Ruben Dario Palacio
Alias: El Huracán
Birth Name: Rubén Darío Palacio Ceballos
Birthplace: La Sierra, Colombia
Died: 2003-11-14 (Age:41)
Hometown: Medellin, Colombia
Boxing Record: click
Former champ Palacios dies November 20, 2003
By Robert Coster
Former WBO featherweight champion Ruben "Huracan" Palacios died of AIDS in a hospital in Medellin, Colombia on Friday. Palacios became famous when, as reigning world champion, he was forced in 1993 to relinquish his laurel because he was discovered to have the deadly desease that ultimately took his life.
The case made headlines but the brave Colombian champion should be remembered for much more. Palacio fought 11 years before surprisingly winning the WBO title in England with an 8 round kayo of British star Colin McMillan (9-26-1992).
Before that, Palacios had tried unsuccesfully to win a world title on 3 occasions and never gave up on his dream, even when he had very low points in his career (between 1984 and 1986, for example, he lost 4 out of 5 fights).
He was very much the underdog against the flashy 23-1 McMillan but Palacios had his night of glory that day in London. Ironically, he returned to England to defend his title and then he was diagnosed with the AIDS virus by the British Board of Boxing. Palacios had to relinquish the belt he had waited so long to win and retired with a 45-11-2 (19 KO) record.
After, the former champion's life was a tragic downward spiral. He was arrested on drug trafficking charges in the US a year after and spent four years in jail. At the time of his death, Ruben Palacio was a few weeks short of his 41st birthday.
| WBO Featherweight Champion
1992 Sep 26 – 1993