Interview: Jose Ribalta

April 10th, 2011

Heavyweight boxer Jose Ribalta fought the biggest names of the 1990s, surviving almost 10 rounds with an unbeaten 20-year-old Mike Tyson, going the distance with Larry Holmes, knocking out Leon Spinks in one round, and battling the likes of Bonecrusher Smith, Tim Witherspoon, Larry Donald, Vitali Klitschko and numerous others.

Just as compelling is his personal story. His father worked for Batista, the Cuban dictator, before he was ousted by the revolution that put Fidel Castro into power. Ribalta was one of 10 children, seven of whom fled Cuba for America.

 Jose Ribalta followed his brother (a heavyweight who fought Cuban legend Teofilo Stevenson twice) to the boxing gym to begin a career that included almost 100 amateur fights, then a 17-year pro career.

Enjoy this in-depth interview with a tough and colorful character from "The Sweet Science."

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