BoztheMadman Posted May 22, 2019 Share Posted May 22, 2019 About time we dug him up as well. The WBA cruiser champion Ocasio was a notable fighter in the 80's and has also fought for the world heavyweight title against Larry Holmes in 1979. He stood 5'11 and half but was a very durable and tough fighter who had boxing skills. Never a true puncher but a cagey fighter who sometimes wore his opponents out and stopped them late, Ocasio was a challenge for anyone at his best. His nickname was "Jaws". He is, along with Carlos De Leon, so far the only Puerto Rican to hold a world cruiserweight title. His toughness is evident in the fact that he went the distance with a young Lennox Lewis and also Ray Mercer, giving Mercer a hard fight as well. Born 12 August 1955 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Osvaldo "Ossie" Ocasio got his nickname after accidentally biting another boxer during a sparring session. He made his pro debut in February 1976, campaigning as a heavyweight, and put together a record of 10-0 with 9 ko's before being signed by Don King in 1978. That year, 9 June, he faced Jimmy Young, one of the most clever heavyweights ever, and scored a split decision victory over him in a 10-rounder at Caesars Palace. They had a rematch 27 January next year, this time in Puerto Rico, and Ocasio again won, but this time by UD. He then received a world title shot against Larry Holmes, the WBC champion. Holmes at 6'3 and 214 pounds outsized the 5'11 and 207-pound Ocasio and stopped him in 7 after knocking him down four times in that round, 23 March at Las Vegas Hilton. Ocasio got 250 K from the fight and a valuable experience. After beating the debutante Jack Sterling by TKO 1 in his next fight, he then faced Michael "Dynamite" Dokes, in San Juan, PR, 19 April 1980. After 10 rounds, the fight was judged a split draw, each fighter getting it on one scorecard and the third being even. It was the first blemish on the record of 17-0 Dokes. They had a rematch on 28 June, again in San Juan, and this time Dokes scored a flash-knockout after decking Ocasio three times in the first round and stopping him after 2 minutes and 33 seconds. Dokes is considered perhaps the fastest heavyweight ever. After also getting knocked out in 6 by the English puncher John L. Gardner at Wembley on 17 March of '81, Ocasio decided to move down to cruiserweight, where he would make his mark. Already in his first fight there, he received a shot at the vacant WBA title against the South African Robbie Williams. Ocasio had to go to SA to fight him and the fight took place at Rand Stadium in Johannesburg, 13 February '82. Ocasio finally realized his dream when he won by a split decision after 15 rounds. His first title defense was on 15 December that year against 21-0 Eddie Taylor, at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. This time, Ocasio won by a clear UD15. 20 May next year, he again won by UD15 against Randy Stephens and then scored his only stoppage in a world title fight when he beat the Kenyan 18-0 John Odhiambo, who previously stopped Marvin Camel in 2, by a TKO15. He then lost the title the same place where he won it-South Africa. Fighting against their best cruiserweight ever, Piet Crous, 21-0 at the time, at the Superbowl in Sun City, Ocasio dropped a UD15 with the scores of 147-143, 147-140 and 144-143, 1 December 1984. He then took a year off before returning in March '86 and beating Narcisco Maldonado on points. He would then score or be given his greatest victory when he fought Dwight Muhammad Qawi, who had taken the WBA title from Crous previously and then lost it to Evander Holyfield less than a year before. The fight was on 15 May '87 at Caesars Palace and Qawi, despite being the better man and Ocasio fighting passively all the way through, got robbed by the judges, two of them giving it to Ocasio with close margins and the third one scoring it a draw. This victory gave Ocasio a showdown against the unified WBA and IBF champion Evander Holyfield. The fight was in Saint Tropez, Southern France, 15 August that year. Ossie fought a brave fight but was overmatched and finally got stopped by Holyfield, 7 years younger and 3 inches taller, in the 11th round after first being dropped with a left uppercut and a right hand and then stopped on his feet with a barrage. Ocasio got only one round by two of the judges. He then decided to return to heavyweight and in his first fight there scored a surprise unanimous decision victory over the 22-1 South African Pierre Coetzer, 6 March '88 in Cape Town. The 6'4 Coetzer however weighed in at only 203 1/2, exactly 20 pounds less than Ocasio. In the rematch however, on 26 November, Coetzer got the unanimous decision. Ocasio had one more year-long layoff before fighting Ray Mercer, the Olympic gold medallist of 1988, 7 December '89 and dropping a SD8 to him after making Mercer look bad with his defensive skills. Next year, he lost first to Tyrell Biggs, another former Olympic gold medallist, then Bruce Seldon and finally Lennox Lewis, yet another gold medallist, all by UD. Ocasio scored his last victory over Jess Harding in October of that 1990, stopping him by corner retirement after 8 rounds. He then dropped decisions to Mike Hunter and Carl "The Truth" Williams, before finally getting stopped by TKO 8 by Alex Garcia, then a promising contender, 23 November 1992. Ocasio was now 37 and he retired with a record of 23 wins, with 12 ko's, 13 losses and 1 draw. He now resides in Orlando, Florida. According to Cyber Boxing Zone, Ossie Ocasio was "a fighter with wonderful potential who got "fed to the lion" too early in his career. He was a muscular fighter with a good punch who had built an impressive, but limited, record when the heavyweight champ Larry Holmes pegged him for a title challenger." In the boxing tradition of Puerto Rico, Ocasio was a clever technical fighter, like a big version of Hector Camacho perhaps, who was simply too small for a heavyweight and not hard-hitting enough to succee there, so he had to fend for himself with his boxing skills. The fact that he fought at such a strong era also speaks in his favor. He could dance with the best of them, he just couldn't defeat them. But he gave some excellent fighters a run for their money and won a world title. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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