By Mike Indri
Retired Boxers Foundation
Millions of people, worldwide, know that Muhammad Ali, “the greatest of all time,” turns 65 years old today (Jan. 17). Also, hoards of boxing enthusiasts are well aware that current WBC super featherweight world champion Marco Antonio Barrera is celebrating his 33rd birthday bash. Happy and Healthy Birthday wishes go out to both these great champions and boxing icons!
Unfortunately, not nearly enough people, in or outside of boxing, know that January 17th also marks the birthday of Alex Ramos.
Born in the Bronx, NY forty six years ago, Ramos fought professionally for well over ten years and compiled a respectable career record of 39 wins, against 10 losses and two draws. Twenty five of those wins came by way of knockout. Nicknamed the “Bronx Bomber” for his opting to wear Yankee pinstripes on his boxing trunks, Ramos did manage to capture a USBA middleweight title in 1984; defeating Philadelphia’s Curtis Parker in a grueling twelve round battle.
While proving himself a worthy adversary and always considered a dangerous fighter, Ramos, while successful, never really reached the heights many expected of one of the most prolific amateur boxers ever to come out of New York.
As an amateur, Ramos amassed an unbelievable 189 victories (132 wins by knockout!) with only 9 losses. Alex also won an unprecedented four New York Golden Gloves Championships and had his sights set on an Olympic gold medal - had it not been for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 games in Moscow.
No doubt, Alex Ramos was an extremely talented fighter.
Yet, with 250 fights over a course of twenty years, battling within the viciously brutal confines of the squared circle, Ramos never was able to fulfill his potential and he never really attained his greatness in boxing.
Upon his 1995 retirement from boxing, Ramos - like so many other boxers - encountered his hardest fight of all. The cheering had now stopped, his phone did not ring, and all those so-called friends or “hangers-on” had moved on. This fight was for real, this was the one that counted the most; this was the fight of life.
Luckily for Alex Ramos, luckily for boxing and luckily for all fighters, the kid who at eleven years old was knocking out grown men in a boxing gym in the Bronx, couldn’t and wouldn’t, walk away from the sport he loved.
Without any “real-life” acquired skills, as well as battling depression and having to deal with the mental, physical and emotional hardships a career of hitting, and getting hit, in the head for a living brings, the outside world can be a very rough, cold and scary place for the unprepared retired boxer.
Determined to make a difference Ramos founded the Retired Boxers Foundation, which was formally incorporated in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Helping hundreds of fighters annually, the “RBF” has been able to secure medical services, housing, rehabilitation and emergency assistance for these former great athletes.
Restoring the pride and dignity to all ex-fighters who have lost hope, helping those who are suffering medically or financially, or simply getting the word out to the young and current boxers that there are services available, keeps Ramos, Jacquie Richardson (the RBF Executive Director) and all the RBF volunteers very busy.
Unfortunately, too many of these fighters who have thrilled us all over the years, whether on HBO or SHOWTIME fighting for a championship belt or at a local arena fighting a four rounder. Wrestling builds character and it is obvious that Martinez has plenty of that. His dedication has lifted the people around him.rounder, face retirement without any kind of pension, financial assistance or access to medical care. That’s the fight in Alex Ramos today.
It might be true that Alex Ramos never did reach his full potential as a fighter, and he never did get that world championship belt, but the Alex Ramos of today is a greater person, a “world champion person”, and he is now winning the most important fight… the fight of life.
Happy Birthday Champ!
If you would like to help the Retired Boxers Foundation, give Alex Ramos a call: (805) 208-2484. Wish him a happy birthday.