View Full Version : Estaban De Jesus


KittenFlaps
05-27-2009, 10:00 PM
I was watching a collection of Duran fights tonight and happened across Duran V. De Jesus I. It was fantastic. De Jesus looked absolutely wonderful. He reminded me of Miguel Cotto(a fellow Puerto Rican) with the boxing puncher's style, the body blows and the speed. While I always want to root for Duran I couldn't help but find myself cheering for De Jesus the entire fight.

After the fight I immediately searched his career and found an astonishing 54-5 record. That is an amazing record if you ask me. I continued my search and found that he died at 37 of AIDS.

How had I never heard of him? How have I never heard Larry Merchant or Teddy Atlas describe him and his style in the ring? How have I not heard of his story of both life and his death?

Which brings me to my point. Anyone who is familiar with Estebar De Jesus, please, tell me more about his career, his life, etc. I am intrigued.

Southpaw16BF
05-27-2009, 11:40 PM
Estaban De Jesus is a very underrated fighter who is best known for being the first man to defeat Roberto Duran, his only ever lightweight loss. In De Jesus's best ever performance, he really showed his boxing skill in this fight, brillant performance.

Estaban De Jesus was one of the many cream of the crop Puerto Rico has produced. De Jesus was a brillant boxing, who possesed a high set of skills and brains in the prize ring.

Do when he defeated Duran, he never became WBA Lightweight Champion as it was a non Title bout, but he did go on to win the WBC Lightweight Title defeating Guts Ishimatsu, he made 3 defences of the title before losing it to Duran, in there final bout.

Estaban De Jesus was trained by Gregorio Benitez , and was invovled with the Benitez family alot. His final record was 63 fights with 58 wins, 5 losses, he knocked out 33, and was knocked out 5 times.

He twice failed in bids for the Light Welterweight crown against Antonio Cervantes and Saoul Mamby.

He caught aids while in prison due to shooting a youth, he is belived to of caught aid due to drug abuse. He died at only 37 years of age. The great Roberto Duran gave him a hug in his hospital bed, even do De Jesus had aids it didn't stop the fearless Duran, from giving his one time foe a hug out of respect.

Southpaw16BF
05-27-2009, 11:43 PM
Pictures Of Esteban De Jesus
http://myboxingfans.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/esteban-de-jesus.jpg

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0717/box_a_dejesus-duran_600.jpg

http://nlinethumb27.webshots.com/41818/2793803410103242731S600x600Q85.jpg

Southpaw16BF
05-27-2009, 11:45 PM
Here is De Jesus's best ever performance giving Roberto Duran the only ever loss he would suffer at Lightweight.
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Southpaw16BF
05-27-2009, 11:50 PM
Esteban De Jesus (1951-1990) was a Puerto Rican world lightweight champion boxer whose life was full of controversy, problems and scandals. De Jesus, a native of the town of Carolina, Puerto Rico, was a gymmate of Wilfredo Benitez and an acquaintance of Benitez's mom, Clara Benitez. He was trained by Wilfredo's father and Clara's husband, Gregorio Benitez.
De Jesus debuted as a professional in 1969, beating El Tarita by a knockout in three in San Juan. He won his first 20 fights, 13 by knockout, and then he stepped in class for the first time, when he boxed future world title challenger Josue Marquez in 1971, and beat him by a ten round decision. His next fight was against Victor Ortiz, a knockout win for de Jesus in four rounds. After that, there was a rematch with Marquez, who was beaten again, this time over 12 rounds.

Next came his first international fight, in Caracas against the future 4 time world title challenger Leonel Hernandez. De Jesus won that fight by a decision in 10, in what was the start of a 4 fight tour of Venezuela. That Venezuelan campaign ended with a ten round decision loss against former world champion Antonio Gomez, also at Caracas.

1972 was pivotal for De Jesus' career. He won six fights in a row, including a 12 round knockout win in a third fight with Marquez, and a ten round decision over Doug McClendon. Despite all those wins, he was virtually an unknown boxer to most boxing fans. That changed quickly in his last fight of '72, against the undefeated new world's Lightweight champion Roberto Duran, at the Madison Square Garden arena. In a televised bout that marked the beginning of the Duran-De Jesus trilogy, De Jesus dropped Duran in round one and went on to inflict Duran's first defeat with a ten round decision.

