International Boxing Hall of Fame

Sixto Escobar

"El Gallito"

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Sixto Escobar
 
Statistics
Real name Sixto Escobar
Nickname(s) El Gallito
Rated at Bantamweight
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Nationality Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
Birth date March 23, 1913
Birth place Barceloneta, Puerto Rico
Death date November 17, 1979
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 68
Wins 43
Wins by KO 19
Losses 22
Draws 3
No contests 0

Sixto Escobar (March 23, 1913 - November 17, 1979) was Puerto Rico's first world boxing champion.

 Boxing career

He started boxing at the age of 17 and campaigned both in Puerto Rico and Venezuela, where he got his first championship try, a 12-round decision loss to Jose T. Rosales for the Venezuelan Bantamweight title.

In 1936, in Montreal, he made history by knocking out Mexican Baby Casanova to become Puerto Rico's first world champion ever. There would be no other Puerto Rican world champion until almost 30 years later, when Carlos Ortiz won the Jr. Welterweight title, and Escobar immediately became a national hero in Puerto Rico. The next year he unified the title, beating the other world champion, Tony Marino, who would sadly die as a consequence of blows received in another bout in 1939. After winning the championship for the first time, Escobar was received by many at San Juan's dock; Jack Dempsey and Ring Magazine editor Nat Fleischer were among those who received him.

Escobar reigned three times in the Bantamweights, losing his title to and recovering it from both Harry Jeffra and Lou Salica. Along the way he beat tough challengers like Mexico's Indian Quintana in what was the first time ever a Puerto Rican champion won a world-title bout by knockout in the first round.

Once his fighting days were over, Escobar, who participated in an era where boxers gained small purses in comparison to today's era, had to earn his living selling liquor around Puerto Rican bars, and during that time, it was common for liquor salesmen to drink a little bit of the product they sold in front of potential customers, so Escobar, unfortunately, developed an alcohol problem. Deciding to move his family to New York City, Escobar became a spokesperson for liquor and beer companies. After retiring Escobar went back to his native land of Puerto Rico for the battle of his life, with diabetes, one that would ultimately take him to the grave at the age of 66.

Escobar was, however, always a hero in Puerto Rico, and he was always thankful of his adoring fans. He felt charmed about being a celebrity.

It is reported that his record was 42 wins and 21 losses, with 21 wins by knockout, but the record isn't clear, because, during his era, boxers used to engage in many unsanctioned paid bouts, so he might have had more wins or losses as a professional.

After his death Escobar became the first world boxing champion in history to have a statue erected, his town of Barceloneta giving him that honor. In 2003 controversy surrounding this statue surfaced, because the government of the city of Barceloneta decided to bring the statue down and build a park in the area instead.

Escobar is a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame.

Throughout his career Escobar was never knocked down or out in a professional boxing fight.

In March of 2005 Escobar was honored again, when a new statue of him was revealed in the "Sixto Escobar Stadium" in San Juan. Among the celebrities that attended the revealing of the new statue were former world-champion boxers Julian Solis (who also held the world Bantamweight title) and Alfredo Escalera.

Professional championships

Preceded by
Panama Al Brown
Recognition withdrawn
Montreal Athletic Commission World Bantamweight Champion
26 Jun 1934 26 Aug 1935
Succeeded by
Lou Salica
Preceded by
Panama Al Brown
Recognition withdrawn
NBA World Bantamweight Champion
7 Aug 1935 26 Aug 1935
Succeeded by
Lou Salica
Preceded by
Panama Al Brown
Recognition withdrawn
NYSAC World Bantamweight Champion
7 Aug 1935 26 Aug 1935
Succeeded by
Lou Salica
Preceded by
Lou Salica
World Bantamweight Champion
Disputed until defeat of
Tony Marino on August 31, 1936

15 Nov 1935 23 Sep 1937
Succeeded by
Harry Jeffra
Preceded by
Harry Jeffra
World Bantamweight Champion
20 Feb 1938 Oct 1939
Abandons
Succeeded by
Georgie Pace (NBA)
Lou Salica (New York), (California, disputed)
Little Dado
(California, disputed)