Juan Laporte moved to New York at a young age, where he grew up into a pretty good contender, but one that many boxing critics didn't consider to be material to become a world champion earlier in his career.
Laporte built a number of wins, combined with 1 loss,including a 7 round knockout of Jean Lapointe.But he still was an unknown when given his first chance at a world championship on December of 1980 in San Antonio, Texas.
He met legendary Mexican world Featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez there. Laporte made Sanchez work hard and won a handful of rounds, while managing to not get hurt by any of Sanchez's bombs. He came out, however, on the short end of a 15 round unanimous decision, as expected. But his stock rose after that fight.
Given a second title shot, this time by the WBA, Laporte met the also legendary World featherweight champion Eusebio Pedroza in 1982, losing a close and controversial split decision. The fight was so close that WBC president Jose Sulaiman decided to give Laporte a rematch vs Sanchez for the WBC's world title.
This rematch wasn't going to happen, because Sanchez tragically died in a car accident the morning of August 12, in Mexico City. Then, the WBC decided to put Laporte vs. Colombian Mario Miranda for the cvacant world title in a fight held at the Madison Square Garden. Laporte turned in one of his most dominant performances ever, dropping Miranda in the 8th round and making him quit on his stool before the start of the 11th. Juan Laporte, the tough kid from New York who couldnt figure to become a world champ vs the legendary champions of the day, had become a world champ.
In 1986, Laporte gave Julio Cesar Chavez his first real test, and many thought Laporte should've deserved the 12 round decision that night, but he lost a majority decision in a contest for Chavez's WBC world Jr. Lightweight title.
Upon hearing this, Sulaiman sent him a new world title belt to show him support and respect from the boxing community. Laporte lost another bad decision, this time to former world Jr Welterweight champion Billy Costello in 1999 and then finally retired from boxing. He currently works with the city of New York's athletic department.