Sixto Escobar – A Boxing World Champion

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Carrying the Puerto Rico flag as a professional boxer, Sixto Escobar fought in the bantamweight and happened to be the first ever Puerto Rican world champion. Born in Barceloneta, he was raised in San Juan where he attended primary school and first became fascinated with boxing. During this time, boxing was against the law in Puerto Rico. Only unlikely places like the rooftops or backyards became the venue in organizing secret bouts without drawing notice from the authorities. He was trained by Angel ‚Sotito‘ Soto, a Puerto Rican who moved from New York to the neighborhood where Escobar family lived.

Having an amateur card of 21-1-1, he first contended in 1931 as a professional boxer winning over Luis Perez through a KO. During the first part of his profession, he relocated to Venezuela because of the shortage of rivals in his division. He got the chance there to be the champion in Venezuelan Bantamweight, but he was defeated by points. Later, he transferred to New York, started boxing in different states and finally winning the championship for Montreal Athletic Commission World Bantamweight. He won over Tony Marino in 1936 and brought together this title with the one accepted by the International Boxing Union, and happened to be only the third undisputed world boxing title holder in Latin America. When he retired, he became a spokesman for beer companies in New York, then went back home to Puerto Rico around 1960’s. He lived there until his death in 1979. He was recognized many times posthumously. His name was also used in various sports structures and venues. He was inducted in 2002 in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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