Boxing great “Mantequilla” Napoles dies at 79
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles, the Hall of Famer Mexican boxer who was a two-time welterweight world champion, has died. He was 79.
The World Boxing Council said Friday that Napoles died in his home in Mexico City “with his children and grandchildren at his bedside”.
Napoles, who was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named by The Associated Press the fourth-greatest welterweight of the 20th century, was a two-time welterweight world champion, who boxed from 1958-1975.
“The great Hall of Fame WBC welterweight champion is now champion for eternity, he passed but did it with his loving children by his side, long live Jose ‘Mantequilla’ Napoles,” WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman said om his official Twitter account.
Sulaiman did not provide more details about the cause of death.
Napoles suffered from diabetes and Alzheimer’s in his last years.
“Typical of the man, who was the bravest and most courageous of fighters, that although he had been affected by various illnesses for some time, he bravely battled on, attending WBC events, always smiling and being greeted by his many friends and fans, who admired him as a fighter and as a man. Today that struggle came to an end,” the WBC said in a statement.
Napoles was born in Cuba on April 13, 1940, and arrived in Mexico City in the 1960s after Fidel Castro banned professional boxing on the island. On April 18, 1969, he defeated Curtis Cokes, also a Hall of famer, to become the welterweight champion. He was granted Mexican citizenship a day after that by former President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.
He defended the title 15 times and retired in December 1975, after losing to John Stracey, with an 81-7 record.