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Tag: Gaspar Ortega

Touching Gloves with…Gaspar Ortega

by on Apr.24, 2014, under Boxing News

By Dan Hanley

Indian Red #1

While my Dad was appeasing his voracious appetite for the sweet science during the mid – 60s, he was inadvertently jump-starting the same desire in his 8 year old son, who was peering curiously over his shoulder. And as that desire grew, I hung on every word he had to say about those leather-pushers whom I had missed. Perhaps it was in part to my overactive imagination, but it allowed me the privilege of seeing through my Pop’s eyes one particular welterweight. He was described as lean and strutting confidently in an Indian headdress, which created an aura of edge-of-your-seat-boxing. I could’ve listened forever to Pop’s stories of Gaspar ‘El Indio’ Ortega.

 DH: Gaspar, where in Mexico are you from?

GO: I was born in Mexicali, but when I was about a year old we moved to Tijuana.

 DH: What was life like growing up in a tough border town like TJ?

GO: Tijuana was a very busy town because of the visitors and tourists coming up from San Diego. And with 14 kids in our family there were a lot of mouths to feed, so we were always out working. It was expected of us. I shined shoes, I sold gum and I sold newspapers. Anything to make money.

DH: What got you interested in boxing?

GO: I had an older brother who was fighting. He was known as ‘El Torito’ Ortega. I went to see him fight and I liked it. Eventually we had a younger brother fighting as well. He was known as ‘Sapo’ Ortega. (continue reading…)

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Review on ‘Friday Night Fighter: Gaspar “Indio Ortega” and the Golden Age of Television’

by on Oct.18, 2013, under Boxing News, Reviews

By Pete Ehrmann

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Friday Night Fighter:

 Gasper “Indio” Ortega and the Golden Age of Television Boxing

By Troy Rondinone

University of Illinois Press

304 pages, 14 b/w photos

 When I interviewed Gaspar “Indio” Ortega for The Ring magazine in 1995, the Mexican native who was a Top 10 welterweight in the 1950s and ‘60s and a staple of the fights that were a staple of TV network broadcasting then said, “I liked to be in the ring and show how Indio, with no education, can excite a lot of people.” Now 78, he’s doing it all over again thanks to this magnifico biography of a fighter and an era that ought to make up a little for the championship belt Ortega  never got.

Troy Rondinone’s history of television’s first go-round with boxing is outstanding in every respect. Twinning it with the riveting life story of the popular veteran of 200 or so pro fights was inspired and natural, since Ortega appeared in the Gillette series more times than anyone but Dick Tiger. (continue reading…)

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