Carlos Teo Cruz Signed Photo Boxing Champ - D. 1970 at age 32

Carlos Teo Cruz(D. 1970 at the age of 32 in tragic plane crash) was a boxer from the Dominican Republic. Considered by many Dominican boxing fans to be one of the finest boxers ever born in that country, Cruz was world Lightweight champion from 1968 to 1970. He spent the first half of 1964 touring Australia, where he won 5 fights and lost one. Then, he returned to Latin America, his first fight after arriving in Australia being a major step up in quality of opposition for him: In Caracas, he met fellow world champion boxer Carlos Morocho Hernandez. He was knocked out in four rounds by Hernandez. On to Panama City, where he lost a ten round decision to Julio Ruiz. He finished his year by beating Marcos Morales in Santo Domingo. In 1965, he was undefeated. He fought in St. Croix, in Mayag?ez, in Caguas and in London among other places. He won all ten of his bouts that year. He won 8 bouts, lost 1 and drew 1 in 1966. He drew with Jaime Valladares in Quito, and lost to Frankie Narvaez in San Juan. But he also beat former world title challenger Bunny Grant. In 1967, he avenged his loss to Narvaez, and went undefeated the rest of the year, securing his position as the world's number one challenger among Lightweights. He won three more fights to begin 1968, and then, on June 29 in Santo Domingo, he was given his first chance to challenge for a world title. He became world Lightweight champion when he defeated Carlos Ortiz by a decision in fifteen rounds. He defended the world title with a fifteen round decision over Mando Ramos in Los Angeles, and then, he closed the year by winning a non-title bout in Tokyo, also by decision, in ten. There was a rematch between Cruz and Ramos, also held in Los Angeles. The second time around, Ramos became world Lightweight champion by beating Cruz with a nine round knockout. Cruz went on to win his next three bouts of 1969.

On January 17 of 1970, Cruz won what would turn out to be, tragically, his last fight. He beat Benito Juarez in San Juan by a decision in ten, and then returned to Santo Domingo. On February 15, he was flying back to San Juan alongside his family for a rematch with Ortiz, when their Dominicana de Aviacion DC-9 plane crashed into the waters of the Caribbean shortly after take-off, killing Cruz, his wife and 18-month child, and the rest of the passengers, among which also were a large part of Puerto Rico's national volleyball team (see: Dominicana DC-9 air disaster) Cruz had a record of 66 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws as a professional boxer, 34 wins coming by knockout. We offer a signed Boxing Illustrated Magazine cover. SUPER RARE.

Item: 1836

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Carlos Teo Cruz Signed Photo Boxing Champ -  D. 1970 at age 32