Category Archives: Lightweights

Lightweight "Unification" Championship

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

Last month fight fans were treated to, what I call, a very exciting “unification” title fight, and what has been brought to my attention is – many of you missed it. So let me personally take you back to “that” fight, October13, 2007, in Chicago, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

IBF Lightweight Champion Julio “the kidd” Diaz vs WBA / WBO Lightweight Champion Juan “baby bull” Diaz

MANDO RAMOS: The Youngest Lightweight Champion

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

I first met Armando (Mando) Ramos in the fall of 1969, when I drove
to Santa Monica to watch him train at the Surf Rider Hotel in his
preparation to defend his Lightweight title against Yoshiaki Numata.

What I saw was, not a fighter in serious training. Earlier that year
Ramos won the Lightweight Championship via knockout over Teo Cruz, to
become the youngest to win the Lightweight title at the age of 20 years
old.

 MANDO RAMOS: The Youngest Lightweight Champion

But, to my surprise, I found trainer Jackie McCoy completely
frustrated with Mando and his lack of concentration in the gym. He
verbally chastised Mando and scowled at him for his poor training
practices. That was my initial contact with Mando Ramos, which was like
a teacher bawling out a student.

Continue reading

The Greatest Lightweight

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

Who was the greatest lightweight ever? To answer that question, and I have been asked this many times the same, my answer remains the same – there were actually two of them and in my life time I had the pleasure of able to see one of them – Roberto Duran.

The other was way before my time and he was Benny Leonard who fought from 1911 to 1932, a superb boxer puncher who dominated the lightweight division in his era.

Video #1
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdCeA-FpdiI]

Roberto Duran (nickname Manos de Piedra – Hands of Stone) is undoubtedly the greatest lightweight (135 lb) champion of our time and, at the peak of his career, definitely ranks in the top 10 best pound-for-pound boxers ever.

He fought the best fighters such as Hiroshi Kobayashi, Ken Buchanan, Esteban DeJesus, Ishimatsu Suzuki, Ray Lampkin, Carlos Palomino, Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfred Benitez, Pipino Cuevas, Davey Moore, Marvin Hagler,Thomas Hearns, Iran Barkley, Vinny Pazienza, Hector Camacho, and William Joppy – just to name a few.

In February 1968 Roberto Duran has his first professional fight and won thirty in a row leading up to his first title bout in June 1972, where he defeated Ken Buchanan for the WBA Lightweight championship. Duran made twelve successful title defenses before giving up his champion’s belt in February 1979 when he moved up in weight to the 147 pound welterweight class.
Continue reading