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Former middleweight boxing champ Rodrigo Valdez dies

CARTAGENA, Colombia -- Former world middleweight boxing champion Rodrigo Valdez has died, Cartagena City Mayor Manuel Duque confirmed Wednesday.

Duque called the 70-year-old Valdez "one of the greatest Colombian sportsmen of all history."

Colombian news media reported that Valdez apparently died of a heart attack.

Valdez began his career in his native Cartagena in 1963 and went on to win 63 bouts, 43 by knockout. He lost eight times.

He held middleweight titles from the WBA and the WBC, with victories over Bennie Briscoe. But he suffered two title-fight losses to Carlos Monzon.