My EDER JOFRE: Brazil’s First Boxing World Champion is now available globally!!

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by ChrisJS, Mar 26, 2021.

  1. ChrisJS

    ChrisJS Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Review by Hall of Fame inductee Joe Kozumi.


    By Joe Kozumi

    I have just read through a fantastic elaboration—a biography titled “EDER JOFRE Brazil’s First Boxing World Champion” written by Christopher J. Smith. It was lately published by Win By KO Publications in Iowa city, IA. It is of no less than 605 pages with a great many pictures of Eder Jofre.

    The very first part I rushed to read was a description on a non-title affair between NBA world bantamweight champion Jofre and world #2 ranked flyweight Sadao Yaoita in Sao Paulo in 1961. It was reported uncrowned champ Yaoita, our Japanese national hero who had inflicted the first defeat to world flyweight titlist Pascual Perez in 1959, showed a good performance, but was finally caught and finished by the hard-punching champ Eder, still young at twenty-five climbing up to his prime years later. Since we, Japanese fans, couldn’t see any footage of this bout, we could only imagine the processing of the fight with a short report from Brazil and suppose the spectacular strength of the winner Eder.

    The next I hurriedly read with great interest was an article on the historical but already forgotten matchup of Eder Jofre defending his second world belt in the featherweight division against once formidable Vicente Saldivar that took place in Salvador, Brazil, in 1971. It resulted in Jofre’s rather quick fourth round knockout victory. Had it been held in Las Vegas today, it might have been a mega superfight such as Hagler versus Leonard. I am really satisfied with the fully detailed description of this greatly anticipated encounter of the two legends.

    Then, this boxing-addict started reading from the first page, and realized that there were tremendously rare and important pictures of Eder since his childhood along with his father/trainer Aristides “Kid” Jofre. Eder’s encounter with boxing was very fortunate under the special circumstances of the boxing family (with uncles being amateur or professional boxers while his aunt Olga was a female wrestler). As Eder learnt how to box, his father Aristides also grew up as an ever-improving hander. Their process of progress was described in complete detail, which must attract avid boxing fans without doubt. Also, I was amazed to watch Jofre’s beautifully well-balanced fighting scenes in all pictures. He was dynamic and beautiful as a boxer.

    It was in real time that I watched Eder Jofre fight in Japan three times—against Katsutoshi Aoki in 1963 and Fighting Harada twice in 1965 and 1966. After his Aoki bout, the Golden Bantam was regarded in Japan as a monster, too powerful and too tight in defense beyond the international level in 1960’s. We deeply realized that Jofre, Harada and Mexican counterpuncher Jose Medel were contemporary rivals as Jofre 2-2, Harada 3-1 and Medel 1-3. We, young aficionados, used to talk on boxing from morning till night, discussed their strength and presented our predictions each other on our way to school. I was an enthusiastic Medel fan, and even now. Our boyhood chatting eventually produced Joe Koizumi.

    It is really incredible that the author Christopher J. Smith spent a great deal of time and effort in researching such precise details shown in Round By Round in all footsteps of Eder Jofre. Without sufficient and substantial background and history in boxing, Brazil produced such an almost peerless champion as “O Galo De Ouro” Jofre. It was truly amazing.

    It was “Golden Bantam” Eder Jofre that left his very excellent credentials of 72-2-4 with 50 KOs. Also, Eder registered all eight successful defenses by knockouts as the bantamweight champ including his NBA reign: Piero Rollo (RTD 9), Ramon Arias (TKO 7), Johnny Caldwell (TKO 10) in a unification bout, Herman Marquez (TKO 10), Jose Medel (KO 6), Katsutoshi Aoki (KO 3), Johnny Jamito (RTD 11) and Bernardo Caraballo (KO 7). Plus, another successful defense by knockout over Vicent Saldivar (KO 4) as the featherweight kingpin. His name still shines in boxing history.

    Christopher J. Smith, you have done a great work. I, as a reader of this masterpiece, also deeply appreciate great cooperation and contributions of people concerned, of course, including Eder Jofre himself, his family and Brazilian/international boxing fraternity.”
     
  2. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bronsonville Full Member

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    Wow. That was a read in itself, and from an important figure too. You can't get a better recommendation than this.
     
