International Boxing Hall of Fame

Jose "Pipino" Cuevas

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Jos� IIsidro "Pipino" Cuevas Gonz�lez (born December 27, 1957 in Santo Tomas de Los Platanos, Mexico) is a Mexican former world champion boxer at the welterweight division.

Cuavas turned professional at age fourteen, he won only seven of his first twelve bouts but eventually put together an eight bout winning streak before losing to Andy Price. On July 17, 1976, he received a shot at the WBA welterweight title against champion Angel Espada. Cuevas pulled off an upset victory by knocking Espada to the canvas three times in the second round. Cuevas then defended his title against Shoji Tsujimoto.

One of the greatest wins of his career was against Argentinian Miguel Angel Campanino who boasted an impressive record (84-4-4), including a thirty-two fight winning streak. Once again, Pipino disposed of his challenger before the end of the second round.

On June 8, 1977, he faced veteran Clyde Gray who had only been stopped twice in his entire career which included fifty-eight wins. Yet again, Cuevas pulled off another second round knock out. A few months later, Cuevas returned to the ring for a rematch against Espada. This time Cuevas defeated Espada in the eleventh round after he sustained a broken jaw. On March 4, 1978, he disposed of Harold Weston in the ninth round after Weston also sustained a broken jaw like Cuevas' previous challenger. Cuevas then defeated former champion Billy Backus in one round. On September 9, 1978, he defeated hometown favorite Pete Ranzany (40-2-1) in Sacramento, California via a second round knock out. He defeated Scott Clark (28-1-0) in another second round knock out. Cuevas made another title defense against Randy Shields(33-5-1). On December 8, 1979, he faced Espada for a third time, defeating him once again. Cuevas then defeated South African national champion Harold Volbrecht.

Cuevas finally lost his title in 1980 to the undefeated and up-and-coming hometown hero Thomas Hearns in Detroit. The much taller and lankier Hearns was able to use his reach to his advantage as he kept Cuevas at a distance and knocked him out in the second round. Cuevas' talent began to decline after that loss, the most notable opponent he faced was Roberto Duran, who stopped him in the fourth round in the spring of 1983. He also lost to former world title challenger Jun Sok-Hwang and future or former world champions Jorge Vaca and Lupe Aquino before finally retiring in 1989.

Pipino Cuevas finished with a career record of 35 wins, 15 losses, 0 draws, with 31 knockouts. He fought during a period when an unusual number of accomplished welterweights were active: Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfredo Benitez, Carlos Palomino, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran, although his reign had nearly come to an end as Leonard, Benitez, Hearns, and Duran emerged as welterweight champions. Cuevas successfully defended his welterweight title eleven times over a four year span. During his reign as champion, Cuevas fought the best opposition available to him. In total, his opponents had a combined record of 505-70-29.[1][2] Ring Magazine listed Cuevas as number thirty-one on their list of the 100 greatest punchers of all-time. In 2002, Cuevas became a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.


Cuevas is the owner of a restaurant and a security company in Mexico City. At one point of his career, he was also the owner of a famous sports and luxury car collection, and he was one of the first boxers to model a golden tooth. Most people probably know him for his nickname Pipino, which is far more used to refer to him than Jose by fight commentators and magazine writers.

He ran into trouble with the law in 2001 when he was accused of racketeering in Mexico, in connection with a Mexican mayor. But he was declared innocent in 2002.

His record as a boxer was of 35 wins and 15 losses, with 31 wins by knockout.