View Full Version : JOSE PEPINO CUEVAS

07-21-2005, 04:33 PM
I remember seeing him looking so awesome in highlights and then when I saw him fight one Harold Volbrecht he looked so ordinary till he caught the dude with a good shot and KO'd him in the 5th or 6th round. Then Tommy Hearns utterly crushed him to win the WBA welter. How good was Pepino anyway? Only Randy Shields went the distance with him in his title defenses..... Was he a legend or a hype?

07-21-2005, 08:10 PM

He was a one trick pony. A very tough guy with a HUGE left hook but skills wise he just didn't have it. Granted he was a real warrior but a great, HOF level fighter?

Absolutely not.

I'll post his career record for you directly below


Jose Pipino Cuevas

Pro Record: 35-15 (31 KO)
Born: Dec. 27, 1957 Santo Tomis, Mexico

Cuevas owns a restraunt and a security business in Mexico City.
Nov 14 Al Castro Mexico City KO by 2

Jan 1 Jose Arias Mexico City KO 4
Mar 4 Mario Roman Mexico City L 6
May 25 Rielero Rodriguez Mexico City KO 2
Jun 22 Pancho Benitez Mexico City KO 2
Aug 20 Juan Pablo Oropeza Mexico City L 8
Dec 7 Raul Martinez Mexico City KO 1

Mar 1 Sergio Alejo Mexico City KO 4
May 13 Memo Cruz Mexico City L 10
Aug 4 Jose Figueroa Mexico City KO 3
Oct 7 Octavio Amparan Mexico City KO 7
Nov 24 Eleazar Delgado Mexico City L 10

May 11 Salvador Ruvalcaba Mexico City KO 1
Jun 12 Sugar Sanders Mexico City KO 1
Aug 21 Jose Luis Pena Mexico City KO 1
Oct 26 Sammy Garcia Mexico City KO 3

Jan 25 Ruben Vasquez Mexico City W 10
Jul 12 Carlos Obregon Mexico City W 10
Sep 27 Jose Palacios Mexico City KO 10
(Wins Mexican Welterweight Title)

Apr 3 Rafael Piamonte Mexicali, Mexico KO 1
Apr 13 Abandons Mexican Welterweight Title
Jun 2 Andy Price Los Angeles L 10
Jul 17 Angel Espada Mexical, Mexico TKO 2
(Wins WBA Welterweight Title)
Oct 27 Shoji Tsujimoto Kanazawa, Japan TKO 6
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)

Mar 13 Miguel Angel Campanino Mexico City TKO 2
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
Aug 6 Clyde Gray Los Angeles KO 2
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
Nov 19 Angel Espada San Juan TKO 12
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)

Mar 4 Harold Weston Los Angeles TKO 10
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
May 20 Billy Backus Inglewood, CA TKO 2
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
Sep 9 Pete Ranzany Sacramento, CA TKO 2
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)

Jan 29 Scott Clark Los Angeles KO 2
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
Jul 30 Randy Shields Chicago W 15
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
Dec 8 Angel Espada Los Angeles KO 10
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)

Apr 6 Harold Volbrecht Houston KO 5
(Retains WBA Welterweight Title)
Aug 2 Thomas Hearns Detroit KO by 2
(Loses WBA Welterweight Title)

Feb 7 Bernardo Prada Los Angeles KO 2
Jun 25 Joergen Hansen Houston KO 1
Nov 7 Roger Stafford Las Vegas L 10


Jan 29 Roberto Duran Los Angeles KO by 4

Mar 1 Mauricio Bravo Los Angeles KO 1
Jul 12 Jun-Suk Hwang Los Angeles L 10

Mar 7 Herman Montes Los Angeles KO by 3

Feb 25 Felipe Vaca Inglewood, CA W 4
Mar 4 Steve Little Sacramento L 10
Jul 25 Louis Mateo Chicago KO 3
Oct 4 Lorenzo Garcia Salta, Argentina L 10
Dec 19 Jorge Vaca Guadalajara, Mexico KO by 2

Jul 25 Daniel Valenzuela Mexico City KO 6


May 29 Francisco Carballo Tijuana KO 4
Jul 31 Martin Martinez Tijuana KO 1
Sep 25 Lupe Aquino Tijuana KO by 2

07-21-2005, 08:38 PM
He was more than that. His record was decieving. He was a young guy that burnt out fast. He was of the style that does not make for long careers. He was a metorer but for a few years that power and speed was enough to crush many good fighters. He was never the same fighter after the Hearns loss. Keep i mind how the same Hearns flattened Duran in two as well. I'm not aying that Cuevas was an all time great. I am saying that for a few years he was a major force and a dangerous opponent for many a fighter.