In 1973, he was rewarded for his efforts, receiving a chance to challenge Ray Lampkin for the regional, United States lightweight belt. he became the United States' champion by beating Lampkin by a 12 round decision. Then, he beat Johnny Gant, by a ten round decision, and Raul Montoya, also by decision in ten. Then, there was a rematch in New York with Lampkin, whom he beat again, by a decision. He finished '73 with a first round knockout win over fringe contender Al Ford.

He began 1974 by knocking out former world Jr. Welterweight champion Alfonso Peppermint Fraser in 10 rounds in San Juan, after which he travelled to Panama City to receive his first world title shot, and at the same time, face Duran in the second fight of their trilogy. He once again dropped Duran in round one, but this time Duran recovered, and retained the title by a knockout in eleven rounds. He recovered from that defeat with two more wins before the end of the year.

In 1975, he went up in weight briefly, and after beating Jesse Lara by a knockout in three, he returned to Panama City to challenge Colombia's Antonio Cervantes for the world's Jr. Welterweight title, losing by a 15 round decision. He beat Rudy Barros by a knockout in five to end that year, and he started 1976, by beating Valentin Ramos by a knockout in two.

Next came his third world title try, when the WBC's world Lightweight champion Itshimatsu Suzuki of Japan travelled to Puerto Rico to defend his title against De Jesus. The third time proved to be the charm for De Jesus, who won the world title by beating Suzuki by a 15 round decision. Then, he retained the title against Hector Medina by a knockout in seven.

De Jesus as a world champion started dabbling in drugs, an element which would later threaten to ruin his life, and definitely changed it.

In 1977, he retained the title against Buzzaw Yamabe by a knockout in six, and against Vicente Mijares Saldivar by a knockout in eleven.

1978 began with the third and final chapter of his trilogy with Duran. In a title unification bout in Las Vegas, De Jesus lost to Duran by a knockout in round 12.

De Jesus rebounded with three wins before the end of that year, including one over former world title challenger Edwin Viruet.

In 1979, he had two more wins, including one over Jimmy Blevins. After beating Jose Vallejo by a knockout in seven in San Juan to start 1980, he travelled to Bloomington, Minnesota, to challenge Saoul Mamby for Mamby's WBC world Jr. Welterweight title, in the major supporting event of the Larry Holmes-Scott Le Doux world Heavyweight championship bout's undercard. In what turned out to be his last fight, he was beaten by a knockout in thirteen rounds.

In 1981, in what became a famous case in Puerto Rico, De Jesus was convicted of murder after killing a man, allegedly in a dispute over drugs. He was sentenced to life in jail. There, he excelled in another sport, baseball, making the Puerto Rico penal system all star team three times. In 1984, he became a born-again Christian and started to turn his life around, becoming a preacher. After it became public knowledge that De Jesus had acquired the HIV virus and had become a sufferer of full-blown AIDS, governor Rafael Hernandez Colon pardoned him.

After returning to spend his last days with his family, De Jesus was visited by many celebrities, including hall of fame baseball player Orlando Cepeda, Salsa music superstar Cheo Feliciano and his old nemesis Duran himself. By doing so, Duran showed there was no animosity between himself and De Jesus.

Esteban De Jesus died one month after being pardoned.

His record was of 57 wins and 5 losses, with 32 wins by knockout.

...........

yeykax
05-27-2009, 11:56 PM
I was watching a collection of Duran fights tonight and happened across Duran V. De Jesus I. It was fantastic. De Jesus looked absolutely wonderful. He reminded me of Miguel Cotto(a fellow Puerto Rican) with the boxing puncher's style, the body blows and the speed. While I always want to root for Duran I couldn't help but find myself cheering for De Jesus the entire fight.

After the fight I immediately searched his career and found an astonishing 54-5 record. That is an amazing record if you ask me. I continued my search and found that he died at 37 of AIDS.

How had I never heard of him? How have I never heard Larry Merchant or Teddy Atlas describe him and his style in the ring? How have I not heard of his story of both life and his death?

Which brings me to my point. Anyone who is familiar with Estebar De Jesus, please, tell me more about his career, his life, etc. I am intrigued.

they do mention him but hes not consider one of the great puertorican champs just becuz he didnt have charismas or was open like that to the fans he rather kept to himself!!!!

NAPO
05-28-2009, 12:01 AM
He was Elite and was a good fighter.

