Willie Pastrano

Willie Pastrano

Wilfred Raleigh Pastrano (November 27 1935—December 6 1997) was a light heavyweight boxer who held the world crown from 1963 until 1965.

Early life

Pastrano was born in New Orleans. Pastrano's best friend, Ralph Dupas started training in boxing at a local gym. Pastrano, who weighed over 250 pounds, decided to start working out with his friend.

As Willie lost weight, he realized two things. First, he loved boxing. Second, he hated getting hit. So, Pastrano developed a style of boxing in which he hardly got hit, and in return, tried not to hurt his opponent as well.

Pastrano was already married as a teenager, and by 1962, he and his wife Faye, had five children; John (born 1955), Donna (1957), Frank (1959), Nicholas (1960), and Angelo (1962).

Pro career

Pastrano began his career at the age of 16. He fought many heavyweights and outpointed heavyweight contenders Rex Layne, Brian London and Tom McNeeley.

The talented Pastrano won the light heavyweight championship when he outpointed the great Harold Johnson on a close 15 round decision. He successfully defended his crown by stopping Gregorio Peralta of Argentina on a TKO, and by coming back from a certain defeat on points to KO English challenger Terry Downes in 11 rounds in Manchester, England. Pastrano lost his crown when he was TKOed by Jose Torres in 10 rounds. In the Torres fight, Pastrano was knocked down for the only time in his career by a powerful left hook to the kidney. Pastrano retired after that match and never fought again.

Managed by the legendary Angelo Dundee, Pastrano was a smooth, quick boxer with a great left hand. He was a stablemate of Cassius Clay and often sparred with the future champion early in Clay's career. His talent was dissipated by his aversion to training and a fondness for partying and carousing. Nevertheless, he defeated most of the light heavyweight challengers of his generation. He also outpointed former light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim, and boxed a draw with the legendary Archie Moore. He retired with a record of 63 wins (14 by KO), 13 losses and 8 draws.


*Internet Movie Database".
*"Ring Magazine", September 1967, page 50: BRENNAN STOPS PONDER IN BAHAMAS KICKOFF, by Harley Oakes.

External links

*imdb name|0665157

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