Ray Mancini

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Ray Mancini
Ray Boom Boom Mancini 2008.JPG
Mancini in 2008
Statistics
Real name Ray Mancini
Nickname(s) Boom Boom
Rated at Lightweight
Nationality United States
Born (1961-03-04) March 4, 1961 (age 53)
Youngstown, Ohio
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 34
Wins 29
Wins by KO 23
Losses 5
Draws 0
No contests 0

Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini (born Raymond Michael Mancino; March 4, 1961) is a retired American boxer. He held the World Boxing Association lightweight championship from 1982 to 1984.[1] Mancini inherited his distinctive nickname from his father, veteran boxer Lenny "Boom Boom" Mancini,[2] who laid the foundation for his son's career.

Early life[edit]

Mancini, an Italian American, was born Raymond Michael Mancini in Youngstown, Ohio on March 4, 1961. Boxing played a prominent role in the Mancini family history. Mancini's father, Lenny Mancini (the original "Boom Boom"), was a top-ranked contender during the 1940s. Lenny Mancini's dream, however, was dashed when he was wounded during World War II. Although Lenny Mancini returned to boxing, limitations resulting from his injuries prevented him from fulfilling his potential.[3]

Lenny inspired young Mancini to develop his boxing skills and encouraged him to train at a gym when he was quite young. Starting in 1977, Ray had a stellar amateur career with a record of 43-7 and several Golden Gloves championships. On October 18, 1979 he made his professional debut by defeating Phil Bowen with a first round knockout. His whirlwind punching style caught the attention of network executives at several American television networks, and he became a regular on their sports programming. During this time Ray Mancini defeated some notable boxers including former United States champion Norman Goins.[citation needed]

Lightweight championships[edit]

On April 30, 1980, Mancini defeated Bobby Sparks with a knockout at 1:28 in the first round for the regional Ohio State Lightweight title. Over a year later on May 16, 1981, Mancini won his first major title by defeating Jorge Morales for the WBC-affiliated NABF Lightweight championship when the referee determined that Morales could not continue after the 9th round. Two months later, he successfully defended the title against Jose Luis Ramirez after a unanimous decision. Mancini's first attempt at a world title came in his next bout on October 3 when he was pitted against Alexis Argüello for his World Boxing Council lightweight title. The event was selected by many (including The Ring and ESPN) as one of the most spectacular fights of the 1980s. Mancini gave Arguello trouble early and built a lead on the scorecards, but Arguello used his experience to his advantage in the later rounds and stopped Mancini in the 14th round.

Mancini would rebound from the loss to Arguello by winning his next two bouts, including a second (and last) successful defense of his NABF Lightweight title against Julio Valdez (10th round TKO) which would earn him another chance at a world title.

Winning WBA title[edit]

On May 8, 1982, in a match held at The Aladdin in Las Vegas, he challenged the new World Boxing Association lightweight champion, Arturo Frias.[4] Fifteen seconds into the fight, Frias caught Mancini with a left hook to the chin. Another combination made Mancini start bleeding from his eyebrow. Mancini recovered and dropped Frias right in the center of the ring with a combination. Dazed, Frias got back up but Mancini went on the offensive and was on top of Frias the moment the referee said they could go on. Mancini trapped Frias against the ropes. After many unanswered blows, the referee stopped the fight at 2:54 in the first round, and the Mancini family finally had a world champion.[1]

Match against Duk Koo Kim[edit]

Mancini's first defense, against former world champion Ernesto España, went smoothly with a Mancini knockout win in the 6th round.

His next defense would change both his life and the face of boxing: On November 13, 1982, a 21-year-old Mancini met 23-year-old South Korean challenger Duk Koo Kim. Kim had to go through the process of losing several pounds immediately before the fight to make the weight. The title bout, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, was televised live at 1pm PST on CBS Sports. It was, according to many observers, a fight filled with action, but Mancini had an easy time hitting Kim during the 14 rounds the fight lasted. Kim suffered brain injuries that led to his death four days later.[5] The week after his death, the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine showed Mancini and Kim battling, under the title "Tragedy in the Ring."[6]

Mancini went to the funeral in South Korea and he fell into a deep depression afterwards.[3] He has said that the hardest moments came when people approached him and asked if he was the boxer who "killed" Duk Koo Kim. Mancini went through a period of reflection, as he blamed himself for Kim's death. In addition, Kim's mother committed suicide four months after the fight, and the bout's referee, Richard Green, killed himself in July 1983.[7]

As a result of this bout, the WBC took steps to shorten its title bouts to a maximum of 12 rounds. The WBA and WBO followed in 1988, and the IBF in 1989.[7]

Later matches[edit]

Mancini began the process of getting his life back together by once again putting on gloves. He went to Italy to face British champion George Feeney. Mancini won a 10-round decision.

