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Professional Cuban Boxers

These are basically my "notes" and not complete bios or details on the individual fighters. The list is not yet complete, but will grow steadily over time. - JA Sierra

Joel Casamayor

Born: July 12, 1971 in Guantánamo.

Defected just weeks before the 1996 Olympics

1992 Olympic Bantamweight Gold Medal

Eligio Sardiñas - aka Kid Chocolate

Kid Chocolate, Cuban boxer

Born: January 6, 1910 in El Cerro, Havana - Died: August 8, 1988

Achieved world titles in professional boxing in the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

Nicknamed: The Cuban Bon Bon - learned to fight from watching old fight films.

As amateur, won all 100 of his fights, 86 by knockout

December 8, 1927 - In Havana, has his professional boxing debut and defeats Johnny Cruz by a decision in six. He wins 21 pro bouts before heading to NY…

1928 - Moved to the US, NY, & won his first 9 bouts, 5 by KO, and 12 of his first 13 fights: 10-round draw to Joey Scalfaro.

August 5, 1928 - Kid Chocolate defeats b antamweight Eddie Enos.

August 29, 1928 - Kid Chocolate defeats the famous Al Singer.

1929 - 23 fights, undefeated, starts to become known… beats former world champion Fidel LaBarba and future world champion Al Singer (both by decision in 10).

1930 - Wins first 7 bouts, then…

August 7, 1930 - Loses a 10-round decision to Jr. Welterweight champion Jackie Kid Berg. He later loses in ten rounds to LaBarba and a 15 round decision to featherweight champion Battling Battalino.

1931 - Wins first 4 in a row after moving up to the Jr. Lightweight division.

July 15, 1931 - KC becomes Cuba's first world champion when he defeats defending Jr. Lightweight champion Benny Bass in 7 rounds by KO.

1932 - Wins first 8 bouts, including a title defense in Havana against Davie Abad.

July 15, 1932 - Kid Chocolate loses a decision in 15 to Jackie Kid Berg.

October 13, 1932 - Wins featherweight title by knocking out Lew Feldman in 12.

Pro record: 135 wins, 10 losses and 6 draws, (86 Kos)

Yanqui Diaz

Born: January 23, 1976 in Pinar Del Rio.

August 2004. Defeated Juan Carlos Gomez by KO in round one.

Ramon Garbey

Born: March 31, 1971.

Defected just weeks before the 1996 Olympics.

16-3 as a Pro in the heavyweight division.

Former light middleweight world champion

"He was one of the most talented fighters I had ever seen," said De Cubas. "But he couldn't concentrate and stay with his training. When these young men are exposed to freedom, it becomes difficult."

Kid Gavilan

Born: Gerardo Gonzalez, January 6 1926, in Havana

Lightweight | Pro record: 107-30-6 (28 KOs)

Lost welterweight title fight in 1949 to Sugar Ray Robinson. When Robinson moved up to middleweight, Gavilan took the title away from reigning champ Johnny Bratton in May 1951.

His title defense against Gil Turner drew a gate of $269,667. A record for that weight class.

Gavilan defended the title 7 times, losing to Johnny Saxton in what is remembered as "one of the worst decisions in boxing history." After the fight, 20 of the 22 ringside reporters gave the fight to Gavilan.

Gavilan is also credited with inventing the "bolo punch," a half hook, half uppercut developed by "years of cutting sugar cane with a machete."

From the book Pitching Around Fidel:"The mention of Gavilan, a superb postwar Cuban welterweight who, in the early 1990s, was found half-blind and mush-mouthed in a two-room Miami flat, makes me realize that some of the rumors about Teófilo's fogginess were wrong."

Juan Carlos Gomez

1990 - Junior World Champion

1995 - Defected / Never faced off against top-rated cruiserweight Vassily Jirov

1998 - WBC cruiserweight champion

36-0 / Based in Germany / Competes at heavyweight

HBO - defeated Germany's Sinan Samil Sam in ten rounds

Aug. 2004. Fighting "a bit heavy," loses to Cuban Yanqui Diaz in a 1st round KO

October 16, 2005. In Germany, wins decision over Oliver McCall.

Jorge Luis Gonzalez


He defeats Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe as amateurs…

1991 - Becomes "the first Cuban boxer of any magnitude" to defect when he seeks political asylum at a tournament in Finland. Luis De Cubas, a Cuban-American sports agent, brings him to the US.

As a pro, he wins his first 23 fights before losing to Bowe in the 6th round of WBO heavyweight title fight…

Dysbelis Hurtado

1994 - Hurtado defects at age 22 after the Cuban team compete in Connecticut and stops in Miami…

2002 - WBA Jr. Welterweight champion

Jose Legra

Born: April 19, 1943

Emigrates to Spain after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution

Often referred to as a "smaller version of Ali…"

2x featherweight championPro record: 133-12-4 (48 KOs)

Retires in 1973

Jose Angel "Mantequilla" Napoles

Born: April 13, 1940, in Santiago de Cuba.

1958 - Turns pro | Pro record: 77-7 (54 KOs)

1962 - Settles in Mexico.

Welterweight champion, 1969 & 1971, with 13 successful title defenses…

"one of the top lightweights and junior welterweights of the 1960s…"

April 18, 1969. At the Inglewood Forum (in California), gives champion Curtis Cokes "a beating" to claim the welterweight title. Other fighters in the class avoided him afterwards…

4th Cuban to hold the welterweight crown since WWII (Kid Gavilan, Benny Kid Paret, Luis Manuel Rodriquez)

1990. Added into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Ultimino "Sugar" Ramos

Born: December 2, 1941, Matanzas

Pro record: 55-8-3 (40 KOs)

Luis Manuel "El Feo" Rodriguez

Boxing Poster, Cuban boxers

Born: March 14, 1937 - Died: July 8, 1996

Welterweight | Pro record: 106-13-2 (49 KOs)

1956 - Turns pro in Cuba, and moves to the U.S.

Goes undefeated in 36 fights until he loses a split decision to Emile Griffith.

Rodriguez and Griffith fight a total of four times, and each fight is "razor close…"

It is said of Rodriguez that "he was so stylish that Muhammad Ali incorporated many of his moves into his repertoire," as both men trained at Miami's 5th Street Gym.

1963 - Wins the welterweight title in a unanimous decision over Emile Griffith.

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