By Johnny B’
Former world title challenger Johnny Lira, 61, from Chicago, died Saturday afternoon at 3pm at the Illinois Masonic hospital surrounded by family and friends. Details to come regarding the wake or funeral.
Lira also known as ‘World Class Pug’ was a former IBF/USBA Lightweight champion with his 1978 KO of then undefeated (25-0) Andy Ganigan. Lira’s 6th round KO of Ganigan earned him a world title shot at Ernesto Espana who halted Lira in the 9th round of a world title match held in Chicago in 1979. Lira ended his professional boxing career with a 29-6-1 mark (15 KOs). Lira also worked for a short time as a professional boxing judge and trainer.