Ralph Dupas – Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
Ralph Dupas battled through 135 career fights, winning 106 times. He was the light middleweight champion of the world in 1963.
In 1950, when he was just 14 years old, Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee saw Dupas fight and brought him to Miami to train him. He defeated Armand Savoie on June 29, 1953 in New Orleans to improve to 12-0 and earn his first ranking in the lightweight division.
Despite dropping five fights over the next three years, he continued to climb the ranks. From September of 1956 to April of 1958, Dupas posted a 11-0-1 record to become the top-ranked lightweight contender. He earned a title shot against Joe Brown, also a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. Brown stopped him with an eighth-round knockout on May 7, 1958 at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston.
Dupas moved up to the welterweight division following the Brown fight and picked up a big victory against future middleweight champion Joey Giardello on March 6, 1961 in New Orleans. After losing his next fight, he capped a seven-fight win streak with a unanimous decision over Frankie Ramirez on April 23, 1962 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on the undercard of Cassius Clay’s 12 professional victory. That victory earned him another title bout, but this time he lost a unanimous decision to Emile Griffith at the Las Vegas Convention Center on July 13, 1962.
Following the Griffith loss, Dupas also dropped a welterweight fight in a controversial decision against Sugar Ray Robinson on January 30, 1963 in Miami Beach. However, less than three months later, he was offered a shot at the light middleweight title against Denny Moyer. On April 29, 1963, Dupas defeated Moyer in a 15-round unanimous decision at Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans to finally win a title.
After stopping Moyer again in his first title defense, a rematch in Baltimore, Dupas was TKOed in the ninth round and lost the title to Sandro Mazzinghi on September 7, 1963 in Milan, Italy.
After topping Gary Cowburn on October 18, 1963 in Brisbane, Australia, Dupas was given another shot against Mazzinghi, this time at Sydney Stadium in Australia on December 2, 1963, but again lost by TKO. He lost a rematch to Emilie Griffith in February of 1964, but a knockout at the hands of Willie Ludick in Joannesburg, South Africa led to his retirement. After a short comeback in 1966, he retired for good.
Born October 14, 1935 in New Orleans, he died on January 25, 2008 at the age of 72.