1980sBoxingDon CheverierDon KingLight Heavyweight ChampionsLight Heavywt Championships

Boxing – WBC Cruiserweight Title – Champ Carlos DeLeon VS Alfonzo Ratliff


This WBC cruiserweight title fight was a really good fight between one great fighter (DeLeon) and a really good boxer (Ratliff) of the golden age of boxing…..as this championship battle was full of action throughout the entire fight…..ending in a split decision.

Carlos “Sugar” de León is a Puerto Rican former boxer who made history by becoming the first cruiserweight to win the world title twice….and subsequently breaking his own record for the most times as cruiserweight champion by regaining it twice more in his career….by winning his first world title when faced WBC world champion Marvin Camel on November 25, 1980….on the under-card of Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Durán’s second fight in New Orleans in the famous NO MAS NO MAS fight….as De León outpointed Camel over 15 rounds….then he knocked out Camel in 8th in a rematch.  Fellow countryman Ossie Ocasio won the WBA world title, becoming the second pair of Puerto Rican fighters to share world titles in the same division at the same time….after Alfredo Escalera and Samuel Serrano had achieved the feat in the 1970’s as jr. lightweight. De León lost his title in a shocking upset to former Gerry Cooney victim S. T. Gordon by a knockout in round 2 at in 1982….winning a comeback fight versus former world Heavyweight champion Leon Spinks by a knockout in round six in 1983. After that, he and Gordon boxed a rematch in Las Vegas….as De León dropped Gordon once in the first round and once in the twelfth en route to a unanimous decision win in a history-making bout….as DeLeón had now become the first boxer to win the world cruiserweight title twice.

He defended his title against Yaqui López by a knockout in four…..then came decisions over Anthony Davis, José María Flores Burlón, and Bashiru Ali….then Sugar de León took on Alfonzo Ratliff….as seen in this video herewith…..losing by a split decision.  Now you have got to remember that this lil ole Chiweenie Sportsphile does’t believe a world champion should ever lose his title by decision….and for sure a split decision.  I believe you win the title from the champ by KO or TKO….nothing more nothing less. In Ratliff’s first title defense….he was in turn beaten by Bernard Benton….who turned around and defended the title against De León on March 22, 1986….when once again in Las Vegas…de León took his title back…..joining the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali in becoming one of the few boxers ever to win one division’s world championship at least three times….defeating Benton by decision. He made a couple of defenses in Italy in 1988 before losing in a unification bout with WBA world champion Evander Holyfield by TKO in the eighth round…..and not too long after that, Holyfield left the division to pursue the world heavyweight championship….and de León was left with an open door to break his own record and win the title for a record fourth time. He went to London, where he beat the WBC’s number 2 challenger, Sammy Reeson by a knockout in the 9th round….breaking his own record and crowning himself world cruiserweight champion once again. This time, he held on to the title for two years, until losing it to Massimiliano Duran in Italy by an 11 round disqualification.

Alfonso Ratliff is an American former boxer….who as an amateur won the Chicago Golden Gloves title in 1980…also winning by decision against Mitch Green in intercity competition…..then Ratliff turned professional in 1980 and won the WBC cruiserweight title with a decision win over Carlos De León in 1985….making this fight worth watching….then he lost the belt in his first defense to Bernard Benton via decision the same year. In September 1986, Ratliff was stopped in the second round by Mike Tyson….who went on to become the youngest ever world heavyweight champion in his next fight. Ratliff retired in 1989 after a TKO loss to Lee Roy Murphy….but in this fight….he was on his game….fighting a very good fight against Sugar de Leon….but regardless of how hard he fought….he didn’t win by KO or TKO….so, he should not have been the champ….but it gave de Leon the chance to break his own record one more time.


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