Ruben Olivares: The Legendary Knockout King

Rubén Olivares Avila, born on January 14, 1947, in Mexico City, is a name that resonates deeply within the boxing community. Known by his monikers “El Púas” and “Rockabye,” Olivares is celebrated as one of the greatest bantamweight champions in the history of the sport. His career, marked by explosive power and an impressive knockout record, has left an indelible mark on boxing.

Early Career and Rise to Fame

Olivares began his professional boxing career at the tender age of 17, making an immediate impact by knocking out Freddy García in the first round. This victory set off a remarkable streak of 22 consecutive knockout wins, establishing Olivares as a formidable force in the ring. His early opponents included notable names such as Tony Gallegos, Monito Aguilar, and Antonio Leal.

In 1967, Olivares faced Felipe González, who became the first boxer to go the distance with him, yet Olivares emerged victorious by decision. This period also saw his first career draw against Germán Bastidas, but Olivares quickly avenged this with a knockout in their rematch.

Championship Glory

Olivares’ career reached new heights when he captured the world bantamweight title by defeating Lionel Rose in 1969. By this time, his record was an astonishing 51-0-1 with 49 knockouts. His reign as champion was characterized by his relentless power and skill, making him a beloved figure in Mexico and a respected name worldwide.

Despite losing his title to Chucho Castillo due to a cut, Olivares reclaimed it in their third bout, showcasing his resilience and determination. He later moved up to the featherweight division, where he continued to make history by winning the WBA title in 1974 with a knockout of Zensuke Utagawa. Although his reigns in the featherweight division were brief, his victories over fighters like Bobby Chacon further cemented his legacy.

Legacy and Impact

Rubén Olivares’ career is not just defined by his titles but also by his cultural impact. He was a mainstream star in Mexico, appearing in numerous films and becoming a national hero. His knockout streaks of 22 and 21 consecutive wins are among the longest in boxing history, and his 78 knockout victories place him in an elite group of fighters.

In recognition of his contributions to the sport, Olivares was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991. He is often ranked among the greatest punchers of all time, with The Ring magazine placing him at number twelve on their list.


Rubén Olivares’ story is one of triumph, resilience, and unparalleled skill. From his early days in Mexico City to his rise as a world champion, Olivares’ legacy as “El Púas” continues to inspire and captivate boxing enthusiasts around the globe. His career serves as a testament to the power of determination and the enduring appeal of the sport of boxing.



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