Willie Pastrano vs. Jose Torres

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Jose Torres floors Willie Pastrano.

1965-03-30 : Willie Pastrano 174½ lbs lost to Jose Torres 171¼ lbs by TKO at 3:00 in round 9 of 15

  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
  • Referee: Johnny LoBianco
  • WBA & WBC World Light Heavyweight Championship (3rd defense by Pastrano)

From The Associated Press:

Jose Torres dealt Willie Pastrano, light heavyweight champion, a fearful beating and then stopped him in nine rounds. . . . Referee Johnny LoBianco stopped the slaughter in the light heavyweight clash after the finish of the ninth round of the scheduled 15-rounder. It goes into the books as a ninth round technical knockout under New York rules. Torres, a 28-year-old Puerto Rican-born New Yorker, dropped Pastrano in the sixth round with a smashing left hook to the jaw followed by a paralyzing left hook under the heart. The 29-year-old Pastrano, a stricken look on his bleeding face, dropped to the floor in a delayed fall. It was the first time Pastrano had been floored in a pro career of 13½ years. Crouched on his knees on the floor and looking out to the crowd, Pastrano took a nine-count. Then he gamely rose to his feet and absorbed a terrific beating to the head and body from the inspired Torres. Torres, a 6-5 underdog and winner of eight in a row, had boasted he would knock out Pastrano "somewhere between the seventh and 10th rounds." He made good on the boast over an opponent noted for his iron jaw and lion heart. Torres had taken command from the middle of the first round and Pastrano, winner of two previous defenses on technical knockouts, never was in the fight. . . . Torres, fighting from a peek-a-boo defense with his gloves alongside his cheeks, won every round but the first, and the seventh, which was called even by two of the officials. That was the only consolation for the blood-smeared and battered veteran from Miami. Torres, disdaining Pastrano's soft left jabs, hammered the once elusive master boxer from corner to corner. Torres just battered Willie to pieces and exhaustion with his searing smashes to the body. Pastrano was cut over the left eye, lumped around the right, and bled from the nose. In the eighth round, as he tried to hold off the fired up challenger, Willie looked wearily at his corner and shook his head. The speed had gone out Of his legs and the power out of his arms.


  • Before the Pastrano-Torres fight, Emile Griffith defeated Jose Stable by a 15-round unanimous decision to successfully defend the World Welterweight Championship. This was the first championship double header in the history of Madison Square Garden.
  • A crowd of 18,112 produced a Madison Square Garden record gate of $239,556. The former mark of $216,497 was paid by 18,914 fans for Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott on December 5, 1947.
  • Pastrano collected a $100,000 guarantee plus 30 percent of the gate and theater television. Torres received a flat $10,000.
  • This was Pastrano's last fight.

Post-Fight Comments

  • Jose Torres: "I want Muhammad Ali"
  • Angelo Dundee, Pastrano's trainer: "The referee didn't even wait for the doctor to come to the ring. He had no right to stop the fight."
  • Dr. Harry Kleiman of the NYSAC: "I was just entering the ring. I may have stopped it myself — but the referee has full control."
  • Referee Johnny LoBianco: "Pastrano had nothing left. I had to stop it."
  • Willie Pastrano: "I just didn't have it. I fought a terrible fight and took a real beating. Any man who takes a licking like I got should think twice before getting back in the ring. I may never fight again."

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