But all his Life was controversial. that's why he was overshadow.

black.ink
05-28-2009, 03:45 AM
It was such a shame that he fell into the world of drugs when his career was taking a downfall. When Duran visited him in hospital when DeJesus contracted aids, it was still a disease many knew nothing about, causing people to stay clear of people with it. It just showed Duran's heart that he would pick him up and hug him when visiting. Duran was reduced to tears when he saw him in the hospital bed.

Thread Stealer
05-28-2009, 03:51 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/04/22/sports/this-foe-s-tougher-than-duran.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/B/Boxing

This Foe's Tougher Than Duran

The former lightweight champion of the world, the first man to beat Roberto Duran, is now 37 years old and weighs 90 pounds. His dark skin stretches over protruding cheekbones and his clothes hang loosely on his frame. His eyes are dull; his speech is slurred. Esteban de Jesus is living with AIDS.

''You look into his eyes and you see sorrow,'' said Jose Abreu, another resident at the clinic where De Jesus is being treated.

The clinic is in an abandoned milk factory in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, that has been converted into a rehabilitation center for drug addicts. There, de Jesus lies on a bed in a room with 17 other men, all former drug addicts, all suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He gets medication-free treatment: vitamins, a high-calorie diet and rest.

Sentence Commuted

Until March 28, de Jesus faced the possibility of dying in jail. He was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, and was still four years away from possible parole, when his second request for a commutation of the sentence was granted by Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon. The parole board agreed to release him on the condition that he receive treatment at the AIDS clinic.

De Jesus was the underdog when he won a decision from Duran in 1972, in a nontitle bout in New York that was Duran's third fight after he won the lightweight title. That fight made de Jesus a celebrity in Puerto Rico, and the second time he fought Duran didn't tarnish that status. It was in Panama in 1974, with Duran's title at stake, and de Jesus lasted until the 11th round before being knocked out.

Later, de Jesus was the World Boxing Council lightweight champion, 1976-1978, and he defended his title three times. But he lost to Duran again in 1978, and with that, he lost his title and began sinking fast. His last opponent was Saoul Mamby, who stopped de Jesus in the 13th round for the W.B.C. superlightweight title on July 7, 1980. His record was 57-5 with 32 knockouts.

From Marijuana to Cocaine

But even before his first bout with Duran, de Jesus was slowly burying himself under drug addiction. He began by smoking marijuana, then snorted cocaine, and by the end of his career, he was shooting up ''speedballs'' of cocaine and heroin. He, his older brother, Enrique, and their friends shared syringes of cocaine and heroin bought with de Jesus' earnings, according to his friends.

''You start first with friends and you get so wrapped up with the drugs, that before you know it, you're hooked,'' de Jesus said last Feb. 12 on ''Pulso Preciso,'' a half-hour news program on Puerto Rican television. ''They take you to parties and you start using the stuff. The worst part is when you open your eyes, it's too late. You're already addicted.''

On Thanksgiving Day in 1980, de Jesus was dressing to attend a family holiday celebration when cocaine tempted him. ''I injected myself with it,'' he said on the news program. ''It hit me very hard. I felt the reaction very badly. Then I left in my wife's car.''

Somehow he got into a traffic dispute with 18-year-old Roberto Cintron Gonzalez, who was in another car. De Jesus jumped out of his car and shot Gonzalez in the head with a .25 caliber pistol; Gonzalez died Dec. 1, 1980.

''I didn't even know that I was killing someone,'' because of the reaction to the cocaine, de Jesus said in the television interview. ''My wife told me that I had killed someone. I feel very bad for what I did.''

De Jesus was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

'Didn't Use It to Fight'

Gregorio Benitez, the father of the former world champion Wilfred Benitez, trained de Jesus at the end of his amateur career and for part of his pro career. In 1974, before the rematch between de Jesus and Duran, the elder Benitez learned de Jesus was using drugs.

''I knew that he used cocaine,'' the trainer recalled. ''He didn't use it to fight. An undercover cop came to me and said that Esteban used to be out at midnight with bad people, and they knew that he used the drugs. I told him that if he wanted to keep boxing, he should quit the drugs. He said, 'What?' He denied it.''

De Jesus, Benitez said, used to give money to a drug dealer named Louie, who would take de Jesus to parties where cocaine and women were plentiful. De Jesus and Louie bought a restaurant together, on which de Jesus lost $40,000, according to Benitez.

''He was a good guy,'' Benitez said sadly of de Jesus. ''People made him bad.'' But, Benitez said, his frustration at de Jesus' continued drug use prompted him to sell the fighter's contract for $25,000 to Jose Santiago, another Puerto Rican-based boxing promoter. Santiago managed de Jesus and the boxer's trainer was Manny Siaca.

