Jose Napoles

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Jose Napoles
Class of 1990
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click

Name: Jose Napoles
Alias: Mantequilla
Birth Name: Jose Angel Napoles
Hometown: Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Birthplace: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Died: 2019-08-16 (Age:79)
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 171cm
Reach: 183cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Career Overview

Jose Napoles (right) vs. Emile Griffith in 1969
  • Napoles' amateur record has been listed as 113-1 and 114-1.
  • According to BoxRec and Cyber Boxing Zone, Napoles defeated Diwaldo Ventosa by a ten-round decision on February 20, 1960. However, some sources have claimed that Napoles lost to Ventosa. In the August 1969 issue of The Ring, Napoles insisted that it was his cousin, Israel Napoles, who had lost to Ventosa. According to BoxRec, Ventosa defeated Israel Napoles by a six-round decision on June 13, 1959.
  • After Cuban president Fidel Castro banned professional boxing in 1961, Napoles defected to Mexico, where he was adopted as a national hero.
  • Napoles stopped Curtis Cokes after thirteen rounds to win the World Welterweight Championship on April 18, 1969.
  • On October 17, 1969, Napoles defeated former World Welterweight Champion and World Middleweight Champion Emile Griffith by a fifteen-round unanimous decision to successfully defend the World Welterweight Championship.
  • Napoles lost the World Welterweight Championship to 9-1 underdog Billy Backus on December 3, 1970. The fight was stopped in the fourth round due to a cut over Napoles' right eye.
  • On June 4, 1971, Napoles regained the World Welterweight Championship by stopping Billy Backus in eight rounds.
  • On November 1, 1970, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended Napoles and withdrew its title recognition because he and his manager, who was also suspended, failed to fulfill a contract with the Canastota Boxing Club in Syracuse, New York. The contract stated that Napoles would have to engage in a bout against an opponent to be selected by the Canastota Boxing Club within 120 days of his rematch with Billy Backus on June 4, 1971, providing that Napoles regained the title. Napoles remained the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council World Welterweight Champion.
  • On December 14, 1971, Napoles defeated Hedgemon Lewis by a fifteen-round unanimous decision to retain the World Welterweight Championship. Lewis would defeat Billy Backus by a fifteen-round unanimous decision to win the vacant New York State World Welterweight Championship on June 16, 1972.
  • Napoles challenged World Middleweight Champion Carlos Monzon on February 9, 1974, and was stopped after six rounds.
  • On August 3, 1974, Napoles stopped Hedgemon Lewis in nine rounds to retain the World Welterweight Championship.
  • Napoles was stripped of the WBA World Welterweight Championship on May 16, 1975, for failure to sign for a fight against the WBA's No. 1-rated welterweight contender, Angel Espada. Napoles remained the WBC World Welterweight Champion.
  • Napoles retired after losing the World Welterweight Championship to John H. Stracey by a sixth-round TKO on December 6, 1975.
  • Napoles successfully defended his title against three contenders during his first reign as World Welterweight Champion, and then did it against seven more fighters during his second reign.

Professional record

Championship Record

  • 11 opponents (8 by KO) beaten in World Welterweight Title fights.
  • 15-1-1 (10 KOs) in World Title fights.

Awards & Recognition


Preceded by:
Curtis Cokes
WBA Welterweight Champion
WBC Welterweight Champion

1969 Apr 18 – 1970 Dec 3
Succeeded by:
Billy Backus
Preceded by:
Billy Backus
WBA Welterweight Champion
1971 Jun 4 – 1975 May 16
Succeeded by:
Angel Espada
Preceded by:
Billy Backus
WBC Welterweight Champion
1971 Jun 4 – 1975 Dec 6
Succeeded by:
John H. Stracey