THE RING Magazine

Hall of Fame Friday: Edwin Rosario

THE RING magazine features a thumbnail biography of a ring great who has received the ultimate honor: induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.


Birthdate: March 15, 1963
Date of Death: Dec. 1, 1997
Birthplace: Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
Nickname: Chapo
Weight Classes: Lightweight
Record: 47-6 (41)
Titles Held: WBC/WBA lightweight; WBA junior welterweight
Best Performances: Edwin Viruet (KO 3), Jose Ramirez (W 12), Roberto Elizondo (KO 1), Howard Davis (W 12), Frankie Randall (W 10), Livingstone Bramble (KO 2), Juan Nazario (KO 8), Anthony Jones (KO 6), Loreto Garza (KO 3)
Year of IBHOF Inductions: 2006
Background: Inspired to box by brother Papo, who many thought would be the next “great one” out of Puerto Rico before he died suddenly two years into Chapo’s pro career, allegedly because of drugs … Spurred by brother’s memory to win world championship … Known for aggressive style and one-punch power, especially a concussive right … Bolted to a 21-0 (20 KOs) start as professional … Made a splash with third-round KO of veteran Edwin Viruet, setting up shot for vacant WBC lightweight title against Jose Luis Ramirez in May 1983 … Dominated Ramirez for first seven rounds, before fizzling at end and hanging on to win decision … Injured his hand during Ramirez victory, resulting in 10-month layoff … Made three-straight title defenses, including split-decision victory over former U.S. Olympian gold medalist Howard Davis in June ’84 … Lost WBC lightweight belt in rematch with Ramirez via fourth-round TKO in November ’84 … Went on four-fight win streak to get title fight against undefeated WBC lightweight claimant Hector “Macho” Camacho at Madison Square Garden in June ’86 … Rocked Camacho with a left to the chin in the fifth in split-decision loss that forever altered the way Camacho fought … Came back the following fight and stopped Livingstone Bramble in two rounds to win WBA lightweight belt in September ’86, becoming first fighter to ever stop Bramble … Made three successful title defenses … Lost WBA belt to Julio Cesar Chavez in November ’87 … Seven-fight win streak set up title shot for vacant WBA lightweight title against Anthony Jones, who he stopped in sixth-round in July ’89 … Lost belt in first title defense to Juan Nazario via TKO in April ’90 … Knocked down Loreto Garza twice in first round and twice in third to win WBA junior welterweight title via third-round TKO in June ’91 … Stopped by Akinobu Hiranaka in first round to lose WBA junior welter belt in April ’92 … Never received another title shot … Announced retirement after suffering seventh-round TKO to contender Frankie Randall in January ’93 … Plagued by personal demons in retirement and was arrested for stealing beer from a supermarket … Embarked on comeback in 1997 with brief five-fight winning streak against club-level fighters … Took out journeyman Harold Bennett in two rounds Sept. 25, 1997 in last fight … Died suddenly at the age of 34 of an aneurysm on Dec. 1, 1997 … Attracted more than 5,000 people for his funeral, including many past and present Puerto Rican titleholders who served as pallbearers.

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