By Boxing Bob Newman
Word has just come from the WBC offices that former World Bantamweight Champion Raúl “Raton” Macías Guevara has passed away a the age of 74. Macias was born on July 28, 1934 in Mexico City, Mexico.
As an amateur, Macías won a bronze medal at the 1951 Pan American games and represented Mexico at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, losing his second match to eventual Bronze medalist Gennady Garbuzov. Turning pro in 1952, Macías, nicknamed “Raton”, or “Rat,” racked up eight consecutive wins before annexing the Mexican Bantam title, and six more wins before snatching the NABF title at that weight in 1954.
By 1955, Macías was at the top of the Bantamweight rankings and then champion Robert Cohen refused to defend against him, so the NBA (National Boxing Association- then boxing’s main sanctioning body) stripped Cohen. Macías was then matched with Thailand’s Chamroen Songkitrat for the vacant title in San Francisco, California on March 9, 1955. Macías stopped Songkitrat in eleven to win the crown. The new champ engaged in a series of non-title fights, suffering his first loss, and the only one by K.O. to Billy Peacock in Los Angeles, whom he had beaten by TKO7 a year earlier. After two years, and two defenses against Filipinos Leo Espinosa (Luisito’s father) and Dommy Ursua, Macías lost a controversial split decision to Algerian Alphonse Halimi at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles on Novemeber 6, 1957. After four more fights, Macías called it quits, hanging up his gloves in 1959. Macías returned for one last fight three years later in 1962, knocking out Chocolate Zambrano in the fifth round as part of a charity event. Retiring for good after that bout, Macías’ final record was 41-2, 25 KOs. Macías later went into acting or many years, then returned to his first love and trained boxers for his remaining years.
A mass will be held Tuesday in Basilica de Guadalupe where Macías’ body will lie in state.
Fightnews extends condolences to the family and friends of Raúl “Raton” Macías. Descanse en Paz Campeon – Rest In Peace Champion.