Emile Griffith, the elegant world champion whose career was overshadowed by the fatal beating he gave Bennie Paret in a 1962 title bout that darkened all of boxing, died Tuesday. He was 75.
He died at an extended care facility in Hempstead, N.Y, the International Boxing Hall of Fame said.
Griffith struggled with pugilistic dementia and required full-time care late in life. He was the first boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands to become world champion and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
“Emile was a gifted athlete and truly a great boxer,” Hall of Fame director Ed Brophy said. “Outside the ring he was as great a gentleman as he was a fighter. He always had time for boxing fans when visiting the hall on an annual basis and was one of the most popular boxers to return year after year.”