'A Very Big Thing'

In 1978, de Jesus lost to Duran for the second time, in Las Vegas, but he earned $150,000, the largest purse of his career. ''The loss to Duran was a very big thing to him,'' Siaca said, referring to the 1978 fight. ''He felt depressed, that it was the end for him, that he didn't have it anymore.''

Siaca and his wife, Nitza, had become close friends of de Jesus and his wife, Nelly.

''He was very close with his family,'' Mrs. Siaca rcalled. ''He didn't like too much of a crowd. He was a very kind man, sweet and courteous. I never saw him angry. But as soon as he became champ, it was a new environment. He had new friends, big shots. Then he started using drugs.

''When he was a champ, he had a lot of money, a lot of power. He was one of the kings of boxing in Puerto Rico.''

Over the course of 10 years, the Siacas and Nelly de Jesus several times prodded the fighter into receiving psychiatric help and other medical assistance.

''He stopped taking drugs,'' said Mrs. Siaca. ''But he had a group that he went with. Nelly had no control over him.''

De Jesus was said to be very close to his mother, who died of a heart attack in 1980. ''He was affected very emotionally by her death,'' Mrs. Siaca said. ''He was very depressed.''

'He Didn't Show Up'

After that death and the loss to Mamby a few weeks later, Gregorio Benitez tried to help de Jesus again.

''I told him I wanted to make him a champion again,'' he said. ''Santiago said that he would give me Esteban free. I would put him in a fight for $15,000. He didn't show up. I said, 'Those people are going to kill you or you're going to kill someone.' ''

Four months later, de Jesus killed someone.

Sentenced to life in prison, de Jesus discovered the religious life, and he became a minister, preaching daily sermons in prison.

In 1985, he learned his older brother, Enrique, had died of AIDS. The brothers had shared needles, and Esteban de Jesus tested positive for the AIDS virus in 1985. Last January, the AIDS symptoms began to appear.

As he has lost weight and grown weaker, his faith in God has increased, his friends say. His wife and three children -Esteban Jr., 14 years old, Vivian, 16, and Lillian, 18 - visit him at the clinic regularly.

De Jesus may live for a month or two, or he may live for a year. ''I'm waiting to see what's to be God's will,'' he said in that Feb. 12 television interview. ''I'm in God's hands.''

TheGreatA
05-28-2009, 04:01 AM
http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/AIDS_retrospective_slideshow/ap_rm_photo_of_duran_hugging_de_jesus.jpg

KittenFlaps
05-28-2009, 08:28 AM
Jeez, he led a pretty tumultuous life it seems. I knew that he had died of AIDS but I never would have guessed he contracted it through heavy drug use, and that he was convicted of first degree murder.

It's really a shame as he looked so promising in the ring. A champ in the ring and chump outside the ring, so it goes with a lot of fighters it seems. Still, I am going to have to try to find more footage of him fighting as I am still impressed.

Regardless, thanks for all the info! You guys know your stuff!

Izrock
05-28-2009, 09:00 AM
http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/AIDS_retrospective_slideshow/ap_rm_photo_of_duran_hugging_de_jesus.jpg

Great pic. I've always heard about it happening, but never had the chance to actually see it. Thx for posting.

ЯiZО
05-28-2009, 09:12 AM
So he was a ****sucker?

KittenFlaps
05-28-2009, 09:34 AM
So he was a ****sucker?

He had a wife so it's unlikely. He contracted AIDS through drug use.

BennyST
05-28-2009, 09:38 AM
Most do actually consider him one of PR's greats and also one of the best lightweights ever. He is often well within the top twenty lightweights of all time. But yes, he is often overlooked.

I guess it's a real pity that he fought in that era of lightweights as in any other era he would have been a great champion. As it was he was brilliant but having to fight Duran in two of his title shots, to go for Duran's and the second to defend his own, would have been very difficult indeed.

Nonetheless, he had some really great wins over fantastic opponents. His win over the undefeated Ray Lampkin, who was a stunning fighter even though he never got the win for a title, the great win over Duran, beating a prime Alfonso Fraser, the great JWW champion and his fantastic title win over Ishimatsu as well as other good wins like the very underrated Viruet, Garcia and Marquez.

