Ossie Ocasio

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Ossie Ocasio
Osvaldo Ocasio

(1955-08-12) August 12, 1955 (age 68)
NationalityPuerto Rican
Other namesJaws
Height5 ft 11+12 in (182 cm)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
Boxing record
Total fights37
Wins by KO12
No contests0

Osvaldo "Ossie" Ocasio (born August 12, 1955) is a Puerto Rican former boxer who held the World Cruiserweight Championship from 1982 to 1984. He was also a Top Contender and Heavyweight Challenger in 1979. He scored notable wins against Former Cruiserweight Champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi as well as beating Top Heavyweight Contender Jimmy Young and Heavyweight Contender Pierre Coetzer , as well as drawing with Future Heavyweight Champion Michael Dokes. Nicknamed "Jaws", his peculiar nickname was the result of him accidentally biting another boxer during a sparring session.

Heavyweight contender[edit]

Ocasio campaigned in the heavyweight division, turning pro in 1976 and putting together 10 wins before signing with Don King and making a name for himself outpointing King fighter Kevin Isaac.

In 1978 on the undercard of the Larry Holmes/Ken Norton title fight Ocasio scored a major upset when he outpointed the highly regarded Jimmy Young, who'd outpointed George Foreman only a while back. In a rematch, Ocasio underlined his superiority by again outpointing a this time in-shape Young, in Puerto Rico. It was Ocasio's career high in the Heavyweight division.

This earned him his only world heavyweight title shot, against Larry Holmes in 1979. Attempting to become the first Hispanic to win the world Heavyweight championship, Ocasio was badly outclassed and was knock out in the seventh round.[2][3]

In 1980 he fought red hot undefeated prospect Michael Dokes and was unlucky to only get a draw. However a rematch saw Ocasio surprisingly knocked out in 1 round. The following year he travelled to the UK and made little effort against local prospect John L. Gardner, before collapsing without getting hit in the 6th round.

Cruiserweight World Champion[edit]

External audio
audio icon You may watch Ossie Ocasio vs Dwight Muhammad Qawi here

He later went down in weight, to fight in the then newly created division of the Cruiserweights. In 1982 he was matched with Robbie Williams in South Africa for the vacant WBA title. Ocasio became a world champion by beating Williams by a 15-round split decision. He shared honors as world champion of that division with countryman Carlos De León, the WBC world champion.

Ocasio made three successful defenses, winning 15-round decisions over Young Joe Louis and Randy Stephens, appearing on Jet Magazine the week before the Stephens bout,[4] and knocking out John Odhiambo in the 15th round in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. After the bout Ocasio turned down a fight with Great Britain fighter David Pearce, after Morgans Palle had provided contracts to make the fight in the USA, due to the BBBoC not sanctioning the cruiserweight division in the UK. Ossie eventually decided to return to South Africa, where he lost his title to Piet Crous by a 15-round decision. One month before losing the title, his brother had been murdered.

Ocasio, during his championship run, was able to buy a house in Trujillo Alto, where he maintained a large farm. He also participated in a Puerto Rican movie, playing a slave in the production.

In 1986, he made a comeback, winning two fights including a 10-round decision over former world champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi in Atlantic City. Most fans had Qawi winning all 10 rounds, and this is considered one of the worst decisions in boxing history. He attempted to regain his world championship against Evander Holyfield in Marseille, France, but lost by a knockout in 11 rounds.

Return to Heavyweight[edit]

He returned to the heavyweight division in 1988, defeating Pierre Coetzer in South Africa, but losing the decision in a rematch. After this fight he was relegated to trialhorse status.

In 1989 he made Ray Mercer look bad, losing an 8-round decision. In 1990 he dropped decisions to Tyrell Biggs and Bruce Seldon, then travelled to the UK for two fights losing and being the first opponent to take Lennox Lewis to the distance and scoring an upset when stopping Jess Harding in 8 rounds. Ocasio then travelled to Australia, where he was outpointed by the erratic Mike Hunter.[5]

One last comeback in 1992 resulted in a dreary points loss to ex-contender Carl Williams, but it was hard hitting Hispanic prospect Alex Garcia who convinced the usually durable Ocasio to retire- he decked Ocasio several times before knocking him out in the 8th.

He retired from boxing with a record of 23 wins, 13 losses and 1 draw, with 12 knockout wins. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida.

