Esteban de Jesus was a boxer who once held the world flyweight title. He was a great boxer, and a better man: after his murder conviction, he went on to become a preacher. It is this last part of his life that we wish to focus on today.
On January 13th, 1989, Esteban de Jesus, a 22-year old professional boxer, was sentenced to death for the murder of Carlos Reyes, who was gunned down shortly after giving him a ride home from a bar. De Jesus was convicted of murder, and he was originally sentenced to die by lethal injection, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison after an appeal. Eighteen years later, in the spring of 2004, de Jesus was once again condemned to die by lethal injection. As he awaited his execution, de Jesus converted to Christianity, and he began preaching to other inmates, sharing his testimony of faith in Christ, and encouraging them to follow the same path. In his final hours in the death chamber,
Esteban de Jesus, one of the best lightweight boxers in history, paid tribute to his skills in the ring. But in the fall of 1980, his reputation suffered severely. Indeed, on one fateful day in November, the decorated boxer sacrificed his freedom by taking another life during a cocaine binge. Although he used his time in prison to help others, his own life ended prematurely as a result of his drug use.
Esteban de Jesus rarely lost during his boxing career
Prominent boxer Esteban de Jesus fights Roberto Duran for the lightweight title on the 21st. January 1978 at Caesar’s Palace Sports Pavilion. | Bettmann / Employees COMPARED TO: Dana White misses out on $1 million due to former boxing star Jermaine Taylor Esteban de Jesus made his professional wrestling debut in 1969. The stubborn lightweight began his boxing career in Puerto Rico, where he won his first 19 fights. In fact, until he was 27 years old. Fight not lost for Antonio Gomez. Although he had defeated many talented opponents over the years, the Jesus had one opponent that he could not easily defeat: Roberto Duran. He was considered one of the most dominant forces in the history of boxing and was nicknamed Manos de Piedra (Hands of Stone) for his aggressive and ruthless style. De Jesus and Duran first met in 1972 in a 10-round fight at Madison Square Garden. He surprised Duran with his first loss as a professional. In the second fight, the two lightweights exchanged blows in Durand’s home. Unfortunately for the Jesus, the trip to Panama was the second defeat in his career. Four years later, Duran defeated his opponent again with a 12th round knockout victory. Around. De Jesus won his next six fights before being stopped on the 7th. Loss in July 1980 against Saul Mamby. Four months later, his life has changed forever.
Former boxing champion commits murder under influence of cocaine
COMPARED TO: Former boxing champion Vernon Forrest was brutally murdered after he stopped to inflate his tires Esteban de Jesus admitted that he began using cocaine and heroin early in his boxing career. And on Thanksgiving Day 1980, his drug use led to an unspeakable tragedy. After injecting himself with cocaine, the Jesus got into an argument with another driver. The decorated boxer pulled out a gun and shot Roberto Cintron Gonzalez, an 18-year-old construction worker. He died three days later. De Jesus was charged with premeditated murder and was eventually sentenced to life in prison. His drug addiction played a major role in his downfall. He was a great fighter and a great person, Manny Siak’s former trainer told Vice in 2015. The only problem was drugs. They ate his life.
The Jesus became a prison preacher before he died of AIDS
COMPARED TO: Former professional boxer Rubin Hurricane Carter served 19 years in prison for murders he did not commit Once behind bars, Esteban de Jesus turned to religion. He became a born-again Christian and devoted his time to preaching daily to other prisoners in a small prison chapel. Unfortunately, Jesus’ days as a preacher were not long. In the end, his past as a drug addict brought him a cruel fate. The former boxing champion shared bowling with his brother for years. And in 1985, Enrique de Jesus died of AIDS. After learning of his brother’s death, Esteban de Jesús was investigated. The result was positive for HIV. It wasn’t long before he started showing symptoms. And after he fought to get his sentence commuted, his wish was granted. In the spring of 1989, Puerto Rico’s governor, Rafael Hernández, released Colón de Jesús from prison on the condition that he remain in an AIDS treatment center in San Juan. Several celebrities visited him in prison, including Roberto Duran. His former opponent hugged him and kissed him on the forehead to show his support. On the 12th. In May 1989, Esteban de Jesus died of AIDS at the age of 37. How to get help In the United States, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline at 1-800-662-4357 .