NO. 9 JOSE BECERRA
Record: 72-5-2 (43 KOs)
Background: The aggressive Guadalajara native relieved Halimi of the world bantamweight title by knocking out the rugged Frenchman in the eighth round of their 1959 fight, which took place at the newly constructed Sports Arena in Los Angels.
“Becerra opened the Sports Arena with that first fight against, Halimi, who was a tough Jewish Moroccan from France; the building hadn’t even been completed yet,” recalled Caplan. “I’ll never forget that night. The arena was packed and when the fight was stopped it the was the loudest, most ear-piercing noise I’ve ever heard in my life. I mean that. It was loudest thing I’ve ever heard, bar none. The fans went nuts.”
The popular champ defended the world title by stopping Halimi in the ninth round of their rematch at Memorial Coliseum in L.A. in 1960.
Becerra, who retired in 1962, who also owned victories over future two-time title challenger Jose Medal and former champ Mario D’Agota.