Legendary Cuban-Mexican boxer José Ángel "Mantequilla" Nápoles died this Friday at the age of 79 in Ciudad Juarez, a city in northern Mexico's Chihuahua state.
"I confirmed this a moment ago with Pedro Nápoles, his son; the death occurred before he ate at his daughter Caridad's house, it could have been a heart attack," Dr Lorenzo Soberanes, chairman of the Professional Boxing Commission, told AFP. and Lucha Libre of Ciudad Juárez.
"José Ángel was not hospitalized, he suffered from chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, but he was in control," Soberanes said.
"They are currently performing procedures to determine the cause and obtain a death certificate," the doctor continued.
"I'm very scared and sad," added Soberanes, who was head of medical services at the World Boxing Council (WBC).
For his part, Mauricio Sulaimán, chairman of CMB, blamed the death of the legendary boxer on his Twitter account.
"Naples butter is already a champion of eternity. We were a great champion, but he did it with dignity and with the love of his children who cared for him. Rest in peace my great idol, my father's companion," wrote son José Sulaimán, who died in 2014, who is also the chairman of CMB.
In his Twitter message, Mauricio Sulaimán stressed that "Mantequilla" Nápoles was "Mexican at heart but Cuban by birth."
The legendary boxer was born on April 13, 1940 in Santiago de Cuba and was nationalized in Mexico in 1969. In this connection, Lorenzo Soberanes recalls that "Butter Naples gave us a lesson on patriotism."
On April 18, 1969, he was named champion in Naples, defeating American Curtis Cokes in the city of Inglewood, California, in 13 rounds. "And he celebrated it with charro-charcoal and saltil sarape," Soberanes recalled.
Returning to Mexico, where he has already resided, Naples has fulfilled the tradition of handing championship gloves to the President of the Republic.
Then-President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz "received him and, as a reward, offered him a car of the last model, a house, a gold watch, or money, but Mantequilla" said & # 39; I want to be Mexican & # 39 ;, "Soberanes stated.
Díaz Ordaz, Soberanes continued, "called Luis Echeverría Álvarez, who was Secretary of the Interior to obtain Mexican citizenship. Since then, all defenses of his titles have been made on behalf of Mexico."
José Ángel "Mantequilla" Nápoles began his professional boxing career in 1958, culminating in 1975. His record was 88 fights with a balance of 81 wins (54 knockouts) and seven defeats (four by KO).
Naples has increased its popularity and idolatry in the Mexican public by participating in cinema as an actor along with Santo, the wrestling idol, in a movie called "Revenge of a Crying Woman."