Ray Mancini

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Ray Mancini
Mancini in 2008
Raymond Michael Mancino

(1961-03-04) March 4, 1961 (age 63)
Other namesBoom Boom
Height5 ft 4+12 in (164 cm)
Reach65 in (165 cm)
Boxing record
Total fights34
Wins by KO23

Ray Mancini (born Raymond Michael Mancino; March 4, 1961), better known as "Boom Boom" Mancini, is an American former professional boxer who competed professionally from 1979 to 1992 and who has since worked as an actor and sports commentator. He held the WBA lightweight title from 1982 to 1984.[1] Mancini inherited his nickname from his father, boxer Lenny Mancini.[2] In 2015, Mancini was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.[3]

Early life and amateur career[edit]

Mancini, an American of Italian descent, was born Raymond Michael Mancino 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.[4] He was a childhood friend and neighbor to future Oklahoma Sooners football head coach Bob Stoops.[5]

Lenny inspired Ray to develop his boxing skills and encouraged him to train at a gym when he was quite young. Thus, Ray then began his quest to win the world title for his father.

Professional career[edit]

On October 18, 1979, Mancini made his professional debut and defeated 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 Mancini defeated some notable boxers including former US champion Norman Goins in March 1981.[6]

Lightweight title challenges[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. In the post-match interview, Ray said that he was "keeping this title for myself because the world title is going to my dad". Two months later, he successfully defended the title against José Luis Ramírez after a unanimous decision. Mancini's first attempt at a world title came 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 Argüello trouble early and built a lead on the scorecards, but Argüello used his experience to his advantage in the later rounds and stopped Mancini in the 14th round.

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

WBA Lightweight champion[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.[7] Fifteen seconds into the fight, Frias caught Mancini with a left hook to the chin and another combination made Mancini bleed 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 immediately went on the offensive and trapped Frias against the ropes. After many unanswered blows, referee Richard Greene stopped the fight at 2:54 in the first round, and the Mancini family finally had a world champion.[1]

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

Match against Duk Koo Kim[edit]

Ticket stub for Mancini's fight against Duk Koo Kim

On November 13, 1982, a 21-year-old Mancini met 27-year-old South Korean challenger Duk Koo Kim. Kim had struggled to make the 135-pound (61 kg) weight limit, and had to lose several pounds shortly before the fight. The title bout, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, was televised live on CBS Sports. Mancini won by TKO in the 14th round. Moments after the fight ended, Kim collapsed and fell into a coma, having suffered a subdural hematoma, and died five days later.[8] The week after his death, the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine showed Mancini and Kim battling, under the title "Tragedy in the Ring".[9]

Mancini went to the funeral in South Korea and fell into a deep depression afterwards.[4] 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 died by suicide three months after the fight, and the bout's referee, Richard Green, killed himself in July 1983.[10]

As a result of Kim's death, 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.[10]

Later matches[edit]

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

He defended his title two more times. First, on September 15, 1983, he beat Peruvian challenger Orlando Romero by a knockout in nine rounds at Madison Square Garden to achieve a lifelong dream of fighting in that building, and then after a November 25 tune-up bout in which he defeated Johnny Torres by first-round knockout in his return to the Caesar's Palace hotel in Las Vegas, in January 1984, in a bout with former world champion Bobby Chacon, which was broadcast on HBO, Mancini defeated Chacon when referee Richard Steele stopped the fight in the third round with blood dripping from Chacon's left eye at Reno, Nevada.[11]

In June 1984, Mancini, still recovering from the emotional trauma of Kim's death, fought Livingstone Bramble to defend his title in Buffalo, New York. This time however, Mancini came out on the losing end, defeated after 14 rounds.[12] Mancini lost the title, but not before a fierce effort that resulted in an overnight stay at Millard Fillmore Hospital and 71 stitches around one eye.[13]

