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Esteban DeJesus

Titles: WBC lightweight champion 1976-1978

Record: 57-5 (32 K.O's)

Born: August 2, 1951 in Carolina, Puerto Rico

Years active: 19??-1980

Nickname: None

DeJesus will be remembered by most for his non-title winning effort over 
the seemingly unbeatable Roberto Duran at lightweight, when he outfought 
Duran over 10 gruelling rounds. He was only 21 years of age when he pulled 
off that upset, unfortunately he could not repeat the win when the titles 
were on the line. People forget however that Dejesus was rising prospect 
who had won 33 fights with only loss coming into that fight. The rematch 
saw DeJesus knock Duran down in the first round but he could not hold on 
to that advantage as Duran staged a furious comeback to knock Dejesus out 
in the 11th round with a 3 punch combination. Exhaustion as much as the 
punches from Duran left him on the canvas to be counted out. A unwise move 
up in weight saw Dejesus loose to another great fighter when Antonio 
Cervantes defeated him. Sensing he was not big enough for the jr. welter-
weight limit Dejesus moved back down in weight and won his first world 
title by outpointing Japan's Ishimatsu "Guts" Suzuki in fight that saw 
Suzuki backing up thruout from the punches of Dejesus. Two more knockout 
title defenses followed against Hector Medina and Buzzsaw Yamabe. A 
knockout win over the very talented Vincente Saldivar set up the rubber 
match with Duran in 1978. Again Duran was too much as he knocked Dejesus 
out in the 12th round this time in the least exciting and most one sided 
of the 3 bouts. For next 2 years Estebahn fought on winning 6 more fights 
without a loss and earning a title shot against Saoul Kalambay at the jr. 
welterweight division. Again the added weight seemed to slow down DeJesus 
who was taken apart by Kalambay. This was the last fight DeJesus who was 
at this stage already a heroin and cocaine addict. While driving in his 
car DeJesus became involved in a minor traffic accident and shot dead the 
teenager driving the other car. He was jailed for life and died of the HIV 
virus he got while sharing needles with the other inmates. As he lied on 
his deathbed his arch-rival Roberto Duran came to comfort him