The CBZ Newswire

Former Chicago Contender, Johnny Lira Passes

by on Dec.11, 2012, under Boxing News, Obituaries

By Juan C. Ayllon

Photos courtesy of Boxrec.com

The late Mr. Lira in action at right.

The late Mr. Lira in action at right.

CHICAGO – Popular lightweight contender Johnny Lira passed away on Sunday, December 9th at Illinois Masonic hospital, according to Fightnews.com. Friends and family were in attendance in his final hour.

Mr. Lira was one of three top Illinois amateur welterweights in the 70′s, along with Pete Podgorski (now a boxing referee whom outpointed in two of three fights) and Lewis Velez, according to Boxrec.com. He also boxed as a middleweight, winning the Chicago Golden Gloves Novice title at that weight, as well as garnering a CYO sectional belt before losing to one Warren Thunder.

Pete Podgorski (right) lands a right to the chin of Johnny Lira.

Pete Podgorski (right) lands a right to the chin of Johnny Lira.

As a professional, he compiled a record of 29-6 with 15 knockouts that included winning the USBA-United States Boxing Association Lightweight belt by knocking out Andy Ganigan and losing to Ernesto Espana for a bid at his WBA Lightweight title in August 1979.

Rest in peace, gallant warrior.

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