Osvaldo “Ossie” Ocasio is a Puerto Rican former boxer….who held the world cruiserweight championship….and was a heavyweight contender who fought for the world title against the likes of Larry Holmes and Evander Holyfield….who was nicknamed “Jaws”….as a result of him accidentally biting another boxer during a sparring session….long before Tyson nearly bit Holyfield’s ear off during their title fight. Ocasio campaigned in the heavyweight division….turning pro in 1976 and putting together 10 wins before signing with Don King and making a name for himself outpointing King fighter Kevin Isaac. In 1978 on the under-card of the Larry Holmes/Ken Norton title fight….Ocasio scored a major upset when he outpointed the highly regarded Jimmy Young….who had outpointed George Foreman only a short time before that. In a rematch, Ocasio underlined his superiority by again outpointing a this time in-shape Young, in Puerto Rico. It was Ocasio’s career high. This earned him a world heavyweight title shot against Larry Holmes in 1979. Attempting to become the first Hispanic to win the world Heavyweight championship….Ocasio was badly outclassed….losing to Holmes by a knockout in seven rounds. In 1980 he fought red hot undefeated prospect Michael Dokes and was unlucky to only get a draw. However a rematch saw Ocasio surprisingly get knocked out in the 1st round.
Following the 2nd loss to Dokes….Ocasio moved down in weight to fight in the then newly created cruiserweight division….and in 1982 he was matched with Robbie Williams in South Africa for the vacant WBA title. Ocasio became a world champion by beating Williams by a 15 round unanimous decision. He shared honors as world champion of that division with countryman Carlos De León, the WBC world champion. Ocasio made three successful defenses….winning 15 round decisions over Young Joe Louis and Randy Stephens….then winning by knocking out John Odhiambo in the 15th round in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico….then he returned to South Africa where he lost his title to Piet Crous by a 15 round decision. One month before losing the title, his brother had been murdered.
At the time that WBC Champ Larry Holmes fought Ocasio….he was 29 – 0 after coming off wins against Alfredo Evangelista, Ken Norton and Earnie Shavers….as The Easton Assassin was well on his way to compiling a 48 – 0 record before meeting Michael Spinks. Holmes shows his prowess in this fight against Ossie Ocasio.