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.[14] His next attempt came in March 1989, when he lost to Héctor 'Macho' Camacho in a split decision,[15] Mancini had one final fight in April 1992, against former lightweight champion Greg Haugen. Mancini lost when referee Mills Lane stopped the fight in the seventh round.[16]

Retirement and later work[edit]

A made-for-television movie based on Mancini's life aired in the 1980s.[17] 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.[18]

Mancini, who as of 2007 resided in Los Angeles, owns the El Campeon Cigar Company and operates two movie production companies.[18] Mancini appeared in and produced a handful of films. He appeared in the quirky 1994 comedy The Search for One-eye Jimmy, in David Mamet's MMA film Redbelt, and in the 2000 remake Body and Soul. Mancini played Charlie, Frank's retired father, in Bad Frank (2017).

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 also 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.[19]

Mancini has a son also named Ray who appeared in the YouTube reality series SummerBreak, in which Manicini also had a guest role.

Mancini practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and holds a purple belt in the martial art.[20] He became a fight analyst for the Fox reality series Celebrity Boxing.

In popular culture[edit]

Professional boxing record[edit]

34 fights 29 wins 5 losses
By knockout 23 3
By decision 6 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
34 Loss 29–5 Greg Haugen TKO 7 (12), 2:27 April 3, 1992 Convention Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. For vacant NABF light welterweight title
33 Loss 29–4 Héctor Camacho SD 12 March 6, 1989 Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. For inaugural WBO light welterweight title
32 Loss 29–3 Livingstone Bramble UD 15 February 16, 1985 Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. For WBA lightweight title
31 Loss 29–2 Livingstone Bramble TKO 14 (15), 0:53 June 1, 1984 Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, U.S. Lost WBA lightweight title
30 Win 29–1 Bobby Chacon TKO 3 (15) January 14, 1984 Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBA lightweight title
29 Win 28–1 Johnny Torres KO 1 (10), 2:58 November 25, 1983 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
28 Win 27–1 Orlando Romero KO 9 (15), 1:56 September 15, 1983 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBA lightweight title
27 Win 26–1 George Feeney UD 10 February 6, 1983 Palazzetto dello Sport, Saint-Vincent, Italy
26 Win 25–1 Kim Duk-koo KO 14 (15), 0:19 November 13, 1982 Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBA lightweight title; Kim died four days later due to injuries sustained in the fight
25 Win 24–1 Ernesto España TKO 6 (15), 2:59 July 24, 1982 Mollenkopf Stadium, Warren, Ohio, U.S. Retained WBA lightweight title
24 Win 23–1 Arturo Frias TKO 1 (15), 2:54 May 8, 1982 The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBA lightweight title
23 Win 22–1 Julio Valdez TKO 10 (12), 0:59 January 23, 1982 Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Retained NABF lightweight title
22 Win 21–1 Manuel Abedoy TKO 2 (10), 2:08 December 26, 1981 Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
21 Loss 20–1 Alexis Argüello TKO 14 (15), 1:44 October 3, 1981 Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. For WBC and The Ring lightweight titles
20 Win 20–0 José Luis Ramírez UD 12 July 19, 1981 Packard Music Hall, Warren, Ohio, U.S. Retained NABF lightweight title
19 Win 19–0 Jorge Morales RTD 9 (12), 3:00 May 16, 1981 Concord Resort Hotel, Thompson, New York, U.S. Won NABF lightweight title
18 Win 18–0 Al Ford UD 10 April 2, 1981 Conrad Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 Norman Goins KO 2 (10), 0:37 March 12, 1981 Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 Marvin Ladson KO 1 (10), 0:57 December 17, 1980 St. John Arena, Steubenville, Ohio, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Kelvin Lampkin KO 2 (10), 2:10 December 9, 1980 Packard Music Hall, Warren, Ohio, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 Bobby Plegge TKO 6 (10) October 28, 1980 Packard Music Hall, Warren, Ohio, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 Johnny Summerhays UD 10 September 9, 1980 Packard Music Hall, Warren, Ohio, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Jaime Nava PTS 10 July 30, 1980 Silver Slipper, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Leon Smith KO 1 (8) July 23, 1980 Silver Slipper, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Trevor Evelyn KO 2 (8), 1:39 June 18, 1980 Fieldhouse, Struthers, Ohio, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Bobby Sparks KO 1 (12), 1:28 April 30, 1980 Fieldhouse, Struthers, Ohio, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Antonio Rutledge TKO 1 (6), 1:44 March 17, 1980 Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Ramiro Hernandez TKO 3 (8), 1:35 January 26, 1980 Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Charlie Evans KO 2 (6), 0:08 January 22, 1980 Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Dale Gordon KO 1 (8) January 15, 1980 Memorial High School Fieldhouse, Campbell, Ohio, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Roberto Perez KO 1 (6), 1:05 December 14, 1979 Convention Center, Dallas, Texas, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Ricky Patterson KO 2 (6), 1:11 November 24, 1979 D.C. Armory, Washington, D.C., U.S.
2 Win 2–0 Lou Daniels UD 6 November 13, 1979 Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 Phil Bowen KO 1, 1:59 October 18, 1979 Fieldhouse, Struthers, Ohio, U.S.


