On Saturday evening, August 17, 2013, V & B Promotions, returns to Tijuana’s Municipal Auditorium with another exciting show. As an added treat, the promoters wish to honor Hall of Fame boxer Gaspar "Indio" Ortega, a local and international boxing legend of whom millions watched on TV on the popular Gillette Cavalcade of Sports Friday Night Fights.
Gaspar Ortega’s storied past: Just after turning 17, the youngster turned pro in 1953. He won all 20 matches that year. After losing his first fight in 1954, he received an invite from a trainer in New York. The adventurous youngster then crossed the border, headed north to the Greyhound Bus Terminal in San Diego to purchase his one-way ticket to the Big Apple.
With little funds in his pocket, no food, no job prospects and just that sketchy offer from the trainer, the 18 year-old boarded the bus. For the next three days his only sustenance came out of vending machines at the various stops along the way. Whatever came down those vending machine shoots became his meal for the day.
After going through the intimidating Holland Tunnel to conclude his 2,755 mile, three day trip, the bus arrived at the terminal in Manhattan. Stepping off the bus, he looked this way and that way and saw not one friendly face, no one to greet him. Finally after standing there for what must have seemed like an eternity, a man approached and asked if he was Mexican. Ortega answered yes, and off they went. For his first fight, he was paid $150, $90 more than his highest purse in Mexico. For his next fight, he received $1,500 - both bouts were at Madison Square Garden.
Earning this kind of money, he had to stay in the Big Apple, at least for a while. Ortega went on to accumulate 131 victories with 69 wins by KO and appeared on prime-time, network television more than almost any other boxer in the history of the sport. He appeared before audiences of millions to battle the biggest names in boxing, people like, Tony DeMarco, Benny "Kid" Paret, Emile Griffith, Kid Gavilan, Carmen Basilio and Nino Benvenuti.
After his illustrious career came to an end, Ortega was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
In celebration of Ortega’s phenomenal career, Saturday night’s boxing card has a host of talented boxers: