A long battle with cancer has claimed the life of legendary cutman Joe Souza, who passed away on Monday night. He was 77 years old.
From the Express-News in San Antonio:
First diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002, Souza's health deteriorated in recent years after the disease had spread to other organs, most recently his liver.
He died in hospice care at his home with his wife and children by his side. Joe and Virginia Souza were to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 1.
Jesse James Leija remembered having Souza in his corner as a blessing:
"There'll never be another one like him," said "Jesse" James Leija, who enjoyed a 17-year pro boxing career and won a world title with Souza in his corner. "He was like family."
... "He probably saved me from losses in five or six of my fights," Leija said. "I don't know how he stopped the bleeding sometimes."
Souza worked the corners of the Klitschko brothers (including famously trying to patch up Vitali's face during his 2003 loss to Lennox Lewis), Arturo Gatti (who also didn't make things easy), Fernando Vargas, Pernell Whitaker, Paulie Ayala, and many, many more.
Bad Left Hook sends our best wishes and condolences to Mr. Souza's loved ones.