RARE John H. Stracey vs Jose "Mantequilla" Napoles official on-site pennant, 6th December 1975, Monumental Plaza, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico. Measuring 18" x 12".
Condition excellent (slight centerfold)
Stracey W TKO 6
Stracey was sent down in round one, but he recuperated to close Napoles' eye and have referee Octavio Meyran stop the fight in the sixth round, Stracey winning the World championship by a technical knockout. The new champion declared "he could have knocked me down in every round but I'd have won it anyway". It was Napoles' last fight.
Price: £ SOLD
John H. Stracey Becomes WBC World Welterweight Champion
John H. Stracey (born September 22, 1950 in Bethnal Green, England) former World Welterweight champion. He also had, at one point, a boxing school in London.
Stracey began his professional career on September 17, 1969, knocking out Santos Martins in two rounds. Stracey won his first twelve fights, eleven by knockout, but against obscure opposition. Fight number thirteen was against Teddy Cooper, on January 19, 1971. Cooper was not a big name in boxing either, but this fight ended in controversy when Stracey won by a fifth round disqualification. On October 5 of 1971, Stracey drew (tied) in ten rounds against Frankie Lewis.
Stracey had five more wins in a row before being matched with Marshall Butler, on May 25, 1972. Stracey suffered his first defeat when outpointed by Butler over ten rounds. He then put a string of four more wins in a row before facing Bobby Arthur for the British Welterweight title on Halloween night, 1972. He lost the fight for the regional title with another controversial ending: This time, Stracey found himself disqualified, in round seven. Stracey then won five more in a row, and he met Arthur in a rematch on June 5, 1973, this time winning the title with a fourth round knockout of Arthur.
After five more wins and another loss, Stracey had his first fight abroad, fighting Roger Menetrey in Paris, France, on May 27, 1974 (at the Stade de Roland Garros, where the French Open is played). The fight was for the European union Welterweight title, and Stracey proceeded to win that belt with an eighth round knockout. During the 1970s, it was a common practice in boxing to give World title shots to boxers that held continental titles. For example, the OPBF (Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation) champion would be given priority over other challengers for World title fights and so on.
Stracey was not the exception, and, after winning five more fights in a row (including a win over Ernie Lopez), he received his first World title shot: challenging WBC World Welterweight champion Jose Napoles at Napoles' adopted home-town of Mexico City, Mexico, Stracey was sent down in round one, but he recuperated to close Napoles' eye and have referee Octavio Meyran stop the fight in the sixth round, Stracey winning the World championship by a technical knockout. The new champion declared "he could have knocked me down in every round but I'd have won it anyway". It was Napoles' last fight.
On March 20 of 1976, he retained the title against perennial World title challenger Hedgemon Lewis by a knockout in round ten, but on June 22, at Wembley, he lost the World title, being knocked out in twelve rounds by California based Mexican Carlos Palomino.
In his next fight, he lost to future Palomino and Sugar Ray Leonard World championship challenger Dave Boy Green, by a knockout in round ten.
Stracey retired as a winner, when he knocked out George Warusfel in nine rounds at Islington, May 23 of 1978.
Stracey currently does autograph and private speaking tours with friends and fellow former World champions Alan Minter, Lloyd Honeyghan, Jim Watt and John Conteh, among others.
He had a career record of 45 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw, with 37 knockouts.
Jose Napoles was born in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente, Cuba and fled Fidel Castro's Communist regime in 1962 and settled in Mexico City. In two reigns as welterweight champion, which encompass nearly seven years, Napoles made 13 successful title defences.
It's all but forgotten that Napoles was also one of the top lightweights and junior welterweights of the 1960s. But despite an 8-1 record against rated fighters, and he avenged his lone defeat via TKO 1, he was unable to secure a title shot. Among the contenders he beat were: Alfredo Urbina (L 10, TKO 1, KO 3), Carlos Hernandez (TKO 7), Eddie Perkins (W 10) and Johnny Santos (KO 3).
In 1967, he moved up to welterweight and earned a title fight against champion Curtis Cokes. Although his nickname was "Mantequilla" (Butter), referring to his smooth boxing style, his victims would probably suggest something more brutal. At the Inglewood Forum on April 18, 1969, Napoles gave Cokes a thorough beating. He cut the American inside his mouth, blooding his nose and swelling both eyes before the referee stopped the contest in the 13th round. His dominance of Cokes was justification of the decision by the managers of the champions at 135- and 140 pounds who chose to avoid the Cuban.
Napoles easily handled Cokes in the rematch (TKO 10) and then beat future Hall of Famer Emile Griffin (W15) and Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez (TKO 15). He appeared unstoppable.
But in his fourth defense, against Billy Backus in December of 1970, Napoles sustained a bad cut over his eye and the bout was stopped in the fourth round and Bakus was declared champion. When they met in a rematch seven months later, Napoles regained the title with a fourth-round stoppage of his own.
Napoles immediately put together an impressive streak of title defenses. He scored wins over Hedgemon Lewis, Adolph Pruitt, Ernie Lopez and Clyde Gray. In 1974, he moved up in weight to challenge middleweight champion Carlos Monzon but was stopped in the seventh round.
Napoles returned to the welterweight division and retained his title against Lewis, Horacio Saldano and Armando Muniz (twice) before losing it to John H. Stracey in 1975. He retired after that fight.