I saw his fight with Lampkin, which was on the undercard of some other big fight which was really fantastic. Both of those guys were really great fighters. Although many people say boxing fans often think the older era of fighters were better, seeing these two guys go at it and thinking that Lampkin never even won a title, it makes you realise why. Either of these two would have been dominant title holders of one or another alphabet titles today, if not unifiers.

Lampkin was defensively really solid and De Jesus looked very strong and quick. De Jesus looked a bit better when he was waiting, boxing more and countering which he was very good at. He was what some might call a great power-boxer, or whatever that term is that some relate to Mosley. He was a big puncher that had great speed and could box very well too and basically seemed to use his boxing in order to set up all his big, fast, powerful combinations designed to break down rather than outpoint.

Lampkin was a very tricky customer though and was very good at making him miss and was a really slick fighter. De Jesus, from the other fights I've seen of him, looked much more aggressive in this one, although I've only seen about five of his other fights, but he seemed to box a lot more in them and seemed to be really gunning for the big KO in this one and that played into Lampkin's game perfectly and he was able to capitalise very well. De Jesus still won the fight and even had Lampkin hurt a couple of times from memory but it was a great fight.

I truly believe that if Lampkin, or De Jesus for that matter (even more so in fact with his exciting style), was fighting today people would consider him brilliant, especially with all the praise that fine defensive fighters seem to get today from the emergence of Mayweather, albeit a still small but rather vocal clique. He was a very good counter puncher and was very quick with his movement and punches and would have given anyone today a great deal of trouble.

KittenFlaps
05-28-2009, 10:02 AM
That was a really great post Benny.

I agree. De Jesus would a serious threat to a lot of Lightweights today.

ЯiZО
05-28-2009, 10:08 AM
He had a wife so it's unlikely. He contracted AIDS through drug use.

So he shared a needle with a ****sucker?

black.ink
05-28-2009, 10:17 AM
So he shared a needle with a ****sucker?

Possibly, he used the same needle as his brother. His brother died first, so he had himself checked out, and found he had also contracted the disease.

KittenFlaps
05-28-2009, 10:28 AM
While I imagine you're probably just making a point about your views on homosexuality, Rizo, I found this chart (source (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/reports/slcp/epidemic.htm)) for you. As you can see Puerto Rico has a much smaller percentage of sexually transmitted AIDS infections and a much larger percentage of drug related transmission. It has apparently been a huge problem for the country.

http://i41.tinypic.com/e9xdmf.jpg

NAPO
05-28-2009, 09:09 PM
Dejesus rug Abuse was even when he was in his prime too. so imagine a free drug and alcohol Dejesus?

Same thing with Edwin Chapo Rosario.

Thread Stealer
05-28-2009, 09:36 PM
Dejesus rug Abuse was even when he was in his prime too. so imagine a free drug and alcohol Dejesus?

Same thing with Edwin Chapo Rosario.

Some of the best Puerto Rican fighters have a sad history with alcohol and drug abuse.

Rosario, Dejesus, Benitez, Ortiz, Camacho, Gomez, Serrano.

NAPO
05-28-2009, 09:45 PM
Some of the best Puerto Rican fighters have a sad history with alcohol and drug abuse.

Rosario, Dejesus, Benitez, Ortiz, Camacho, Gomez, Serrano.

Carlos Ortiz Had drug abuse?

Thread Stealer
05-28-2009, 09:58 PM
Carlos Ortiz Had drug abuse?

He was an alcoholic.

http://www.doghouseboxing.com/Newman/Newman031504.htm


DB: I***8217;ve been told a story that you actually came into a fight drunk once. What was that like?

Well, I don***8217;t think that was the right thing to do. I had a bad habit. It was my last hurrah, and I had been champion for a long time and I got into things I shouldn***8217;t have gotten into, and a habit formed that I couldn***8217;t get rid of. That***8217;s the worst thing, once you acquire something into your body, it***8217;s very tough to get it out. Thank God that I was able to withstand the pressure, I was used to the pressure of life. It was a tough battle, but I won. Today I don***8217;t drink, I don***8217;t smoke, I don***8217;t do anything that***8217;s going to harm my body, because that***8217;s the only body I have. I***8217;m close to 68 years old, and my body is as strong as ever. I***8217;m not going to let anything get between me and my body.

NAPO
05-28-2009, 10:16 PM
He was an alcoholic.

http://www.doghouseboxing.com/Newman/Newman031504.htm

Ohh that was later in his career.