  1. ^ a b Bassetti, John (December 5, 1999). "Valley boxers, led by Mancini, ruled the ring". Youngstown Vindicator.
  2. ^ Lenny Mancini
  3. ^ "Bowe, Mancini highlight 2015 HOF class". December 4, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Ray Mancini Uncertain About His Ring Future". Youngstown Vindicator. November 17, 1982.
  5. ^ "Collected Wisdom: Ray 'Boom, Boom' Mancini, former world champion boxer". Oklahoman.com. January 19, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  6. ^ "Ray Mancini lands a punch against Norman Goins during the fight at". March 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "This Mancini match has different ring". Youngstown Vindicator. April 22, 1989. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Nevada Court Rules Kim 'Legally Dead'". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. Associated Press. November 18, 1982. p. 26.
  9. ^ Wiley, Ralph (November 22, 1982). "Then all the joy turned to sorrow". Sports Illustrated. p. 26.
  10. ^ a b "After 25 years, Kim death still stings Mancini: ESPN airs documentary tonight that revisits 1982 tragedy". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. November 13, 2007.
  11. ^ Dahlberg, Tim (January 16, 1984). "Haugen Defeats Mancini". Daily News. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  12. ^ Perazich, Chuck (June 2, 1984). "What's Ahead For Mancini?". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 13.
  13. ^ Swanson, Ray (June 2, 1984). "Bramble Claims TKO Win in 14th". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 13.
  14. ^ Article in Box Rec
  15. ^ ESPN – Twenty-five years is a long time to carry a memory – Boxing
  16. ^ Gutskey, Earl (April 4, 1992). "Haugen Defeats Mancini". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  17. ^ "Mancini Movie Start Announced". Youngstown Vindicator. August 14, 1984. p. 12.
  18. ^ a b Shilling, Don (November 11, 2007). "City's past boxing champs offer advice". The Vindicator. p. A-3. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  19. ^ Cleveland International Film Festival :: March 18–28, 2010 – The 34th International Film Festival Program and website summary
  20. ^ Thomas, Luke (October 6, 2013). "Ray Mancini: Boxers who criticize mixed martial arts 'have no clue'". MMAFighting.com. Retrieved October 7, 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
  21. ^ "Hard Risks: Concussions in Sports, from the Boxing Ring to the Gridiron". October 22, 2019.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Preceded by
Jorge Morales
NABF lightweight champion
May 16, 1981 – May 1982
Title next held by
José Luis Ramírez
World boxing titles
Preceded by WBA lightweight champion
May 8, 1982 – June 1, 1984
Succeeded by