Willie Classen 'Forgotten Warrior'
A New York Middleweight,,,,,,,the original 'Macho Man'
By the spring of 1978, Willie had built up a fine record of 15-2-2 (8 KO's),
and was regarded as a fighter-on-the-rise by Ring Magazine.
A New York City based fighter, Willie Classen was a 1970 New York
Golden Gloves Champion. After turning professional, 'Macho' as he liked
to be called was a popular middleweight who had a strong Puerto Rican
fan base in New York.
In early 1978, he was a local star on the rise, fighting primarily at the Felt Forum and
Main Arena at Madison Square Garden. In August 1978, Willie fought in the
New York '1978 Fight of the Year', when he and future World Middleweight Champion
Vito Antuofermo battled it out over 10 grueling back and forth rounds.
When the decision was announced in favor of Antuofermo, Madison Square Garden
erupted with disfavor. The fans boo'ed the decision, and paraded the 'Macho Man'
up and down the aisles. A mini-riot developed, as the Puerto Rican fans voiced
Willie 'Macho' Classen was a New York Champion that night, despite the loss.
Willie finished out 1978 with two more fights (one win and one loss).
Hoping for a new turn in 1979, it would not be found. The 'Macho Man' was stopped in a
brutal war with hard-punching John LoCicero in New York City. And later, was shipped
over to the United Kingdom to succomb in 2 non-combative rounds with World-Rated
Once a 'star-on-the-rise' only 16-months earlier, Willie Classen had now become an
opponent that another 'star-on-the-rise' could use to build up his record.
In November, his manager signed Willie to fight up and coming hard-hitting
Middleweight-prospect Wilford Scypion. Though Willie had been brutally stopped
in his two previous bouts, his manager agreed to allow Willie to walk into
the ring with a fighter with tremendous punching power.
Add to the fact, that under normal circumstances, Willie Classen should
have been under suspension for his knock-out losses. What happened
A tragedy that should have never been allowed, as the failure of
an inexperienced manager who was just looking for quick cash,
an incompetent New York State Boxing Commision, and a boxing
matchmaker who had no regard for the well being of a sacrificial lamb.
On November 28, 1978 Willie 'Macho' Classen died of head injuries
he suffered from the battering he took from Wilford Scypion five days
Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 03-31-2012 at 11:06 AM.