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Old 08-13-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Great Cuban Fighters?

I know Cuba has a lot of world champions, but who were some truly great Cuban fighters?
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Does Jose Napoles count?
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Ho Joo, Chucho Castillo and Jung-Koo Chang.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

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Originally Posted by Flea Man View Post
Ho Joo, Chucho Castillo and Jung-Koo Chang.
Cuban not German.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Sorry! I misread. Okay, Thanomchit Sukhothai, Eleoncio Mercedes and Tae-Shik Kim then.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Josť LegrŠ is my favorite.....
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

In all seriousness, Luis Manuel Rodriguez is their greatest fighter. No, I'm not still trolling and yes I've been over this before. LMR. Then Gavilan. Then Napoles. Then Chocolate.

In my opinion. The first 3 I'd all put in the 21-30 bracket.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Is it coincidence or fate that the of those four boxers were champions at 147?
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Ah, well now, it just so happens that a while back I compiled a few records and some relevant Cuban ones were among them. All names listed are of fighters who were defeated, and the amount of times they were defeated is shown, and all opponents featured in the RING's end-of-year ratings at one point or another:

Kid Gavilan

Nick Moran
Charley Williams
Bee Bee Wright
Tommy Bell
Tony Pellone
Al Priest
Rocky Castellani
Laurent Dauthuille
Johnny Greco
Tony Janiro (x2)
Joe Miceli
Paddy Young
Eugene Hairston
Aldo Minelli
Johnny Bratton (x2)
Walter Cartier
Bobby Dykes
Ralph Zannelli
Gil Turner
Eduardo Lausse
Chuck Davey
Ramon Fuentes
Ralph Jones (x2)
Ernie Durando
Gaspar Ortega

Ike Williams (x2)
Beau Jack
Billy Graham (x3)
Carmen Basilio


--

Kid Chocolate

Johnny Green
Chick Suggs
Johnny Vacca
Bushy Graham
Gregorio Vidal
Ignacio Fernandez
Dominic Petrone (x3)
Joey Scalfaro
Lew Feldman (x4)
Davey Abad
Roger Bernard
Johnny Farr (x4)
Eddie Shea
Pete Nebo (x3)
Tommy Watson
Joe Ghnouly
Frankie Wallace (x2)
Andy Martin
Henry Hook
Al Reid

Fidel LaBarba (x2)
Benny Bass


--

Jose Napoles

Angel Robinson Garcia
Bunny Grant
Tony Perez (x2)
Baby Vasquez (x2)
LC Morgan (x3)
Alfredo Urbina (x2)
Carlos Hernandez
Adolph Pruitt (x2)
Eugenio Espinoza
Herbie Lee
Leroy Roberts
Eddie Pace
Ernie Lopez (x2)
Edwin Mack
Manuel Gonzalez
Billy Backus
Jean Josselin
Hedgemon Lewis (x2)
Ralph Charles
Roger Menetrey
Clyde Gray
Horacio Saldano
Armando Muniz (x2)

Eddie Perkins
Curtis Cokes (x2)
Emile Griffith


--

I thought I had Rodriguez - unfortunately it appears not. Well, anyway, I'm familiar enough with his record to say he and Gavilan stack up fairly equally in terms of greatness, in my opinion, remembering that both men caught their fair share of bad decisions, or at least close ones that could have went either way. Rodriguez was a bit more fragile but the smarter technician, Gavilan was less consistent but a physical marvel with regards to his durability, speed and stamina combination.

Napoles takes it for me I'm afraid. Although Gavilan and Rodriguez fought some wicked middleweights, Napoles himself is well known to have been a slightly inferior specimen size-wise at welterweight. His back-to-back schoolings of Cokes & Griffith really stand out to me, even if I subscribed to the notion that they were on the slide and weight drained, respectively, though after much deliberation it seems to me that both were still of championship class and ability on fight night, and that Napoles' success was so resounding and decisive that it wouldn't have mattered if both Griffith and Cokes tag-teamed him on the same night with baseball bats, they'd still have lost.

Oh and just to add. As a junior welterweight, beating Eddie Perkins was about as good as it gets. The decision was close apparently, but still, he was like the Charley Burley of the division. He was Duilio Loi's equal and was robbed against Hernandez (another extremely sweet scalp for Napoles) the second time round. What does it for me is Napoles' period of dominance over such high quality opposition from as far back as 1960 until 1970, the odd losses in between being nothing much convincing. Hedgemon Lewis, Ernie Lopez and Armando Muniz, I would say, were roughly on the Ray Lampkin/Freddie Dawson/Lionel Rose level and were also very respectable opponents to be beating later on.

Last edited by Manassa; 08-14-2012 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRed View Post
Is it coincidence or fate that the of those four boxers were champions at 147?
Neither. That's was requirement for being Cuban until Castro freed them from that burden.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Manassa, great breakdowns as always. LMR's middleweight resume is just....****ing unbelievable.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flea Man View Post
Manassa, great breakdowns as always. LMR's middleweight resume is just....****ing unbelievable.
1. Jose Napoles
2. Luis Manuel Rodriguez
3. Kid Gavilan

That's how it is for me, but like you say, Rodriguez has a strong case. They all have. In matters this close it always seems to come down to small preferences. I would like to see a vehement pro-Gavilan argument.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

It wouldn't be hard to present.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Great Cuban Fighters?

It's super close, but for me it's

1. Gavilan
2. Rodriguez
3. Napoles

More than anything I think Kid's resilience stands out to me.

Jose Napoles had that tender skin and Luis whilst having a very good chin, probably isn't on par with the other two in that regard...

Skill wise perhaps Napoles and Rodriguez edge it, but Kid had athletic advantages in speed of hand and foot that probably compensates.

That said, Rodriguez' higher skill level probably made him better suited to the higher weights than Kid. Napoles punched well above his weight too, being more a natural junior welter, all things considered. Gavilan is the superior welterweight though to either man.

Resume wise I'd say Gavilan is on par or slightly ahead of Rodriguez (if we cut out all the robberies in both mens' ledgers) and has a clear edge on Napoles.
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