Sixto Escobar

From Academic Kids

Sixto Escobar (March 23, 1913 - November 17, 1979) was Puerto Rico's first world boxing champion.

He started boxing at the age of 17 and campaigned both in Puerto Rico and Venezuela, where he got his first championship try, a 12 round decision loss to Jose T. Rosales for the Venezuelan Bantamweight title.

in 1936, in Montreal he made history by knocking out Mexican Baby Casanova in Montreal to become Puerto Rico's first world champion ever. There would be no other Puerto Rican world champion until almost 30 years later when Carlos Ortiz won the Jr Welterweight title, and Escobar immediately became a national hero in Puerto Rico. The next year he unified the title beating the other world champion, Tony Marino, who would sadly die as a consequence of blows received on another bout in 1939. After winning the championship for the first time, Escobar was received by many at San Juan's dock; Jack Dempsey and Ring Magazine editor Nat Fleischer were among those that received him.

Escobar reigned 3 times in the Bantamweights, losing his title to and recovering it against both Harry Jeffra and Lou Salica. Along the way, he beat tough challengers like Mexico's Indian Quintana in what was the first time ever a Puerto Rican champion won a world title bout by knockout in the first round.

Once his fighting days were over, Escobar, who participated in an era where boxers gained small purses in comparison to today's era. Deciding to move his family to New York City, Escobar became a spokeperson for liquor and beer companies. After retiring Escobar went back to his native land of Puerto Rico for the battle of his life with diabetes, one that would ultimately take him to the grave at the age of 66.

Escobar was, however, always a hero in Puerto Rico, and he was always thankful of his adoring fans. He felt charmed about being a celebrity.

It is reported that his record was 42 wins and 21 losses, with 21 wins by knockout, but the record isn't clear, because during his era, boxers used to engage in many unsanctioned paid bouts, so he might have had more wins or losses as a professional.

After his death, Escobar became the first world boxing champion in history to have a statue erected, his town of Barceloneta giving him that honor. In 2003, controversy surrounding this statue surfaced because the government of the city of Barceloneta decided to bring the statue down and build a park in the area instead.

Escobar is a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.

It should be added that Escobar was never, throughout his career, knocked down or out in a professional boxing fight.

On March of 2005, Escobar was honored again, when a new statue of him was revealed in the "Sixto Escobar Stadium" in San Juan. Among the celebrities that attended the revealing of the new statue were former world champion boxers Julian Solis (who also held the world Bantamweight title) and Alfredo Escalera.

See also


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