Former bantam & featherweight champion, Eder Jofre, was simply one of the finest fighters in the history of boxing. He had one punch kayo power in both hands, unlike fellow bantam bangers Zarate and Olivares. He was also as slick a boxer as either Sugar Ray & was blessed with unbelievable reflexes & defensive skills. To top off the package, he also had an iron chin & the endurance & resilience of a LaMotta, Basilio, or Saad Muhamaad.
Perhaps his most amazing quality was his ability to adapt. Jofre was a very intelligent fighter who could change his style to adjust to any kind of opponent. He could be cute, brawl, anything . . . the guy was a fistic work of art, & he did all this as a vegetarian! He didn't eat meat, poultry, fish or dairy products . . . amazing!
Actually he had two careers interrupted by 3 years in retirement. His first major bout was against Danny Kid, in December of '59. Kid was a top 5 Filipino bantam who was tough as nails & Jofre mauled him for a 10 round decision. His next fight was against Ernesto Miranda, the #1 contender & South American bantam champion. Miranda was a very slick boxer who could punch more than a little. Jofre won a 15 round decision & followed it up with a third round kayo four months later. Later that same year (1960), he won the N.B.A version of the world bantamweight title with a sixth round kayo of Eloy Sanchez, a murderous puncher who had sent the previous champion (Jose Becerra), into retirement via an eighth round non-title kayo. Less than a month later, Jofre had a non-title fight with top rated LA featherweight, Billy Peacock, winning by second round kayo. You don't see champions taking those kind of risks today!
For the next five years he dominated the bantams, knocking out, among others, Alphonse Halimi, Piero Rollo, Jose Medel, Bernardo Carabello & Johnny Caldwell. These fighters were all former or future world champs, or very deserving #1 contenders. No jive, any one of those guys would have a least a piece of the title today.
By 1965, Jofre had been wanting to retire for a couple of years, but hadn't because he was such a national hero in Brazil. His only other close ( & I do mean close), rival for Brazil's affection is Pele. At this point, Jofre was 30 years old, ancient by lower weight standards. He went over to Japan & lost two razor thin decisions to one of the great, undisputed all-time world flyweight & bantam weight champions (& finally inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995), Masahiko "Fighting" Harada. After his second loss to Harada, Jofre retired for three years. He did not fight from 1966 through 1969.
In 1973 & at the incredible age of 37, he won the Featherweight title via a 15 round decision over Jose Legra. He followed this up with a kayo in 4 over the great, former two-time featherweight champion, Mexican southpaw, Vicente Saldivar. Jofre's feat of regaining a world title at such an advanced age (for a lighter weight fighter), easily equals Big George's kayo of Michael Moorer.
In 1974, the WBC in it's finite wisdom decided that the sport of boxing would best be served by stripping Jofre of his title. Jofre continued fighting & winning, but finally retired in 1976, undefeated during his comeback, with a record of 25-0 13 kayo's. He ended his career with 72 wins, 2 defeats (both by split decision in Japan) & 4 draws with 50 kayos.
Today, Jofre is the mayor of San Paolo, one of the most populated cities in the world. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.
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