Mando Ramos

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Mando Ramos
Real name Armando Ramos
Rated at Lightweight
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Reach 71.5 in (181.6 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1948-11-15)November 15, 1948
Long Beach, California, USA
Died July 6, 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[edit]

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[edit]

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 February 1969 – 3 March 1970
Succeeded by
Ismael Laguna
Preceded by
Pedro Carrasco
WBC Lightweight Champion
18 February 1972 – 15 September 1972
Succeeded by
Chango Carmona


External links[edit]