Former middleweight boxing champ Rodrigo Valdes dies

Former middleweight boxing champ Rodrigo Valdes dies
FILE - In this June 26, 1976, file photo, Carlos Monzón, of Argentina, right, hits Colombia's Rodrigo Valdes during their World Middleweight Championship fight in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Former world champion Rodrigo Valdes died Tuesday night, March 14, 2017, in Cartagena, Colombia, Cartagena Mayor Manuel Duque reported Wednesday. He was 70. (AP Photo/Rene Maestri/File)

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) — A Colombian official says former world middleweight boxing champion Rodrigo Valdes has died.

Cartagena city Mayor Manuel Duque confirmed the death of the 70-year-old ex-champion. The sportswriter-turned-mayor sent a Twitter message Wednesday calling Valdez "one of the greatest Colombian sportsmen of all history."

Colombian news media say Valdez apparently died of a heart attack.

Valdez began his career in his native Cartagena in 1963 and went on to win 63 bouts, 43 by knockout. He lost eight times.

He held middleweight titles from the WBA and WBC with victories over Bennie Briscoe, but suffered two title fight losses to Carlos Monzon

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