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#1
Old 11-08-2011, 03:49 PM
Pastrano
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Default Florentino Fernandez

One of the hardest punchers ever and one of the least famous ones for sure, considering the victories he scored over respected boxers. Florentino "The Ox" Fernandez was born in/on Cuba 6th March 1936 and fought in Cuba until the communist ban on pro boxing. He scored 16 kayos in row. When Angelo Dundee was asked many years later who the hardest puncher he ever trained was, he replied "I love boxers but Iíve trained some bangers in my time. (Former heavyweight titleholder) Pinklon Thomas could whack, but nobody could punch like Fernandez. He was the best puncher out of Cuba. He was a converted southpaw so his left hook was murder. He broke Gene Fullmerís forearm with a left hook during their middleweight title fight. He could hurt anyone with any kind of punch no matter where it landed."

Unforunately, due to his concern with the political situation in his homeland, Fernandez didn't always remain as focused on his boxing and he lost some matches that he should have won because of that. Also, he seemed to have a less than sturdy chin, evidenced in his crushing 69 second ko loss to Rubin Hurricane Carter. His greatest moment must be when he faced the futured lhw champ and legend Jose Torres, who was 26-0-1 then and stopped him in 5 rounds. He also beat Gaspar Ortega twice on points and Ralph Dupas by MD. He retired for a while after suffering an upset loss to a journeyman, but came back as a lightheavy and scored some more impressive ko victories before he was finally stopped by TKO10 in his last fight and retired. He was 36.

There is a story, it might have been exaggerated account by a politically biased The Ring writer who claimed that when Fernandez rematched a guy who had already koed him once, Venezuelan Rocky Kalingo, he got knocked down in round 1 and was about to be stopped, but then allegedly the communists frightened Kalingo into throwing the fight before the second round and so Fernandez stopped him in that round. Whatever the truth, nobody can deny he was one of the hardest punchers ever and The Ring itself put him on their 100 greatest punchers list.

Last edited by Pastrano; 11-08-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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#2
Old 11-08-2011, 07:25 PM
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He was a favorite on American TV in the early 60's. Which is why alot of his fights exist today. I didn't know that about the Kalingo fight though.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:13 PM
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He was a a very good, technically sound fighter, no doubt. The Ortega fights are incredible.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:21 PM
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I remember TWW would show highlights of American fights of the week around lunchtime on Saturdays in 1959/60. Florentino Fernandez's fights stick in my mind as all-action bouts.
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