|Real name||Richard Sandoval|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Reach||70 in (178 cm)|
October 18, 1960 |
|Wins by KO||17|
|Representing the United States|
|World Amateur Championships|
|1978 Belgrade||Light Flyweight|
|Pan American Games|
|1979 San Juan||Light Flyweight|
Richard Sandoval (born 18 October 1960) is a retired American professional boxer and former Lineal and WBA Bantamweight Champion. Sandoval was a silver medalist at the 1979 Pan American Games and was a U.S. Olympian during his amateur career. He's also the younger brother of title contender Alberto Sandoval.
He was a two-time National Golden Gloves Champion and from 1979–1980, Sandoval went on to win the National AAU Championship at Light Flyweight and then in the Flyweight division. Richard also made the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, but couldn't compete due to the U.S.A.'s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Richie Sandoval made his professional boxing debut on 5 November 1980, beating Gerardo Pedroza in Las Vegas, Nevada by a knockout in two rounds. He won his first ten fights by knockout, including two over fringe contender Javier Barajas. For his eleventh fight, Sandoval met Harold Petty, a boxer still fighting professionally at the age of 42 who challenged twice for world titles. On 28 January 1982, he outpointed the undefeated Petty over ten rounds, going on to seven more wins that year, including another ten-round points victory over Petty.
Sandoval had five wins in 1983, the year in which his friend Davila won the WBC Bantamweight title by knocking out Kiko Bejines, who died days later. This introduced Sandoval to the darker side of boxing as he saw how hard it was for Davila to recover.
WBA Bantamweight Championship
Sandoval's next fight was held on 15 March 1984. Despite his record of 22 victories without any losses, including fifteen knockouts, he was a virtual unknown to most boxing fans when he met the Lineal and WBA Bantamweight champion Jeff Chandler in Atlantic City. After dropping the champion in round eleven, Sandoval knocked Chandler out in round fifteen, to become champion in a major upset. He followed this up with his first trip abroad, to Monte Carlo on September 22. He outpointed the top ranked and well known Edgar Román over fifteen rounds on the undercard of Donald Curry's sixth round knockout win over Nino LaRocca. He fought again on 15 December against Cardenio Ulloa, who was attempting to become the first Chilean world boxing champion in history. According to the report made by Ring En Español, Ulloa caused Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to jump off his chair with excitement when he dropped Sandoval in the first round, but Sandoval recovered and retained the title with an eighth-round knockout.
By then, however, Sandoval was facing weight problems and he could barely make the weight even for fights in the Featherweight division, two divisions above Bantamweight, and he was forced to fight all his fights in 1985 as a Featherweight instead. He scored three ten round decisions that year and one in 1986, including wins over Frankie Duarte and Diego Avila.
Last bout and title defence
After not defending his title for a year and a half, he was forced by the WBA to defend his title or be stripped of it. He chose to defend it, despite his problems making the weight. On 3 March 1986, Sandoval defended his title against Gaby Canizales, as part of a super-undercard organized by promoter Bob Arum, which included the Hearns versus Shuler and Hagler versus Mugabi encounters. Sandoval reportedly had to lose around twelve pounds in three days in order to be able to fight that night, staying off any solid foods and surviving only on water. Weakened and feeling the side-effects of such a sudden drop-off in weight, Sandoval suffered four knockdowns, but he fought on until the fifth knockdown, which happened in round seven, after which the referee stopped the fight. He fell unconscious a few minutes after the fight, stopping breathing for an estimated three minutes. He was rushed to hospital by local on-site paramedics, but he remained in critical condition for the next few nights. He had life-saving brain surgery, but the inevitable consequence was that Sandoval was obliged to retire. His final record was 29 wins and one loss, 17 wins by knockout.
Sandoval later went touring across the United States with Davila, as each had been through both sides of a tragic boxing bout. They went on television talk-shows and public appearances to explain to the general public how a boxer feels (in Davila's case) after an opponent has died, and how a boxer can be so close to death in an instant after a fight (in Sandoval's case), and then having to deal with the fact that he or she will never be able to box again. Sandoval and Davila remain friends.
|WBA Bantamweight Champion||Succeeded by
|Lineal Bantamweight Champion|
- List of lineal boxing world champions
- List of Mexican boxing world champions
- Notable boxing families
- List of WBA world champions
- List of Bantamweight world champions