Apr. 3, 1962 New York New York County (Manhattan) New York, USA
Professional Boxer. Welterweight boxing champion. The history between boxers Emile Griffith and Benny Paret was fiery and, unfortunately, it ended in tragedy. In their first meeting on April 1, 1961, Griffith captured the welterweight title with a 13th-round knockout. They met again six months later and this time Paret took back his belt with a narrow split decision. Paret, from Cuba, failed in a bid to capture the middleweight crown before returning to the 147-pound ranks to meet Griffith a third time. This meeting took place on March 24, 1962 at Madison Square Garden. At the weigh-in Paret made derisive remarks about Griffith and questioned the New Yorker's manhood. The foes were quite familiar with each other and wasted little time mixing it up. Paret nearly ended the fight in round six, when Griffith was saved by the bell after absorbing a multi-punch combination. Nothing could save Paret from what was about to happen in the 12th round. Griffith backed Paret into a corner and had him in trouble after landing a series of hooks and uppercuts. Paret was hanging defenseless on the ropes as referee Ruby Goldstein hesitated, allowing Griffith to prolong the attack. Perhaps part of Goldstein's lack of action was due to the fact that Paret often feigned injury, hoping to catch overanxious opponents on the way in. But this wasn't an act and by the time Goldstein intervened, Paret was slumping to the canvas. Paret never regained consciousness. He lapsed into a coma and died 10 days after the fight.
Cause of death: Injuries received during a boxing match