Mando Ramos

Mando Ramos
Real name Armando Ramos
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m)
Reach 71.5 in (181.6 cm)
Nationality American
Born 15 November 1948(1948-11-15)
Long Beach, California, USA
Died 6 July 2008(2008-07-06) (aged 59)
San Pedro, California, USA
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 49
Wins 37
Wins by KO 23
Losses 11
Draws 1
No contests 0

Armando Ramos (November 15, 1948 – July 6, 2008) was a Mexican-American professional boxer[1] and the former two-time WBC and WBA Lightweight Champion.[2] He was born in Long Beach, California.[3] Armando "Mando" Ramos was one of the most popular and exciting fighters in Southern California during the 1960s.[4] Ramos was an outstanding amateur standout.[5] Most boxing fans remember that he could out-box most fighters without getting touched, but because his punches packed knockout power he would preferred to duke it.[6][7]


Professional career

Mando Ramos turned pro at age 17 using a forged birth certificate. Mando went on to fight the main event at the storied Olympic Auditorium by his 8th pro fight.[8] At the age of 18 Mando defeated the reigning Jr. Lightweight Champ, Japan's Yoshiro Kobayashi in a non-title bout. When offered a re-match for the title, the cocky Ramos refused to fight for a 'Junior' title.[9]

World Lightweight Champion

He demanded to fight dangerous Lightweight Champ Carlos Ortiz—Ortiz had dominated the division for over a decade.[10] Negotiations were in place, but Ortiz was upset by 'Teo' Cruz and so Ramos took the fight to the new champ, narrowly losing in a decision. Ramos won the re-match via KO to become the youngest Lightweight Champion in history.[11] Cruz would only live 11 more months. He died in a plane crash on January 1970 alongside the Puerto Rican national women's volleyball team at the Dominicana DC-9 air disaster.

Mando was the first fighter to draw hordes of women to the fights. When a Mando Ramos fight was held in Los Angeles, movie stars such as John Wayne, Bill Cosby, Kirk Douglas, Liz Taylor and Connie Stevens attended[citation needed]. Women from all walks of life caught Mandomania, and Hollywood loved 'The Wonder Boy'.[12][13]

Trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jackie McCoy,[14] Ramos fought ten World title fights, was a two-time champion and earned millions of dollars. Whilst Mickey Mantle and Joe Namath earned 100k per season, Ramos was earning 100k per night. He was the world's highest paid teenager[citation needed] and his purses were larger than anyone but Muhammad Ali's[citation needed]. McCoy stated Mando was the most naturally talented fighter he had ever seen in his life.[15]


Tough fights however, had taken their toll, along with the high life. Eventually drugs and alcohol put the brakes on his career. By age 24 Ramos was out of boxing.[16] With the aid of his wife, Sylvia Van Hecke, Ramos overcame his demons and has been clean and sober for over three decades.[17] He founded a non-profit youth organization---B.A.A.D.--boxing against alcohol and drugs—and donated tens of thousands of his own personal hours—to coaching, mentoring and training inner-city at-risk youths.[18][19]

Mando Ramos died suddenly at his home in San Pedro, California on July 6, 2008.[20][21]

Preceded by
Carlos Teo Cruz
World Lightweight Champion
18 Feb 1969–3 Mar 1970
Succeeded by
Ismael Laguna
Preceded by
Pedro Carrasco
WBC Lightweight Champion
18 Feb 1972–15 Sep 1972
Succeeded by
Chango Carmona


External links

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