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  3. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

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    Should be receiving my copy tomorrow. These reviews and comments are really whetting my appetite to read this!
     
  4. ChrisJS

    ChrisJS Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Review to be featured on the next IBRO newsletter:

    Eder Jofre Career and Book Review by Monte Cox

    Eder Jofre Brazil's First Boxing World Champion by Christopher J. Smith (Win By KO Publications) is an exciting, extensive, and encyclopedic biography of a fighter who is considered by many as the greatest bantamweight boxer of all time. Through extensive newspaper research and with the collaboration of the Jofre family, Eder Jofre's story is unfolded in this 600-page-plus biography.

    Smith covers the beginnings of Eder's immigrant forebears and describes how it was the marriage of two boxing family's that produced the future champion. Young Eder rose out of his family’s gym as a boxing prodigy trained to be a champion from birth. "He is unique", writes Smith, "because both sides of his family were involved in the sport before his parents even met one another...His first toys were boxing gloves and his first hobby was boxing." Eder stated in a Boxing Illustrated article in 1964 that the gym was his kindergarten and his playground. He imitated the movements of fighters before he could even walk. The first word he learned was not mama or papa but was "fight".

    Eder did not have to be pushed into training by his father and uncles as it came naturally to him. He was "able to focus on becoming a serious boxer at a young age", notes the author. It was in the family boxing gym that he learned the valuable lessons of a scientific approach to boxing.

    In this captivating book Smith takes us on a journey that delves deeply into the history of Eder Jofre, his humble beginnings, his fighting family, and his magnificent ring career. The in-depth fight coverage encompasses all aspects of Eder's fighting career from his amateur days, his early pro fights, and his chasing of the South American bantamweight championship to his development as a world title contender and eventually his ascension as the undefeated champion of the world. The writer paints a picture of his ring record with fight-by-fight descriptions of his opponents, their times, and the action that takes place in the ring; with round-by-round descriptions of some of the bigger fights.

    The real treasure of this book are the hundreds of newspaper photos of Eder and his fights that I have never seen as well as personal photos from the family. If you love boxing history and its lore you must love the research, put into this impassioned book.

    In his first two years of professional fighting Eder was a fast-rising star. He was unbeaten at 19-0-3. "Behind Eder's impressive performances, his confidence was growing; it was a matter of when, not if Eder would win the continental championship." pp 93.

    The year 1960, his fourth year as a pro, saw Eder win the South American Bantamweight Championship and then the vacant NBA World Championship. He went 7-0, with 6 knockouts that year. The world took notice. Writing in Boxing Illustrated, boxing journalist Henry Krawiec, stated: "Jofre looks somewhat like Manuel Ortiz, a former bantamweight champion...punches like a hammered-down Joe Louis...and boxes like a young Ray Robinson." pp 202.

    On page 240 we find that Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer travelled to Venezuela to be one of the three judges for Eder's 1961 title defense against Ramon Arias. Nat also compared Jofre to some of boxings greatest fighters writing, "He is by far the best the division has seen in many years. Clever, a powerful left hooker, a stand up boxer who has learned much of the technique of past masters; Jofre stands out as did Ray Robinson for many years in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. He can give and take punishment, blocks well, and like Benny Leonard can make his opponents fight the way he wants them to."

    Another significant and glowing review came from referee Barney Ross, the all time great three-division champion who said: "I just thrill at that boy's performance. He is a marvel of boxing perfection. He does things in the ring that I never expected to see again. There is nothing he cannot do." pp 240.

    In Jan 1962 Eder Jofre fought a unification match for the World Bantamweight Championship with undefeated Johnny Caldwell (25-0). The ringside was filled with celebrities such as Pele' with featherweight legend Willie Pep as the referee. Jofre totally dismantled Caldwell dropping him twice, winning by a Tko in round ten.

    "In October 1963, Eder received The Ring Magazine's ultimate compliment when it featured him on the cover of their 500th issue. The Ring's managing editor Nat Loubet penned an article entitled "Jofre a Small Sugar." Here are excerpts from the article:

    Ever so seldom the ring produces a fighter about whom it is said that he is the greatest in decades for his poundage. Such a standout was Robinson. Now, with Sugar Ray on the wane, there is another spectacular scrapper on whom that "pound for pound" label of superiority and domination looks good. That man is Eder Jofre, the Brazilian, who holds the bantamweight championship of the world... The division has boasted such all time greats as George Dixon, Kid Williams, and Johnny Coulon. But none have dominated the class in their time with more considerable elan than Jofre crowds into his reign as champion." pp 325.

