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Forgotten Champions: Chango Carmona

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Known under his alias "Erubey", Chango Carmona was briefly the world lightweight champion in 1972-for less than two months. He was a pressure fighter and a brawler who had one weakness: he couldn't take being pushed back, they say. At 5'8 he was a rather big lightweight who also hit hard and scored 43 ko's in 53 victories, losing 13 times and drawing twice. He was also a southpaw, which naturally made him trickier to fight for orthodox fighters. It is believed that he started the tradition of fighting on the Mexican national holiday by becoming a world champion on the 15th of September, beating Mando Ramos, which is by far his biggest victory.

Carmona was born as Eudibiel Guillen Chapin on 29 September 1944 in Mexico City and turned pro in January 1964, aged 19. At first he fought as a super feather and won five fights before losing for the first time against Jorge Jimenez by PTS 8. After that, he moved up to 135 and won 8 fights and drew 1, before losing twice in back to back fights against Arturo Morales, on points. He then reeled off 9 straight wins before losing to Alfredo Urbina on points in May 1967 and then again in November same year, also on points. On 8 June next year, he beat the former world champion Joe "Old Bones" Brown by a TKO 4 after hitting him with a barrage of left hooks and uppercuts. In his next fight, he also knocked out the 17-0 Renaldo Victoria in 3 rounds. On 13 November same year, he stopped the Jamaican world title challenger Percy Hayles by a corner retirement in 4, fighting in San Antonio, TX. On 21 December however, he was knocked out for the first time as a pro in the first round by Hugo Rambaldi, fighting in Mexico City. On 21 March next year, he dropped a close majority decision to Puerto Rican contender Frankie Narvaez, who was a top contender back then. 

On 29 July 1969, he stopped the future world 140-pound champion, Alfonso "Peppermint" Frazer of Panama, by TKO 3, impressively. However, on 29 September that year, he was again stopped, this time by the former featherweight world champion Sugar Ramos, by TKO 7.  On 3 April 1971, he fought Ismael Laguna in Panama City and was outboxed by the slicker Laguna, losing clearly on all cards after 10 rounds. He rebounded by stopping former super feather world title challenger Antonio Amaya, also of Panama, by TKO 7, after coming off the deck in round 3. After getting stopped due to a cut against Raimundo Dias in 5 rounds in August that same 1971, he won the Mexican title finally on 12 February 1972, at home in Mexico City, stopping Eduardo Moreno by TKO 7. He then avenged the loss to Dias by stopping him by a corner retirement in 7, in a non-title fight. On 6 July, he stopped Jimmy Robertson by TKO 8, a cut eye stoppage, to win the NABF title. That gave him a crack at the WBC title which was held by the popular Mexican-American Mando Ramos, a good technical boxer who could also hit well. They squared off on 15 September 1972, the day before Mexican Independence Day, at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Chango was a total underdog coming in, because of his high number of losses, but he proved he was no pushover when he took control of the fight early. Ramos had a slight height and reach advantage, but Carmona managed to offset that by staying on top of him from the get go. In round 4, he first bloodied the nose of Ramos with a stiff left and then dropped him on his trunks with a right to the jaw. He again put Mando down twice in round 5 with body blows, before Ramos had a brief comeback in round 7 and boxed well, but in round 8 it all came to a brutal end as a left hook from Carmona had Ramos reeling and a follow up brutal assault made the ref step in and wave it off at 1:48. Ramos was a bloody and helpless mess and there had hardly been a more brutal and unexpected dethroning ever before. Years later, Chango said:"For me it was very special and important to fight on 15th September. I remember shouting for joy after I beat Ramos and captured the world title in front of all the Mexican fans in the Los Angeles Coliseum. That win wasn't just for me, it was for Mexico as well." 

But, the fairytale would soon turn into a nightmare, as Chango was forced to defend only two months later, or not even two months precisely, which was hardly fair-and against a top ranked fighter, Rodolfo "El Gatto" Gonzalez. Gonzalez had studied him by watching him spar and discovered that he had this weakness-he didn't like to be bullied himself, he couldn't take it as well. So, when the two faced off each other at the Sports Arena in LA on 10 November, Gonzalez took the offensive from the start and hammered Carmona relentlessly and frequently beat him to the punch. It became a very one-sided fight and a poor showing from the new champion, who retired after 12 rounds of beating in his corner. Gonzalez' last fight before this was 3 months ago, so he was 1 month fresher, but despite all that, he simply had the right gameplan to beat Carmona. This one-sided loss pretty much ended Chango's prime and he lost his next fight to 24-0 Jimmy Heair on points, before also getting knocked out by Shinichi Kadota in 7 rounds, with a right hook. That fight was in Honolulu, 31 July 1973. What is interesting is that after the fight, the president of Hawaiian boxing commission Bobby Lee asked for a urine test to determine whether Carmona had been drugged.

After winning 2 easy fights by knockout in 1975, Carmona retired. He came back for one more fight in 1979, where he took on the debuting Francisco Candela at 160 pounds and won by KO 2. He was 35 when he finally retired. He was a brawler who at his best was a world class fighter, as he managed to get the best of the world class Mando Ramos and pretty much ruined him as a fighter, as Ramos would never again fight for a world title or the same way as before. He was sheer force and aggression in the ring, he could hit hard and take a good punch, despite also getting knocked out a few times, but only once for real in his prime. Today, he is remembered as a the guy who ended Mando Ramos' prime and as the first Mexican to become the champion on Independence Day weekend. 


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6 hours ago, LondonRingRules said:

--- Good fan fav fighter, but a street kid without discipline who couldn't keep it together like most talented fighters.

Good write up, Boz. You'd like him if he was fighting today.

Chango vs Teo, and so who you got?

Really couldn't say...

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