Category Archives: FLASHBACK

What if (?) … Ken Buchanan vs. Mando Ramos

*** FLASHBACK –  this article originally appeared on on October 11, 2013

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

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In the time that I have followed boxing there are many matches that could have happened and should have happened. Some, like Archie Moore-Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta-Rocky Graziano, were before my era. They might have been thrilling matches, but for one reason or another they just never came off.

One from “my era,” the early 1970’s, was Ken Buchanan against Mando Ramos. Mr. Ramos was one of my early favorites. He was just a few years older than me when he won the lightweight title in his second try versus the talented Carlos Teo Cruz, when he was barely 20 years old. He lost the title soon after to Panama’s slick former world champion Ismael Laguna. Mando was cut up by the jabs and quick hands of Laguna. He also had trouble with Laguna’s fast feet and shifty style. Soon after Ismael Laguna handed the crown to another crafty boxer, the gritty Ken Buchanan of Scotland.

(Photo taken courtesy David Martinez at World Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet of Champions, October 20, 2001,  Westin Bonaventure, Los Angeles, California)

Continue reading What if (?) … Ken Buchanan vs. Mando Ramos

Mesa SummerFest 2016 Event

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on August 23, 2016 


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This past Sunday, August 21, 2016 it was simply a pleasure to be a part of the Mesa SummerFest 2016 right here in my home town of Santa Barbara, California. 

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I had my own booth set-up displaying my boxing memorabilia and collectibles and it was an honor to greet and talk boxing to the many that attended the event.

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Champions Wasteland; Shozo Saijo

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on April 30, 2008

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

Today with so many governing bodies and organizations around it has become very hard to take someones claim of ” world champion ” seriously.  I mean there is the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBA and God knows how many more will pop up in the future.  Split titles are not anything new to boxing but in days gone by it was a lot less complicated.  As much as I hated it when either the WBA or the WBC ” stripped ” a champion of his crown for some bogus reason and then “made” their own champion, at least it kept the rift between just two claimants.

In some cases there were much needed unification fights like Bob Foster and Vincente Rondon or Carlos Monzon against Rodrigo Valdez.  There were also cases where a unification bout would have generated a lot of fan interest and cleared up the situation but they never came off.  Some bouts that come to mind are Salvador Sanchez vs Eusebio Pedroza, John Conteh vs Victor Galindez and Carlos Palomino vs Pipino Cuevas.  There is one bout that could have taken place in 1971 pitting two champions from Japan who each claimed a portion of the featherweight title.  They were WBC title holder Kuniaki Shibata and his WBA rival, Shozo Saijo.   Alas the fight never materialized.  It seems that today Shibata is still remembered as the man who made great Vincente Saldivar surrender.  What about poor Shozo Saijo ?  He has been long forgotten outside of Japan and somehow that just does not seem quite fair.

Saijo was born in 1947 and turned pro in 1964.  Shozo was not an instant sensation and over his first twenty fights he compiled a less then earth shaking 14-4-2 record. In 1968 he lost a decision to the highly regarded Jose Luis Pimentel.  In a rematch Saijo turned the tables and he got the verdict.  That led to a fight with the rugged Raul Rojas.  After the retirement of Saldivar, Rojas defeated Enrique Higgins to claim the vacant WBA featherweight title. Rojas was matched with Saijo in a non title battle and Saijo copped the decision.  On September 27th, 1968 in a rematch with the title on the line Saijo became the new WBA champion.

Continue reading Champions Wasteland; Shozo Saijo

Bruno Arcari – A Forgotten Champion … and Update on Jim Amato Surgery

*** FLASHBACK – This article originally appeared on on February 20, 2013

By Jim Amato  / Senior Boxing Writer  

Jim has contributed to since 2008.  He is a “class act” friend and one the most knowledgeable sports people that I have ever known.  His passion in all sports is second to none and, through social media, he kindly shares his outstanding collection of memorabilia to all.  I am asking everyone to “please” keep Jim in your sincerest prayers as he has  been very ill lately and is scheduled for surgery on Monday, September 17th … our prayers are needed to help keep him strong and healthy … thank you everybody – we love you Jimbo!

He may very well be one of the most underrated champions of the glorious seventies.  He won an astounding 70 of 73 battles.  He held the 140 pound title for nearly four years and relinquished it.  He never lost his belt in the ring.  He was a 5’5″ southpaw from Italy named Bruno  Arcari.

Amazingly he was stopped in his first professional fight in 1964.  He would then win ten straight before being halted again.  He would never lose another fight! In 1966 he proved he was a legitimate contender when he beat former lightweight king Joe Brown. In 1967 he followed that up beating the always tough Angel Robinson Garcia.  In 1968 he won the European junior welterweight title by halting the respected Johann Orsolics.

