|Real name||Armando Ramos|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Reach||71.5 in (181.6 cm)|
November 15, 1948|
Long Beach, California, USA
|Died||July 6, 2008
San Pedro, California, USA
|Wins by KO||23|
Armando Ramos (November 15, 1948 – July 6, 2008) was a Mexican-American professional boxer and the former two-time WBC and WBA Lightweight Champion. He was born in Long Beach, California. Armando "Mando" Ramos was one of the most popular and exciting fighters in Southern California during the 1960s. Ramos was an outstanding amateur standout. 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.
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. 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.
World Lightweight Champion
He demanded to fight dangerous Lightweight Champ Carlos Ortiz—Ortiz had dominated the division for over a decade. 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. 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. Women from all walks of life caught Mandomania, and Hollywood loved 'The Wonder Boy'.
Trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jackie McCoy, 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 and his purses were larger than anyone but Muhammad Ali's. McCoy stated Mando was the most naturally talented fighter he had ever seen in his life.
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. With the aid of his wife, Sylvia Van Hecke, Ramos overcame his demons and has been clean and sober for over three decades. 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.
Carlos Teo Cruz
|World Lightweight Champion
18 February 1969 – 3 March 1970
|WBC Lightweight Champion
18 February 1972 – 15 September 1972