyweight world champion and Olypic silver medalist Jose Torres passed away last Monday in Ponce, Puerto Rico. His wife, Ramonita Ortiz said he died of a heart attack in their home in Poce.>
Looking back, Torres had won the light heavyweight title in 1965 by smashing then world champion Willie Pastrano at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
In retrospect, Torres who was more popularly known as “Chegui”, was able to make three title defenses in the span of hid professional career. He then lose a close decision to Dick Tiger in 1996 after which he retired. He was able to complete a record of 41-3-1, in which 29 were knockouts.
Ponce’s mayor declared a three-day mounting for the boxing star as well as ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.
As a teenager, Torres joined the U.S. Army where he started to learn the sport. He was able to win a silver medal in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics representing the United States. He retired in 1969 after which he became a representative of the Puerto Rican community in New York. He was also able to write two biographies entitled “Sting like a Bee” which was dedicated to Muhammad Ali and “Fire and Fear” which is on Mike Tyson.
U.S. Olympic committee president David Berner expressed his grief over the death of the famed boxer, “Puerto Rico has lost a great Puerto Rican, a very valiant person who aside from being a great athlete, was a great human being,” he said.
In 1997, Torres was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
He will be buried Thursday at his home place, Ponce.