07-21-2005, 09:35 PM
Oh I agree with you on that, Evan. That left hook of his was one of the best ever-if not the best in the welter class. & yes he was a force for a while but he had too many flaws to be an all-time great.


07-21-2005, 11:19 PM
So if you possesed the one of the best hooks ever and defended your title 10 times why wouldn't you go to the HOF?
And he beat some contenders in those defences.I mean Cuevas Broke Bones.Not too many boxers can claim that.

07-21-2005, 11:31 PM
I have to side with pendleton here, fellas.
Cuevas was a granite hard dominating force in the 70's. He would have chewed up these guys today in Margarito and Zab Judah-really. I was never a big fan of his but he was a Great Warrior. His power was frightening.

07-22-2005, 04:53 PM
While I think that Pipino Cuevas was less than a
great fighter, he did generate an incrediable
atmosphere at his fights in the Los Angeles area.
This was true even if he was fighting inferior

I remember when Cuevas was fighting a vastly
inferior opponent at the Olympic Auditorium.
Of course, there were alot of people who wanted
to see their hero in action. The people were so
keyed up that the management of Olympic thought
there would be a riot. As a result, the decision was
made not to let any more ticketholders into the
building well before Cuevas's bout started.

There were a number of very unhappy ticketholders
who made their presence known to the people already
inside. On the south side of the Olympic, there was
a metal garage-type door. I assume the door was
for the television people to roll their equipment in.
Anyway.......one could hear people shouting and
banging on that metal door.

At the start of Cuevas's bout, the Olympic became
a madhouse, especially when their hero threw his
patented wide left hook twice in rapid secession,
which seemed to be a habit for Cuevas to get
himself and his fans pumped up. Cuevas stopped
his opponent quickly and there were fans who got
into the ring to congratulate their hero. It looked
like those fans roughed up Cuevas more than his
opponent did. I also remember that Cuevas's
manager got very upset seeing the fans manhandle
his charge.

I saw at least a couple of closed-circuit boxing
shows featuring Pipino Cuevas at the Oxnard
Performing Arts Center. Will tell you about it
in another post.

- Chuck Johnston

07-24-2005, 05:06 AM
Love those stories from LA, Chuck, please tell them.

My feeling about Cuevas was that for a time he was like other physically dominating champs like Tyson who never seem to get hurt- they all seem unbeatable until they finally lose one, but it takes a while. He had that air about him- that great face, hair that didn't move, chin set, and left hook firing. His punches really whipped through the air.

I couldn't picture what Hearns did to him until it happened and I saw it with my own eyes- though I was worried about the size difference and two bombers meeting- something has to give. Hearns was freakish at that weight, to big. I thought Leonard was going to be the one to try and bring Cuevas down- boxer vs puncher, and that might have been a more interesting fight than Hearns was.

Of course it is an illusion unique to boxing which is so individual in nature to think a man could never lose [unlike a great pitcher, QB, etc.]. I think the top of the line great champs like Ali, Louis and Robinson came back from adversity and won over a long period of time, not that they only lost at the end of a long run and appeared unbeatable their entire careers. He wasn't up there, but he was something special. He was scary at times.

07-24-2005, 09:40 AM
You know, there was an interesting story from manny steward I recall about the pre-fight that really helped hearns....
He had tommy bend down to look shorter and wear clothes that made him appear short as well. And never stand real close to pepino. Then at fight time, show his true size.

I remember that stuff and it seemed to me that cuevas was never ever comfortable with the guy once the bell rang. A very good tactic against an early starter/bomber like cuevas. And cuevas deserves a lot of credit for signing a contract to fight such a high pedigreed up and comer.

That was one of my favorite days in boxing history and worst days as well===old champs vs young up and comers;
pryor ko'd cervantes earlier that afternoon and hearns destroyed another old champion in cuevas that same night. It might be a long long time before that happens again.

07-24-2005, 06:44 PM
I do agree that Pipino Cuevas had a powerful left
hook, which masked a number of his huge flaws.
It was a huge step to go from fighting Pete
Ranzany and Billy Backus to facing Thomas
Hearns, who was a tall boxer with good boxing
skills, athletic ability, and a tremendous right

It was obvious that Cuevas knew that he was
over his head with Hearns because he was backing
up rather than using his regular attacking style.
Another problem is that Cuevas seemed to be
at a loss when Hearns put a left glove in front of
his (Cuevas's) face. The standard procedure in
Cuevas's position is to move your head, but
Cuevas didn't do that. He paid the price when
he was on the receiving end of a powerful
right hand to the jaw.

