Born October 13, 1943 in New York. A former amateur boxer (43-2 record), Cortez won six Golden Gloves tournaments. He turned pro in 1963 and compiled an 18-1 record before retiring in 1971.

After living in Puerto Rico, he returned to New York in 1976 and began referring amateur matches. He soon joined the professional ranks and, in 1982, officiated his first world title bout, WBA junior welterweight king Aaron Pryor’s 12th round TKO over Miguel Montilla. Since then he was become one of the most respected third men in boxing, refereeing over 160 title bouts. Among the notable bouts he has refereed include Tyson vs. Holmes, Duran vs. Barkley, Bowe vs. Holyfield I, Foreman vs. Moorer, De La Hoya vs. Vargas, Mayweather vs. Hatton and Chavez vs. Haugen in front of 132,274 fans. He’s also worked fights with such stars as James Toney, Mike McCallum, Naseem Hamed, Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad and Lennox Lewis.

Known for being “Fair But Firm,” Cortez has appeared as a referee in films such as Rocky Balboa and Play It To The Bone.
Born: Oct. 13, 1943
Induction: 2011
Joe Cortez