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Hall of Famer Eder Jofre, legendary bantamweight and featherweight champion, dies at 86

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Former bantamweight and featherweight champion Eder Jofre, who received the award from the WBC at the 2019 convention in Cancun, Mexico, died Sunday at the age of 86 in Brazil.
Former bantamweight and featherweight champion Eder Jofre, who received the award from the WBC at the 2019 convention in Cancun, Mexico, died Sunday at the age of 86 in Brazil. (Photo courtesy of WBC)

Eder Jofre, arguably Brazil’s greatest boxer whose skills and punching power helped him induct him into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, died Sunday in Brazil after a long illness. He was 86 years old.

Jofre, who competed in the 1956 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, is considered one of the greatest bantamweight champions, and in 2003 The Ring ranked him 85th among the 100 greatest punchers of all time.

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He was 72-2-4 with 50 knockouts. In one of his draws on November 5, 1965 against Manny Elias, he won on all three cards, but since the rule in Brazil required a fighter to lead by at least four points on at least two cards, the fight was declared a draw.

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His only losses were to Fighting Harad for the WBA and WBC bantamweight titles. Harada won by split decision on May 18, 1965 in Nagoya, Japan. Harada won by unanimous decision 69–68, 71–68 and 71–69 in a rematch in Tokyo on May 31, 1966.

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On Saturday, the WBC held an amateur tournament in Brazil named after Jofre. The event was attended by fighters from Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador and Mexico. He died a few hours after its completion.

“He was a warrior,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sportzshala Sports. “He was a great fighter at a time when bantamweight was very important and he had so many great fighters in him. Fights Harada, Jose Medel. He has had so many great fights and is considered the greatest bantamweight of all time. “Boxing was so different. They fought 15 rounds and the fighters were much more active. He was a really great and amazing fighter.”

“He was a classic boxer, but he had power. His technique was very good and he was aggressive so he was always interesting to watch. guy. It’s a big loss.”

Jofre retired at age 30 after his second loss to Harada. He was 47-2-4 at the time. After three years in retirement, he returned to the featherweight division. He scored 14 straight wins to earn a shot at the WBC featherweight world title against José Legrá in Brasilia, Brazil on May 5, 1973. Jofre won by majority decision to become the WBC featherweight champion.

He was not himself at featherweight and was stripped of the title a year later. He never lost a fight before finally retiring in 1976.

He was an alderman for 16 years in Brazil after he retired and made many public appearances. The WBC honored him at their convention in Cancun, Mexico in 2019.

“He fought [illness] many years, but he was always strong, positive and smiling,” Suleiman said.

Jofre was “extremely close” to Suleiman’s father, José Suleiman. José Sulaiman was WBC president for many years before his son Mauricio succeeded him after his death.

“When he appeared in public, he started sparring with people in a funny way and was always happy and loved being around boxers and boxing fans,” said Mauricio Suleiman.

Brazilian champion Eder Jofre delivers a neat right to the nose of contender Herman Marquez of Stockton, California in the eighth round of their bantamweight title fight at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, May 4, 1962.  Fight in the tenth round with Jofre retaining his title by knockout.  (AP Photo)
Eder Jofre (right), shown in the 1962 bantamweight title fight in San Francisco, California with Germán Márquez, died Sunday in Brazil at the age of 86. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. (AP Photo)


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