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About The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame

In the United States, there are Sports Halls of Fame that honor professional and amateur athletes in football, basketball, track, tennis, baseball and other sports. There are also ethnic halls of fame that recognize outstanding athletes from different groups including Italian, Jewish, Irish and blacks to name a few. But, there was not a single sports hall of fame that would recognize, honor and salute the outstanding accomplishments/achievements and contributions of our Latino/Hispanic Sports Heritage not only from the United States but also those who came to this country from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Central and South America and from the vast talent from the Caribbean Islands. The Latin-American International Sports Hall of Fame/Salon de Ia Fama Latinoamericano del Deporte was organized in Laredo, Texas in 1974. At first it was to celebrate, honor and promote local and regional individuals who had excelled at their particular sport but soon it opened the doors to include National and International Professional Athletes. It also recognizes as Sportsman of the Year individuals who continue to preserve and enhance our Latino culture, values and educational opportunities for our youth and who contribute to the betterment of the City of Laredo and South Texas. There have been since its inception an equal recognition of women athletes inductees. It was important to find role models for our youth and the organizers wanted to include all ages, regardless of sex in their programs. The Latin Hall was also created to promote economic development and stimulate business activity in downtown Laredo when local businesses are contracted to provide services to our inductees, their families and guests who visit Laredo during the annual 3-day welcome reception, media luncheon and induction banquet celebration weekend. Through the years. (1975-2014), and with limited amount of funds the organization has, had the opportunity to help the youth of our community with scholarships and other youth activity fundraisers. Plans are to have a Latin Sports International Hall of Fame Museum (downtown) (soon) which will be a first for the United States and to provide clinics (free of charge) to instruct our youth in different sports.


The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1975 to recognize individuals with good and proper standing in the community, high morals and values and who have excelled in sports and/or have contributed to the promotion of sports and goodwill in the Latino community.

Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame

47th Annual Induction Banquet

Jesse James Leija

World Boxing Champion
World Boxing Council
International Boxing Association

Jesse James Leija is well-respected throughout
the world. He is a native Texan born and raised in
San Antonio and is an honest and committed
professional with his devotion not only evident in
his daily life but also in his career.
His contributions to the sport of boxing are
exemplary with a professional record of 42 wins of
which 18 are by knock-out. His boxing record
shows his work ethic and his total commitment to
the sport he loves.
During his career, he has endured the challenge of losing and coming back. When he lost, he lost
to the best. When he won, he beat the best.
Dedicated to his commwtity, Jesse spends his time inspiring children to achieve their dreams.
As founder of the Jesse James Leija Youth Foundation, he insures that thousands of dollars each
year are given to disadvantaged children.
He lives a devoted life to his wife, Lisa, and their two sons James and Dean.
There are many superlatives that can be used to describe Jesse but the best one is honesty.
Jesse is a gentleman and a scholar of his sport but more importantly, he is a teacher and a true
role model that both children and adults admire. He began his boxing career early in life, fighting
in Golden Gloves events in and around his hometown.
He became a professional fighter in 1988 and has appeared in 41 televised events beamed around the world through HBO, Lifetime,
Sports Channel and in some pay-per-view fights.
Throughout his career, Jesse has fought the best world champions, including Sugar Shane Mosely, Oscar de Ia Hoy a, Azumah Nelson,
Troy Dorsey, Louis Espinoza and Steve McCrory, to name a few.
His boxing achievements include being champion of the following: San Antonio Golden Gloves: the North American Boxing Federation;
and World Boxing Council Super Featherweight Division 1994 and International Boxing Association World Champion in 1998.