International Boxing Hall of Fame

Curtis Cokes

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Rated at




Birth date

June 15, 1937 (1937-06-15) (age 71)

Birth place

Dallas, Texas



Boxing record
Total fights




Wins by KO






No contests


Curtis Cokes (born June 16, 1937) is a former boxer from Dallas, Texas. Cokes was world welterweight champion, and he was famous for his training regimen, which he also imposed on other boxers training with him.


Pre-championship career

On March 24, 1958, he began to box professionally, defeating another boxer who would later fight for the world title, Manuel Gonzalez, by a six round decision. He won eleven fights in a row, including a second match with Gonzalez, before losing to Gonzalez in their third fight, on April 27, 1959. His next fight, against Garland Randall on June 18 of the same year, ended in a three round no contest. He and Randall had an immediate rematch and on August 27, he knocked out Randall in the first round. He had an additional fourteen fights, going 11-2-1 in that span (his one draw was against Kenny Lane, a boxer who twice challenged Carlos Ortiz for world championships), before facing Luis Rodriguez, another world welterweight champion, on September 3, 1961. He beat Rodriguez by a ten round decision, outpointed Gonzalez in their fourth fight, and lost to Rodriguez in their second fight, also by points. He went 13-4 in his next seventeen fights, and, after losing by a ten round decision to Eddie Pace at Los Angeles, California, on August 27,1964, he announced his retirement. On October 14 of that year, however, he announced he was returning to boxing.


After winning three fights in a row, he and Gonzalez were matched for a fifth time, on August 24, 1966, this time for the WBA's vacant world welterweight title, in New Orleans. Cokes outpointed Gonzalez to become world welterweight champion. On November 28 of 1966, he retained the crown against Jean Josselin of France by a fifteen round decision. The WBC had decided to also recognize this fight as a world championship fight, therefore, Cokes became the unified world champion. Nat Fleischer was one of the judges for that fight.

On May 19, 1967, he retained the title with a tenth round knockout of Francois Villeiman, and on October 2, he met Charlie Shipes, who was recognized as champion in California. He knocked Shipes out in eight rounds in Oakland.

On April 18, 1968, he retained his title with a fifth round knockout of Willie Ludick, and on October 21, with a fifteen round decision over Ramon La Cruz.

Post-championship career

Cokes lost the world welterweight title on April 18 of 1969, being knocked out by the Cuban-Mexican Jose Napoles in thirteen rounds, at Los Angeles. The pair had a rematch, on June 29, at Mexico City, Mexico, and Napoles repeated his victory, this time by a tenth round knockout.

Cokes had eleven more fights before retiring, winning seven, losing three and drawing in one. His last three fights were in South Africa. He retired after a ten round decision win against Ezra Mnzinyane on October 5 of 1972.

Cokes had a record of 62 wins, 14 losses and four draws, with 30 wins by knockout.

After boxing

Cokes became a trainer after he retired. Some of the fighters he has worked with have been Quincy Taylor and Ike Ibeabuchi.

In 2003, Cokes was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Preceded by
Emile Griffith
WBA Welterweight Champion
24 Aug 1966�18 Apr 1969
Succeeded by
Jose Napoles
Preceded by
Emile Griffith
WBC Welterweight Champion
28 Nov 1966�18 Apr 1969
Succeeded by
Jose Napoles