CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) " A Colombian official says former world middleweight boxing champion Rodrigo Valdes has died.

Cartagena city Mayor Manuel Duque confirmed the death of the 70-year-old ex-champion. The sportswriter-turned-mayor sent a Twitter message Wednesday calling Valdez "one of the greatest Colombian sportsmen of all history."

Colombian news media say 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.

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