September 2015 will mark 10 years since one of boxing’s true defensive wizards has left us. We felt it was an apt time to pay tribute to the one and only Nicolino Locche (Sept 2nd, 1939 – Sept 7th, 2005).
Argentina’s Nicolino Locche, could have been one of boxing’s greatest defensive genius’ always destined to be ignored by the American boxing establishment, and therefore the rest of the boxing world.
Such was his talent and ability he could would make very good fighters look like raw novices.
Nicolino “El Intocable” Locche was born September 2, 1939 in Tunuyan, Mendoza, Argentina. Tunuyan of late has found fame for its production of high quality wines but sadly not for it’s other great export like the sweet science.
Nicolino Locche as his fighting name would still suggest, is still untouchable for my dollar.
Today’s new generation of boxing fans have witnessed defence inspired genius in the ring in the shape of Floyd Mayweather Jr but contrary to popular belief, Floyd didn’t invent the wheel that is defensive boxing.
Nicolino Locche had a professional boxing record in total of 117 wins, 4 defeats, 14 draws, 1 no-contest and 14 KO’s .
Locche not only refined, but elevated defensive boxing to an art form just like Willie Pep before him, and as Pernell Whitaker would do later on in the history of boxing.
Locche would routinely stand in front of his opponents with both hands by his sides (or behind his back) as if too say, “catch me if you can”.
Few ever did.
In fact, their only saving grace was Locche fortunately for them wasn’t a powerful puncher. Locche became light- welterweight world champion in Tokyo, December 1968, by defeating Paul Takeshi Fuji via TKO.
Fuji refused to come out for the bell in the 10th round out of frustration and exhaustion, and because of his inability to connect on the defensive maestro that was in front of him.
Locche defended his title 6 times – against Carlos Hernandez, Joao Henrique, Adolph Pruitt, Antonio Cervantes and Domingo Barrera Corpas.
Unfortunately he would lose on his 7th defence in Panama against Alfonso Frazier in March 1972.
Locche would try and fail to regain a world title his rematch against Cervantes in 1975 and retired later the same year.
Retrospectively in 2003, Locche was certified as lineal junior welterweight champion from 1968 to 1972 by Ring Magazine and in the same year as his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
A man well ahead of his time in the boxing sense, a pioneer in his own right of defensive mastery within the noble art.
(Image credit: Boxing.com)
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