Boxing champ Emile Griffith dies

International Sports Desk, Jul 24 (EFE).- Former boxer Emile Griffith, who garnered five titles in the 1960s, died in Hempstead, New York, the International Boxing Hall of Fame said. He was 75.

Griffith won his titles in the welterweight and middleweight categories and retired with a record of 85 wins, 24 defeats and two draws.

Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, his career included the unusual fact that one of his rivals, Cuban Benny Paret, died 10 days after being defeated by Griffith in 1962.

Accounts from Sports Illustrated and other sources indicated that Paret had spouted insults before the fight alluding to his rival's alleged homosexuality, a situation that spurred Griffith on even more in the bout, which he won by a 12th-round knockout that put the Cuban into a coma from which he never recovered.

The World Boxing Council announced three days of mourning for Griffith, whose health had sharply declined over the past 10 years. At the time of his death, he suffered from dementia and was living on a WBC pension.