He defended his title two more times. In January 1984, in a bout with former world champion Bobby Chacon, which was broadcast on HBO, Mancini defeated Chacon after referee Richard Steele stopped the fight in the third round with blood dripping from Chacon's left eye.[8]

In June 1984, Mancini, still recovering from the emotional trauma of Kim's death, aimed to retain his title in a battle with Livingstone Bramble in Buffalo, New York. This time however, Mancini came out on the losing end, defeated after 14 intense rounds.[9] Mancini lost his title, but not before a fierce effort that resulted in an overnight stay at Millard Fillmore Hospital and 71 stitches around one eye.[10]

Mancini returned to the ring twice to attempt to regain his world title. In a rematch with Bramble, Mancini lost the fight by one point on all three judges' scorecards in a 15-round decision.[citation needed] His next attempt came in March 1989, when he lost to Héctor 'Macho' Camacho in a questionable split decision.[11] Mancini had one final fight in April 1992, against former lightweight champion Greg Haugen. It was stopped in round seven.[12]

Retirement and later work[edit]

Mancini retired officially in August 1985 at the age of 24.[13] However, he returned to the ring to fight Héctor Camacho in 1989 and had one final fight in 1992. A made-for-television movie based on Mancini's life aired in the 1980s.[14] The former champion was able to keep 75 percent of his $12 million in purse money, which enabled him to pursue a broad range of interests in retirement.[15]

Mancini appeared in and produced a handful of films, and became a fight analyst for the Fox reality series Celebrity Boxing. Mancini, who as of 2007 resides in Los Angeles, California, owns the El Campeon Cigar Company and operates two movie production companies.[15]

Mancini practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and holds a purple belt in the martial art.[16] He appeared in David Mamet's MMA film Redbelt.

Mancini produced Youngstown: Still Standing in 2010, which premiered at the 34th Cleveland International Film Festival on March 24. The documentary film featured his hometown friend, actor Ed O'Neill and included Jim Cummings, Kelly Pavlik, Jay Williams, Andrea Wood and Mancini himself, among many other Youngstown natives and locals. John Chechitelli – another Youngstown native – directed and edited the 89-minute long film. It recounts the history of Youngstown, Ohio from its founding in 1797 to the present.[17]

He is a member of UNICO National, an Italian-American service organization.[citation needed]

Cultural reference[edit]

Warren Zevon included a song called "Boom Boom Mancini" on his 1987 album Sentimental Hygiene.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bassetti, John (December 5, 1999). "Valley boxers, led by Mancini, ruled the ring". Youngstown Vindicator. 
  2. ^ Lenny Mancini
  3. ^ a b "Ray Mancini Uncertain About His Ring Future". Youngstown Vindicator. November 17, 1982. 
  4. ^ "This Mancini match has different ring". Youngstown Vindicator. April 22, 1989. p. 1. 
  5. ^ "Nevada Court Rules Kim 'Legally Dead'". Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press. November 18, 1982. p. 26. 
  6. ^ Wiley, Ralph (November 22, 1982). "Then all the joy turned to sorrow". Sports Illustrated: 26. 
  7. ^ a b "After 25 years, Kim death still stings Mancini: ESPN airs documentary tonight that revisits 1982 tragedy". Youngstown Vindicator. November 13, 2007. 
  8. ^ Dahlberg, Tim (16 January 1984). "Haugen Defeats Mancini". Daily News. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Perazich, Chuck (June 2, 1984). "What's Ahead For Mancini?". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 13. 
  10. ^ Swanson, Ray (June 2, 1984). "Bramble Claims TKO Win in 14th". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 13. 
  11. ^ ESPN – Twenty-five years is a long time to carry a memory – Boxing
  12. ^ Gutskey, Earl (4 April 1992). "Haugen Defeats Mancini". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Schuyler Jr., Ed (20 August 1985). "Ray Mancini retires". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Mancini Movie Start Announced". Youngstown Vindicator. August 14, 1984. p. 12. 
  15. ^ a b Shilling, Don (November 11, 2007). "City's past boxing champs offer advice". The Vindicator. p. A-3. 
  16. ^ Thomas, Luke (6 October 2013). "Ray Mancini: Boxers who criticize mixed martial arts 'have no clue'". MMAFighting.com. Retrieved 7 October 2013. "Legendary boxer Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini joined Ariel Helwani on Monday's 'The MMA Hour' to talk about his experience being a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu" 
  17. ^ Cleveland International Film Festival :: March 18–28, 2010 – The 34th International Film Festival Program and website summary

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Arturo Frias
WBA Lightweight Champion
8 May 1982 – 1 June 1984
Succeeded by
Livingstone Bramble