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Luisito Espinosa Tribute

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Published on May 27, 2012

Luisito Pio Espinosa (born June 26, 1967 in Manila) is a retired boxer from the Philippines who won World titles in two different weight divisions.

Espinosa turned professional in 1984. In 1989, he won the WBA Bantamweight title by knocking out Khaokor Galaxy in the first round. He was then managed by famed boxing analyst and businessman Hermie Rivera. Espinosa defended the title twice before losing it to Israel Contreras by a 5th round knockout in 1991.

Espinosa made an arduous climb back to the top, this time fighting under Joe Koizumi's stable. His comeback culminated in 1995, when he won the WBC Featherweight title by outpointing Manuel Medina. In his first title defense, Espinosa knocked out Alejandro "Cobrita" Gonzalez in the 4th round in Mexico. He then took on the hard-hitting body-puncher Cesar Soto at Luneta (Rizal) Park in Manila and hammered out a well-deserved unanimous decision in front of his countrymen, which included no less than President Fidel V. Ramos. He defended the title seven times before losing the belt in 1999 to Soto who won by a controversial unanimous decision. The following year, he challenged Guty Espadas Jr for the Vacant WBC Featherweight Title, but was outboxed and lost a technical decision after their fight was stopped after a clash of heads. Espinosa retired in 2005 after being knocked out by Cristobal Cruz.

His left hook was a thing of beauty and he would throw it often and with bad intentions . Before we had Manny Pacquiao it was the action packed style of Luisito that was representing the Philippines. And what a representative he was .

Promotional disputes left Espinosa with little, and he retired in 2005 after a public outcry for him to stop fighting.

Espinosa, who was out of the boxing scene for quite a while, entered the Mixed Martial Arts scene by training brothers Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz in boxing to improve their stand-up.He also assisted in the training of the University of San Francisco's Boxing team from 2006-2007 in preparation for the annual Hilltop Cup.

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