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Boxing Hall of Famer Griffith dies

International Boxing Hall of Famer Emile Griffith, a two-division champion, died due to dementia pugilistica. He was 75.

Griffith, who was a welterweight and middleweight champion, passed away early Tuesday morning at the Nassau County Extended Care Facility in Hempstead, New York.

"Emile Griffith was a gifted athlete and a truly great boxer," said Hall of Fame executive director Edward Brophy. "Outside of the ring, he was as great a gentleman as he was a fighter. The Hall of Fame joins the boxing world in mourning his passing."

A native of the Virgin Islands, Griffith was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990. He finished with a record of 85-24-2 and 23 knockouts.

One of his most memorable fights resulted in tragedy. He scored a 12th-round technical knockout of Benny "The Kid" Paret in a March 24, 1962 title fight. Paret was left unconscious and in a coma when the fight was halted. Paret was taken immediately to Roosevelt Hospital, and never regained consciousness before being pronounced dead on April 3, 1962.

Griffith won the welterweight title three times (1961, 1962-63, 1963-66) and the middleweight title twice (1966-67, 1967-68).