My time with Felipe was brief, a couple of years at best. I never forgot him. How do you forget a man that taught you some of life's hardest lessons. He forced me to learn to stand my ground, taught me how to endure pain, forced me to learn how to slip a punch, and out of desperation taught me how to use the jab to keep an opponent off of me. More than anything he taught me humility, and to never judge a man by his appearance. I never made that mistake again and I have carried his memory and that lesson around with me my entire life. I have passed that lesson to my children.
I have no idea how much his family knows about his career or if they have an insight into the mind of a fighter, but I can tell them without even speaking to Felipe that he was proud of his days in the ring. Every fighter is. You carry that pride all of your days. It never leaves you, whether you had a couple of fights or a hundred. Whatever work you do after that, you are still a fighter. With that in mind you should know that when Felipe fought Roberto Duran on March 28, 1970 in Mexico City, he did not just fight another fighter, he fought a legend. How many men have passed that can make that statement? Just a handful, trust me. When Duran was young, and knocking out everyone that was put in front of him, Felipe fought him and went the distance. He went the distance with a legend!
I hope that someone who reads this will be able to provide a photo for the family, or perhaps a personal story. I'll be happy to print it. When Mr. Torres and family provide more about details about Felipe, I'll pass them on to you. Below is the letter by Epifanio Z. Torres
Rest in Peace, Felipe
My name is Epifanio Z. Torres. I live in El Centro, Ca. I am Felipe Torres' brother. My mom is right next to me right now, and I was translating to her the part of the article that you wrote about my brother Felipe. It almost brought tears to my mom and I. You probably don't know, but Felipe died in 1993. As you were saying, he was a tough little fighter, but like many of them, he died in very difficult conditions. I'd really appreciate in other information, pictures articles that you might have about him. My mom is 83 yrs. old and she'd probably love to see some of that stuff you and your readers might have about him. I have found, in some other websites, a partial boxing record of his. From what I remember, he fought with the best featherweights of his time: He fought Roberto Duran in Mexico City: Kuniaki Shibata in Japan (he lost split decision there which is equal to a victory), he also fought with Shozo Saijo in Hawaii and lost split decision; Ricardo Arredondo, was another one of his rivals, and I am not quite sure, but I think he fought a boxer named Cesar Sinda who died after their fight. I believe I saw his name on the WBC classifications as being the #7 featherweight of the world in the 1970's. A cousin of mine sent me this link, which I am planning to bookmark. I hope you, or some of your readers might have some more info. about my brother, or other links related to him.
Epifanio Z. Torres
Below are the links to Felipe Torres Boxing Record and the article where I wrote briefly about Felipe and the Main Street Gym.