I saw the Hearns-Cuevas bout on closed-circuit
television at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center
in Oxnard, California. Of course, the crowd was
pro-Cuevas. After the bout, the fan filed silently
out of the building

A happier occasion for the fans at the Oxnard
Performing Arts Center was when Cuevas fought
Pete Ranzany in Sacramento, where Ranzany
was a huge drawing card. In fact, the live
gate was about $400,000. and there were
large crowds at the close-circuit telecasts
for the fight. Yet it was my understanding
that Ranzany didn't get a good purse for the
bout. Cuevas destroyed Ranzany in the bout
to the delight of the fans in Oxnard.

It seems that Cuevas was the last great
drawing card in the Los Angeles area. Julio
Cesar Chavez? Yes, Chavez's last bout
drew a tremendous crowd at the Staples
Center, but his other L.A. area bouts didn't
draw huge crowds. Oscar De La Hoya?
Yes, his first bout with Shane Mosley drew
a huge crowd at Staples, but not his other
L.A. area bouts. Of course, so many big
bouts are being staged in Las Vegas.

- Chuck Johnston

07-24-2005, 08:36 PM
Those are interesting stories.

Ranzany was pretty popular at that time in the N. Calif./ Bay Area. Too bad he was not compensated well, he was a big draw. I remember people also loved Bobby Chacon, and of course later Tony Lopez- a lot of kids copying his haircut around Sacramento area.

I have been in closed circuit broadcasts that got a bit rowdy- loss of signal before Leonard-Hagler did it, and after Ali lost to Holmes some things were turned over in disappointment and some drunken challenges made. Sounds like folks were hurt like Cuevas after the Hearns fight, though.

Chuck- Where would you rate the popularity of Humberto Gonzalez and Carlos Bolillo Gonzalez with others of the 70s and 80s? I used to trade tapes of these guys with folks in LA and they really talked about them a lot. When Humberto lost his title one guy thought the world had turned upside down. Could you measure their charisma with the crowd in LA at the time? Others worth mentioning?



07-25-2005, 05:56 PM
Tim- It seems that things went downhill in regards
to the boxing scene in the Los Angeles area during
the 1980s. Humberto Gonzalez was a thrilling fighter
with a terrific left hook, but he was not a huge draw
at the gate in the Los Angeles area.

During the 1980s and 1990s, there were alot of
terrific boxing cards at the Forum in Inglewood,
a suburb of Los Angeles. As I recall, the Forum
fight cards were shown on the cable television
channel, Prime Ticket, which later became part
of the Fox Sports Channels. But it seems that
the Forum boxing cards drew very small crowds
much of the time. I think that the departure
of some important boxing people (George
Parnassus, Aileen Eaton, etc.), the great
success of Las Vegas and Atlantic City as
boxing venues for big shows, the large number
of boxing bouts on the major networks, and the
incrediable amount of boxing on cable television
networks led to hard times for boxing in the Los
Angeles area during the 1980s and 1990s.

- Chuck Johnston

07-27-2005, 03:29 PM

Interesting; I assumed that the Humberto Gonzalez era was a time for large gates in LA. Growing up [and still in] northern California I have always looked at LA as a mecca of boxing from all the great Mexican fighters I followed on cable TV, in magazines and newspapers, and later collecting video.


Steve Coughlin
08-02-2005, 04:07 PM
I thought I'd share this story as it was told to me by one of LA's most well known trainers, Jimmy Montoya. It seems that Cuevas' team had forgotten to pack his second & third pair of ring shoes, the ones with RUBBER soles, for that fight. On fight night, Pipino just couldn't plant properly and was slipping & sliding all over the ring. And then The Hit Man landed his trademark bomb - the overhand right - and it was lights out for Pipino.

Perhaps his leather shoes were his biggest downfall that night? C'mon folks, do you REALLY think Hearn's chin could have stood the test of the hardest shot ever thrown at it? While I think Tommy was a great fighter, I don't think he could have withstood the Cuevas left hook if it had landed squarley. If Iran Barkley, one of my favorite fighters, could flatten him with one I'm pretty sure Cuevas could have as well.

But you can't deny he was a force while champion.

08-02-2005, 04:12 PM
You know I do remember Cuevas slipping alot in that bout.But Hearns hit just as hard as Cuevas so I still say Hearns would have won regardless of the shoes.

peter murphy
11-23-2012, 03:08 PM
pipino was the greatest welterweight puncher that ever lived on the hearns fight, if you watch the fight hearns lands his short left just as pipino is winding up his big left hook if pipino connected before hearns he would have hearns in big trouble and could have stopped hearns in the first round as we know hearns jaw was glass