Continue reading Bruno Arcari – A Forgotten Champion … and Update on Jim Amato Surgery

“The Fight”

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on June 23, 2014

Chicago based ring announcer Steve Corbo, who has been a hit with audiences in Europe, recently recorded Luke Wordley’s top selling novel, “The Fight”.

At the top of the charts in Great Britain, “The Fight” has recently been released in the United States with the audio version being recorded by Corbo and released by Oasis Audio.

Two-time World Champion boxer, Nigel Benn, has enthusiastically endorsed “The Fight”. Reading the book this summer, he said: “I loved The Fight.  I just couldn’t put it down. It is so realistic and true to life.  I can’t recommend this book enough.”

Publishers Weekly reviewed “The Fight” and said “Wordley has written a champion novel that will stand out in a crowded ring of contenders.”

Available at and book retailers throughout the United States.

(click on related links below)

George Garcia – R. I. P.

*** FLASHBACK – This article originally appeared on on August 16, 2015


By David Martinez /

My dear best of friends George Garcia, age 60,  passed away peacefully at his home in Montebello, California on August 13, 2015 after his battle with cancer.  George was a special friend because he was giving and the kindest of people that I have ever known.

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We met about twenty years ago through the boxing circles.  He attended many World Boxing Hall of Fame banquets during my ten year (1997-2007) tenure on the Board of Directors.

Continue reading George Garcia – R. I. P.

Why Duran Would Have Got Past Pacman

*** FLASHBACK –  This article originally appeared on on November 4, 2009 

NOTE:  Jim Amato is a friend and has contributed to since 2008.  His opinions and input are honest to the highest of quality.  His expertise in boxing is second to none and his work is respected by all.  To view all of Jim’s article’s – go to the Categories menu section and click onto his name. 

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer 

With all due credit, Manny Pacquiao is on top of today’s boxing world. He is the “Man”. His destruction of Oscar De La Hoya drove the “Golden Boy” into retirement and put Manny as the #1 fighter pound for pound in the world today.  His hammer job on the formidable Ricky Hatton put an exclamation point on his current status.

Continue reading Why Duran Would Have Got Past Pacman

World Cup and Boxing Cross Paths

*** FLASHBACK  – This article originally appeared on on June 10, 2010. The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia, and runs from June 14 through July 18.

By Bob Quackenbush / for

Friday, June 11, 2010 marks the beginning of a month-long sporting event that is viewed by more people around the globe than any other, including the Olympic Games.  What is this event?  The World Cup soccer tournament.  Held every four years, this spectacle captivates audiences from Asia and Africa, to North and South America, and, of course, Europe.  People from all walks of life will be watching on everything from fuzzy-imaged old TV’s to the fanciest LCD/HD big screens, as well as in person at stadiums throughout the host nation which is South Africa.

Why would an article about soccer (or “football” as it is known in most of the world) show up on a boxing website?  The reason is that the two sports crossed paths over thirty-two years ago in a special way.  On October 1, 1977, the great Pele, generally acknowledged as the most outstanding soccer player of all time, was wrapping up his career at Giants Stadium playing his final game with the New York Cosmos of the old North American Soccer League.  A true ambassador of the sport, Pele, who had played his entire career for Santos F.C. of Brazil, and for the Brazilian National Team, came to the United States in 1975 to play for the Cosmos and to give the sport a “shot in the arm” in the USA. This match was his testimonial game, as the Cosmos faced his former club, Santos, with Pele playing one half for each team.

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My Friends – Ernie Terrell and Frankie Rivas

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on April 5, 2013

By David Martinez / 

The month of April has a special meaning for me both in a happy and sad way.

 ApTerrell-cropril 4th is my friend Ernie Terrell’s birthday. The former WBA heavyweight champion has to be one of my favorite boxer friends ever. I was honored, on the evening of October 16, 2003 when Ernie was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, to be his presenter.  I remember that night as if it was yesterday and I will always treasure that moment in time.  At the very top left hand side of the banner for this website, you will see the photo taken on his special night.

Frankie-cropApril 7th is the anniversary of the passing of my best friend Frankie Rivas.  In 2009 I tearfully, but honorably, delivered the eulogy at St. Raphael’s church for his funeral service.  As well as boxing as an amateur himself, Frankie was the truest boxing fan I have ever known.  He was always there with me as a referee or judge at many boxing shows in our community, and gave his support to the kids in local boxing gyms.  I have known Frankie since my childhood days and in memory of his death (I say), “May his soul rest in peace with the Lord in heaven”.

Enrique Bolanos – R.I.P.

*** FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on June 27, 2012

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian / 

On June 4, 2012, at the age of 87, Enrique Bolanos, top contender, passed away.  I never saw him fight, but had the pleasure to meet him and his lovely wife Ruby at various boxing venues.  According to people I know that saw him fight, he was a magnificent boxer that packed southland arenas and stadiums in the Los Angeles area like no other in the golden era of boxing (the 40’s and 50’s).

Continue reading Enrique Bolanos – R.I.P.