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Torres Tops Gonzalez at the Garden

Jan. 3, 1964 - José Torres (left) of Playa Ponce, P.R., made a successful Madison Square Garden debut tonight by scoring a unanimous 10-round decision over José Gonzalez of Arroyo, P.R. The middleweights were fighting for Torres’s Puerto Rican middleweight championship. Torres won the favor of the majority of the fans with good jab combinations off solid hooks and short, crisp rights to the jaw that scored convincingly. However, it appeared that Gonzalez, by his relentless offensive to the body and his brand of hooks to the chin, was forcing the bout. He did, in fact, make Torres fight his style of fight — close in, head to head, bodies bent low. Gonzalez beat a steady drumfire of punches on Torres’s body, switching to the head only briefly. Torres, forced to fight in close, lost much of his sharp punching power in trying to fend off his ever-pressing foe. But when Torres was able to straighten up, he blasted those thundering hooks and short rights to the head. Despite the thunderous blows, there were no knockdowns. Torres appeared to be stunned briefly by a hard head-butt by Gonzalez in the third round. Gonzalez was warned for low blows in the first and for butting in the fourth. The fighters cracked heads in the seventh with a report that sounded like the best blow of the bout. The sturdy Torres fought stoically the rest of the way, however.

The victory was Torres’s 26th against one defeat and one draw. Gonzalez suffered his ninth setback against 26 victories and one draw. Oscar Bonavena of Buenos Aires stopped Lou Hicks of New York at 1:23 of the first round of a scheduled four-rounder.


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