    Jofre achieved a prime record of 50 fights unbeaten with a 47-0-3 slate, two of those draws were in his first year as a pro against Ernesto Miranda from whom he later won the continental title, defeating him twice once by knockout. All 3 of his draws had been avenged with decisive victories. He had 9 successful defenses of his NBA/WBA-WBC and world bantamweight titles.

    In 1965 Eder lost his title on a close split decision to Fighting Harada in Japan. He drew his next fight which he won on all three scorecards but because of the scoring method used in this bout - the winner had to win by four or more points on two of the cards - it was deemed a draw. That was the 4th and last "draw" on his record.

    In the rematch with Harada, Jofre's only fight of 1966, he lost again this time by unanimous decision. The author wrote, "Eder had come up short in his bid to regain the championship, and it appeared the magic had gone." On December 29 he announced his retirement from boxing.

    That is not where the story ends. Three years later at age 33 Eder decided to make a comeback. He had struggled to make weight for several years at bantamweight before losing the title to Harada. His comeback would be as a featherweight. Smith writes, (33)-years-old "was ancient for a boxer in 1969, especially in the lower weight classes. No fighter ever improved by not fighting for three years. The tasks scale can be put in perspective because the last bantamweight champion to win a featherweight title was Terry McGovern in 1900."

    After winning a series of tune ups Eder cracked the middle of the top 10 ratings by the WBA and WBC at 126 pounds. On his 35th birthday he fought the # 2 contender Jerry Stokes and pulverized him in two rounds. Jofre stayed active lobbying for a title shot and trying to stay sharp. Frenchman Robert Porcel was put to sleep for the full ten count in the second round. When he awoke, he stated, "Eder Jofre with that power in his punch will be the featherweight world champion. Remember what I said." pp 413.

    At the end of 1972 Jofre was the # 1 contender for the featherweight crown. He was 14-0 in his comeback bid thus far, 8 of those were knockouts. The champion was the Cuban Jose Legra (128-9-4), considered the best fighter in the division. On May 5, 1973, they met for the WBC Featherweight title. In a closely contested see-saw battle Jofre won the title by scores of 146-141, 143-143, and 148-143 for a split majority decision victory. Most of the press agreed with the verdict. At age 37 Eder Jofre was a champion again.

    Before the year was out Eder made his first defense against another Featherweight legend in Vicente Saldivar. Saldivar had a 37-2 record and was the former WBC and two-time WBA featherweight champion he was also seven years younger than Eder. It was no contest as Jofre took the fight to the younger fighter and destroyed him in four rounds.

    The death of his beloved father Aristides Jofre and managerial disputes caused Eder to be inactive and he was stripped of his WBC belt in June of 1974. Jofre would fight seven more times before retiring for good in Feb 1977 at the age of forty. He was 25-0 in his comeback having never again tasted defeat. It was one of the greatest and most successful comebacks in boxing history.

    Eder was an artist in and out of the ring and as a boy once won a drawing contest to see who could draw the best Superman and he won a cash prize. As a child Eder wanted to be a superhero and he was! He was and remains just as big in Brazil as Manny Pacquiao is today in the Philippines.

    I hate to admit this in writing, but this is the only boxing book I ever read that nearly had me in tears when his daughter Andrea told the story of the death of her mother. Eder's wife died in 2013 and it nearly killed him.

    Eder Jofre is rated as the # 1 bantamweight of all time in the 2019/2020 International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) poll. The second-place finisher was more than 70 points behind. He also finished 16th in the pound for pound greatest fighters of all time polling, easily rating among the 20 greatest boxers of all time.

    If you are a serious boxing enthusiast and enjoyed reading biographies of Muhammad Ali, Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, and other boxing greats or are just a boxing fan you will be sure to enjoy this book.

    Five stars out of five.
     
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  5. ChrisJS

    ChrisJS Well-Known Member Full Member

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