By Jim Amato (Senior Boxing Writer) contributed to “dmboxing” since 2008
When you think of Mexican fighters it is usually a tough little hombre like a Ruben Olivares, Vincente Saldivar or Julio Cesar Chavez. More often then not the better boxers from Mexico scaled under 160lbs. In an exception to the rule during the mid 1960’s to the early 70’s this country produced a pretty fair heavyweight. He fought two world champions and nine others that attempted to win the heavyweight crown. His name was Manuel Ramos. Although he lost almost as many as he won, the names on his resume are quite impressive.
When Ramos made his way from Mexico to the West Coast he quickly began meeting the best opposition available. In 1964 he lost a decision to Henry Clark and drew with Joey Orbillo. In 1965 he lost a rematch to Orbillo and drew with George Johnson. He finished the year losing by knockout to Lars Norling.
In 1966 Manuel began a win streak that would carry him to a world title shot. He knocked out Norling in a rematch and then stopped Archie Ray in eight. Next Manuel would outpoint faded ex-contender Eddie Machen. In 1967 Ramos halted James J. Woody in two and then on October 14th in Mexico City he faced ex-WBA Heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell. Manuel scored an upset ten round decision. Two victories in 1968 brought Manuel’s streak to fifteen straight and set up a title fight with “Smokin” Joe Frazier. The bout took place June 24th at Madiosn Square Garden. Joe held the New York State Heavyweight crown when he entered the ring and two rounds later he left with his crown intact. Joe overwhelmed Ramos in what would be Manuel’s only title shot. Three months later Manuel was taken apart by George Chuvalo in five rounds.
Ramos began to rebuild his career in 1969 by beating Tony Doyle but Jack O’Halloran stopped him in his next bout. Manuel had seven bouts in 1970 and won only one of them. He lost to Chuck Wepner, Joe Bugner, Jimmy Richards and Joe “King” Roman. He drew with Ron Stander and was stopped in one round by Oscar “Ringo” Bonevena. Manuel had seven more bouts in 1971 and again won only one losing to Jurgen Blin, Jack Bodell, Elmo Henderson, Terry Daniels, Stander and Ron Lyle.
In 1973 Ramos was halted in four by Johnny Hudgins. Then in 1973 he lost to Luis Pires and Armando Zanini. In his last chance at the big time he faced Olympian Duane Bobick but was in seven rounds thus finishing him as a formidable heavyweight contender.