Professional boxing record[edit]

37 fights 23 wins 13 losses
By knockout 12 5
By decision 11 8
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
37 Loss 23–13–1 Alex Garcia TKO 8 (10), 1:59 Nov 23, 1992 Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, US
36 Loss 23–12–1 Carl Williams UD 10 Aug 20, 1992 Atlantic City, New Jersey, US
35 Loss 23–11–1 Mike Hunter UD 10 Dec 14, 1990 Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
34 Win 23–10–1 Jess Harding RTD 8 (10), 3:00 Oct 3, 1990 Festival Hall, Basildon, Essex, England, United Kingdom
33 Loss 22–10–1 Lennox Lewis PTS 8 Jun 27, 1990 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom
32 Loss 22–9–1 Bruce Seldon UD 8 May 18, 1990 San Jose, California, US
31 Loss 22–8–1 Tyrell Biggs UD 10 Jan 11, 1990 Trump Plaza Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US
30 Loss 22–7–1 Ray Mercer SD 8 Dec 7, 1989 Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, US
29 Loss 22–6–1 Pierre Coetzer UD 10 Nov 26, 1988 Standard Bank Indoor Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa
28 Win 22–5–1 Pierre Coetzer UD 10 Mar 6, 1988 Good Hope Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
27 Loss 21–5–1 Evander Holyfield TKO 11 (15), 1:24 Aug 15, 1987 Saint-Tropez, Var, France For WBA and IBF cruiserweight titles
26 Win 21–4–1 Dwight Muhammad Qawi MD 10 May 15, 1987 Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, US
25 Win 20–4–1 Narcisco Maldonado UD 10 Mar 23, 1986 Lawlor Events Center, Nevada, US
24 Loss 19–4–1 Piet Crous UD 15 Dec 1, 1984 Superbowl, Sun City, South Adrica Lost WBA cruiserweight title
23 Win 19–3–1 John Odhiambho TKO 15 (15), 2:24 May 5, 1984 Mets Pavillion, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico Retained WBA cruiserweight title
22 Win 18–3–1 Randy Stephens UD 15 May 20, 1983 Dunes Outdoor Arena, Nevada, US Retained WBA cruiserweight title
21 Win 17–3–1 Eddie Taylor UD 15 Dec 15, 1982 Aragon Ballroom, Illinois, US Retained WBA cruiserweight title
20 Win 16–3–1 Robbie Williams SD 15 Feb 13, 1982 Rand Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa Won inaugural WBA cruiserweight title
19 Loss 15–3–1 John L. Gardner KO 6 (10), 0:19 Mar 17, 1981 Wembley Arena, London, England, UK
18 Win 15–2–1 Barry Funches UD 10 Oct 23, 1980 Felt Forum, New York City, New York, US
17 Loss 14–2–1 Michael Dokes TKO 1 (10), 2:33 Jun 28, 1980 San Juan, Puerto Rico
16 Draw 14–1–1 Michael Dokes SD 10 Apr 19, 1980 Gimnasio Municipal, San Juan, Puerto Rico
15 Win 14–1 Jack Sterling TKO 1 (10), 1:10 Nov 20, 1979 Convention Hall, Florida, US
14 Loss 13–1 Larry Holmes TKO 7 (15), 2:38 Mar 23, 1979 Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Nevada, US For WBC heavyweight title
13 Win 13–0 Jimmy Young UD 10 Jan 27, 1979 Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico
12 Win 12–0 Jimmy Young SD 10 Jun 9, 1978 Caesars Palace, Sports Pavilion, Nevada, US
11 Win 11–0 Kevin Isaac UD 10 Apr 8, 1978 Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
10 Win 10–0 Tom Nickson KO 4 (6) Jul 12, 1977 Orlando Sports Stadium, Florida, US
9 Win 9–0 Frank Schram TKO 4 (?) Jun 25, 1977 Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
8 Win 8–0 Clarence Morris KO 2 (6), 1:37 Jun 14, 1977 Orlando Sports Stadium, Florida, US
7 Win 7–0 Gene Idelette KO 1 (?) Mar 17, 1977 Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico
6 Win 6–0 Ed Turner KO 2 (?) Feb 12, 1977 Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
5 Win 5–0 Aaron Solomon KO 1 (?) Aug 16, 1976 San Juan, Puerto Rico
4 Win 4–0 Ed Turner PTS 8 Jul 17, 1976 San Juan, Puerto Rico
3 Win 3–0 Luis Reins KO 1 (?) Apr 27, 1976 Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico
2 Win 2–0 Rafael Guerrero KO 2 (?) Apr 5, 1976 Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico
1 Win 1–0 Lorenzo Simons KO 3 (?) Feb 20, 1976 Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "This Week in Boxing History: August 10th – August 16th". August 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Larry Holmes KOs Ossie Ocasio This Day March 23, 1979 and Keeps Crown". Archived from the original on April 8, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2019 – via www.youtube.com.
  3. ^ "The History of the Heavyweight Championship - 1979". sports.yahoo.com. 7 March 2019.
  4. ^ Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 1983-05-09.
  5. ^ "Almost Getting to the Sunshine - Boxing.com". www.boxing.com.

External links[edit]

Inaugural Champion WBA cruiserweight champion
February 13, 1982 – December 1, 1984
Succeeded by