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Carlos de León

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Carlos de León

Carlos de León, also known as "Sugar" de Leon, (born May 3, 1959) is a Puerto Rican former boxer who made history by becoming the first Cruiserweight to win the world title twice. Subsequently, he kept breaking his own record for the most times as Cruiserweight champion by regaining it twice more.

Career

De León, a native of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, first won a world title when faced with WBC world champion Marvin Camel on November 25, 1980, at the undercard of Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Durán's second fight in New Orleans. De León outpointed Camel over 15 rounds. After he knocked out Camel in 8 in a rematch, countryman Ossie Ocasio won the WBA world title, becoming the second pair of Puerto Ricans to share world titles in the same division at the same time, after Alfredo Escalera and Samuel Serrano had achieved the feat in the 1970s at Jr. Lightweight. De León lost his title in a shocking upset to former Gerry Cooney victim S. T. Gordon by a knockout in round 2 at Cleveland in 1982, and won a comeback fight versus former world Heavyweight champion Leon Spinks by a knockout in round six in 1983. After that, he and Gordon boxed a rematch in Las Vegas, and De León dropped Gordon once in the first round and once in the twelfth, en route to a unanimous decision win in a history-making bout: De León had now become the first boxer to win the world Cruiserweight title twice.

He defended his title against Yaqui López by a knockout in four at San Jose, California, and with decisions over Anthony Davis, José María Flores Burlón, and Bashiru Ali. The Davis and Burlon bouts took place in Las Vegas and the fight with Ali was in Oakland, California. De León next lost his title in Las Vegas to Alfonzo Ratliff by a decision. Ratliff was in turn beaten by Bernard Benton, who defended against De León on March 22, 1986, once again in Las Vegas. De León joined the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali in becoming one of the few boxers ever to win one division's world championship at least three times, defeating Benton by decision. He made a couple of defenses in Italy and then in 1988, lost his titles in a unification bout with WBA world champion Evander Holyfield, by TKO in the eighth round, also in Las Vegas. But Holyfield soon left the division to pursue the world Heavyweight championship, and De León was left with an open door to break his own record and win the title for a record fourth time. He went to London, where he beat the WBC's number 2 challenger, Sammy Reeson, by a knockout in the Ninth round, breaking his own record and crowning

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