José Torres, Boxer and Author, Dead at 72

torres12009 José Torres, Boxer and Author, Dead at 72The New York Times‘ Richard Goldstein reports that former light-heavyweight champion and author José Torres has died in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was 72-years-old.

Mr. Torres, whose professional heyday was between 1958 and 1969 (YouTube has a couple of clips: Torres v. Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson in 1964; Torres v. Willie Pastrano from 1965) and went on to become the chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission from 1984 to 1988. According to Mr. Goldstein, Mr. Torres was "the first former professional boxer and the first Latino to head the agency, which oversees boxing in the state."

Outside of the ring, Mr. Torres was an author. In 1971 he wrote Sting Like a Bee: The Muhammad Ali Story and Fire & Fear: The Inside Story of Mike Tyson from 1990, which formed the basis for the 1995 TV movie Tyson, which we mentioned yesterday in a post about David Carr’s interview with Mike Tyson.

Mr. Torres was also close friends with Norman Mailer. The boxer was among several "friends"—including Norman Podhoretz—to whom Mr. Mailer dedicated Why Are We in Vietnam? in 1967 and appeared in Mr. Mailer’s 1970 experimental movie Maidstone.


  1. Uncle Ho says:

    Jose Torres was unusual in that he was both fighter and writer. He also went on after his boxing days to remain economically comfortable in comparison to other fighters who hit the skids. However, to regard him as a Latino is incorrect. Latino would be someone like Rocky Marciano or Willie Pep. Mr. Torres to his credit is of black African heritage as noted by Ali.

  2. Ashajamaican says:

    please cuntact me mike tyson to talke to you me jose lozada 48 years old i am a new york rican italian the young stalliaon light weihght champ 1982 my trainner jose torres deid i need to talk to you about my fight with jim wetts  in madeson gardons i beat him yes i am in rand rapis michigan but i live in chicago  born in new york ifi talk to you you now me yes in the streets new york your my freind then  is hard to get to see you champ m y old freind jos the puerto rican stallian yes me  from 1983 in new york i just hear from you bro and talk about old times in the streets in new york champ this peopl talking about me champ that dond now me i one my firt fight and one the belt the same year wtent in a coma  bro icall jose and say he thout i was deid  mayweather sr   say he did not now who i was when i like to fight again not in grand rapis   please call 616  929- 3776    please give this  to mike tyson my old freind new york thank  you