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Home Boxing Alejandro (Alex) Guerrero - Boxer/Businessman - June 12th, 1931 – December 27th, 2003
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Alejandro (Alex) Guerrero - Boxer/Businessman - June 12th, 1931 – December 27th, 2003

 

alejandro-alex-guerrero-boxerIt was back in 2003 when El Paso, Texas boxing legend and successful businessman Alejandro Guerrero passed away after a gallant battle with cancer. It was back in 1947 when as a youngster, Alex, as he was affectionately known, discovered the rough and tumble world of boxing. Over the next ten years Alex would learn well the skills and nuances of the squared circle winning his share of championships and establishing himself as an elite boxer and dynamic puncher. From that juncture on, Alex gave generously to boxing serving as an official, promoter, manager and entrepreneur. He also liked the business world but knew too that it took a lot of savvy and smarts to acquire the necessary business acumen to reach the lofty goals he desired. So he entered college at Texas Western in El Paso, Texas and majored in accounting. When asked by his friend, Thomas W. McKay, how he planned to succeed, Alex responded, “I grew up rather poor in a Southside El Paso barrio and always noticed that ‘Whitey’ had a knack for business and making money. So, I planned on getting a good education and following ‘Whitey’s’ formula.”  And succeed he did, becoming a millionaire many times over. More importantly, he became a gracious and generous millionaire supporting causes for children and caring for boxers who were down and out in their fading years.

While attending El Paso High School it was boxing coach Ted Bynum who was aware that Alex was a kid to be reckoned with in a scuffle. He approached Alex with the prospect of making him a pugilist on the high school team.  It was no sooner said than done. A couple of months later Alex engaged in his first bout and was victorious by knockout. The exhilaration he experienced was overwhelmingly mind positive and from that moment on boxing was the young lion’s raison d’ etre.

Knowing that high school intramural boxing was limited Alex wanted to take on the better boxers of the southwest and he was soon a young protégé of the remarkably talented trainer of the Pan American Boxing Club, Frankie Dimarco. Under the tutelage of Dimarco, Alex would box his way to a record of sixty victories and only six defeats. Along the way, he often threw caution to the wind and recorded over fifty knockouts. Dimarco was adamant that he couldn’t get Alex to be more of a boxer – slugger until late in his career. Nevertheless, Alex won the Regional Golden Gloves six times with only a two year stint in the United States Army preventing more regional titles. He was also a state semi – finalist in 1953 losing to state favorite Billy Haynes in a match that in his opinion was the worst decision he ever encountered in the ring. Alex was a benevolent man in nearly all matters boxing and business but that nasty decision sometimes escaped the deep recesses of his brilliant mind and made him bitter...for only a short period of time. He copped the 5th Army Middleweight Championship in 1954 for a little consolation.


Before he left the ring Alex would win his greatest victory. National Golden Gloves runner-up champion, Wayne Laverty, was stationed at Ft. Bliss and it was inevitable the two ring warriors would meet sooner or later. It was sooner and at the bell for the first round, Laverty rushed Alex and blasted him with a one-two combo that had thunder and lightning written all over it and down went Alex, down hard on the ring canvas. Alex willed himself up at the referee’s count of nine and remembered Dimarco’s boxing strategy, employed it with a sharp stinging jab and quick effective leg movements and survived the round. In that minute in his corner, Alex made the decision to meet the heavy punching Laverty dead center in the ring and blast away until the best man was left standing. His determination and guts, if you please,  paid off as after one full minute of both boxers exchanging fusillades in the middle of the ring, Alex tagged Laverty with a well timed right -  left - right combo that sent the young soldier to the canvass and out for the count. Alex was ecstatic with the hard fought victory and knew it was time to move on.

The business future for Alex was in the making. He graduated from Texas Western in 1956 with a degree in accounting. He helped pay for his college as a pool shark. Texas western had a pool team back in the day and Alex was a five – time Border Conference champion. Indeed, Alex was one of the top eight - ball, nine – ball and billiards players in El Paso history. Many sharks lost a bundle to the young pool master. He then ventured into the bar business and was extremely successful. He followed up that economic glory with real estate ventures.

Alex invested in homes and apartment complexes. His ventures were extremely successful because he was able to turn run down deplorable conditioned units into first class apartments. Thus, his occupancy rate soared to over ninety per - cent. And he was generous. He provided hard luck boxers and a few needy friends with low cost apartments and even loans at zero per – cent interest. Many of those loans were never paid back to Alex. He didn’t fret about the losses he had a heart of gold. His boxing trainer, Frankie DiMarco had suffered a spinal cord injury that left him partially paralyzed. Rather than see his dear friend be sent to a veteran’s ward, Alex provided him a free apartment and took him to Albuquerque to the Veteran’s Hospital for treatments on a monthly basis for years and years.

This writer can attest to Alex’s goodness and compassion. Two times in my life I was in dire straits. That is when you really discover who your real friends are. Fortunately for me there was Alex and my own boxing mentor, the late and great Santos Quijano. How fortunate I have been to have had such good men on my side in my hours of need. In my heart there is a special place for Alex, the best friend of my life and an accompanying space for Santos, the man who was the caring father I never had. And finally, I know I am not alone when I say, ‘I miss Alejandro Guerrero.’

Thank You
Thomas W. McKay
www.convictedartist.com

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Jawbone  - Alex Was A Brother |
Alex was the most genorous man around El Paso, Texas. He had that great smile and a compassionate heart. He was like a brother to hundreds of peole like me.
 
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