By Jim Amato

: 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 60’s to the early 70’s this country produced a pretty fair
heavyweight. He fought two world champions and nine others
that challenged for the heavyweight crown. His name was Manuel Ramos. Although he lost
almost as many as he won, the names on his resume are quite

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 Jory Orbillo. In 1965 he lost a rematch to Orbillo
and drew with George Johnson. He finished the year losing by knockout to Lars

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 Madison 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 shot. Three months later Manuel
was taken apart by George Chuvalo on 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. The loss to Bonavena ended Ramos as a viable contender.

Jim Amato

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