Thursday, October 5, 2017

On This Day: Kid Tunero Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Kid Tunero was a brilliant boxer-puncher, in the true Cuban mould. Born, Evelio Celestino Mustelier, on May 19, 1910, in Victoria de las Tunas, Cuba, Tunero turned professional in 1929, aged 19 years of age. Tunero would be one of the outstanding middleweights of the 30s and 40s, but found himself avoided by many of the top white contenders, with his colour often being used as an excuse, but quite often it was really his ability that frightened away a lot of possible opponents.

Although he had this obstacle throughout his career, Kid Tunero would still manage to fight an impressive array of fighters during his career, many of them were suffering from the same prejudices and political intrigues as Tunero himself. Some of the top fighters whom he met during his career include Marcel Thil, Gustave Roth, Erich Seelig, Jock McAvoy, Anton Christoforidis, Ken Overlin, Holman Williams, Ezzard Charles, and Jean Stock. For much of his career Tunero fought in Europe, where he was extremely popular with the European boxing fans.

Despite the politics of the times, Tunero did manage to receive two shots at the World middleweight title. This happened at least partly due to Tunero’s popularity with the fans, and partly due to the fact that the champion who Tunero met on both occasions, Marcel Thil, was the kind of fighter who didn’t duck anybody.

Tunero actually fought Thil three times. In their first meeting on January 16, 1933, Thil’s NBA and IBU world middleweight title was not on the line, as both men weighed over the middleweight limit. This was just as well for Thil, as Tunero beat him on points, over 12 rounds. Nine months later the two met again, and this time with the world title at stake, and Thil won on points, after 15 rounds.

Tunero gained his second and final shot at the world title on July 13, 1935, with Thil once more out-pointing him over 15 rugged rounds. Tunero would continue to fight at the top level for the remainder of his career, always winning more than he lost, until the last few years of his fighting career. In his last official contest, on August 14, 1948, Hankin Barrows held Tunero to a draw over 10 rounds. H e retired with a final official record of 96(34koes)-32-16.

After his fighting career ended, Tunero became a boxing trainer, and amongst the fighters he trianed were Jose Legra and Angel ’Robinson’ Garcia. Tunero died on October 6. 1992, aged 82.

If you are an boxer, amateur or professional, and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or
, contact Peter Silkov at or

No comments:

Post a Comment