Chico (Louis) Rosa
Posted on: Thursday, March 13, 2003
Ex-Hawai'i boxer 'Chico' Rosa dies at 78
Louis "Chico" Rosa, a former Territorial bantamweight and featherweight boxing champion, who went on to become a world contender in the 1940s, died recently in Fullerton, Calif., according to family members.
He was 78.
Rosa, who was born in Honolulu, came from a well-known boxing family that included his brother Gus and uncle Adolph Samuels. Rosa appeared in rings in Hawai'i and California in a professional career that spanned the 1940s and '50s.
"Chico was a main event guy who fought them all," recalls Bobby Lee, former executive secretary of the Hawaii State Boxing Commission. "He was a good boxer, puncher; a real tough fighter in his day."
Rosa fought some of the best of his era, among them Dado Marino, David Kui Kong Young, Sandy Saddler and Gabriel "Flash" Elorde.
Rosa's biggest victory came over Saddler before 13,000 at Honolulu Stadium in 1948. Rosa overcame repeated low blows to take a split decision. "Saddler should have been disqualified, but Chico still won the fight," Lee recalled. Ring Magazine publisher Nat Fleischer, who was in the audience, subsequently raised Rosa up in the world rankings, Lee said. Four months later, Saddler knocked out Willie Pep in New York to win the world featherweight title. Services are pending in California.