Join Date: Oct 2012
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Good topic...allow me to share the story of four other boxers who left us way too soon:
Masao Ohba was 23 years of age and the current WBA Flyweight when he was killed behind the wheel of his corvette one January night in 1973. He held the belt since 1970 and defended against the best of his era, including the very technical Betulio Gonzalez and tough Chartchai Chioni. He was one of Japan's shining stars, which included a championship lineup of Kuniaki Shibata, Featherweight champ, Koichi Wajima, Jr Middleweight champ, and Yoshio Namata, Jr Lightweight. His success in the ring and fate outside of it is eerily similar to that of Salvador Sanchez, 9 years later...
Tyrone Everett was a young and tough Philly fighter who was rightfully the #1 challenger to the Jr. Lightweight throne after losing (his only defeat) to reigning champion Alfredo Escalera in a highly disputed decision. Tyrone was indeed a feared and uncrowned champ having dispatched the top competition including fellow Philly native Sammy Goss, the very tough Filipino Burt Nabalatang, SF-based Irish Ray LunneyIII and a handful of tough Mexican foes, including Rafael Muro. He was set for a rematch with Escalera when his girlfriend gunned him down
Venezuelan featherweight Cruz Marcano was rated among the top in the world and certainly considered better than his countrymen Antonio Gomez and Alfredo Marcano (both would become world champions at the featherweight and Jr Lightweight division respectively) when he was killed (car crash?) in late 1969/early 1970. He only had 1 decision loss to his otherwise impressive boxing resume...
The last story involves Mexican Humberto Betillo Gutierrez, who had started his professional boxing career at age 15 and fought many tough veterans on his way to winning the Mexican Lightweight Belt. He had put together a string of 14 straight victories and added the Mexican Welterweight Title when he was killed in a car crash in Mexico in July 1982 (a month before Salvador Sanchez would meet the same fate). To some, Betillo appeared to be on his way to greater success in the ring, not unlike Carlos Palomino and Pipino Cuevas before him.