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Jose Luis Ramirez-Tiny but Mighty


BoztheMadman
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Can't believe I still haven't written about him. Ramirez belongs to a unique group in boxing: a guy who has wins over Pernell Whitaker, Edwin Rosario and Cornelius Boza Edwards, and yet is practically unknown to many boxing fans today! Even tho his win over the first guy is considered controversial, he was still the first guy to take his zero, officially. JLR had a long way to the top and it took him 10 years to get a world title shot! He still managed to win the WBC lightweight title twice and retired with a record of 102 wins, 82 by ko. He was also listed among The Ring's 100 greatest punchers of all times. Besides his power, he possessed stamina and good reflexes and was very tough, his only stoppage loss coming in an early fight, against the great puncher Ruben Olivares. Here is the story of Mexico's forgotten great.

 

Jose Luis Ramirez was born 3 December 1958 in Huatabampo, Sonora state of northern Mexico, a traditionally Indigenous county. He lived in Culiacan, the capital of Sonora. Like many other Mexicans, he started boxing professionally already at 14 and had his first fight on 25 March 1973, winning by TKO6. He grew to be 5'6 1/2 (169 cm) and with a reach of 64 inches (163 cm). After winning his first 21 fights, mostly by ko, he lost for the first time to Sergio Enriquez on points, 30 April 1975, in Ciudad Obregon. 13 February 1976, he beat the American Frankie "Irish" Crawford by a TKO7. He scored 22 more wins before fighting Ruben Olivares, back then already a veteran, on 28 April 1978. The fight was most likely at 130 or maybe 135, it's not stated, but Olivares' great power prevailed and he stopped the young Ramirez by a TKO2, thus giving him his first and only knockout loss. On 15 June 1979, he finally won the Mexican lightweight title by a KO9 against Humberto Gutierrez. He defended it twice before vacating it. In November 1980, he was chosen to be the second lightweight opponent of Alexis Arguello, after Arguello had stopped Cornelius Boza Edwards by a corner retirement previously. The fight took place on 14th in Miami and Ramirez, much shorter than the 5'10 Arguello, surprised by decking Arguello in the sixth and did very well otherwise, but in the end lost by a disputed split decision. He had now showed his worth in front of the American eyes and started getting more big fights. His next big fight was against the young Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, who was holding the NABF title and was 19-0. It happened on 19 July 1981 in Warren, Ohio. After it went the 12-round distance, Mancini was pronounced as the winner by lopsided scores. Mancini then went on to fight the now-WBC champion Arguello and got stopped late. For Ramirez, it meant that he sadly had to return to fighting on domestic level.

 

At least for a while. After winning 11 fights and recapturing the NABF title, he was then given a chance to win the now-vacant WBC title against Edwin "Chapo" Rosario, a new Puerto Rican star. Like Ramirez, Rosario was a puncher and offensive fighter, so the fight had to be a brawl. It took place in Rosario's country, at Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, 1 May 1983. Rosario was better in the early going, then Ramirez took over as Rosario faded. In the end it wasn't enough, as all judges favored the home guy by 115-113. Because of the closeness of the bout, Rosario gave Ramirez a rematch which took place at Hiram Bithom Stadium this time, also in San Juan, 3 November 1984. It was a slugfest from start to finish, as Ramirez went down in the opening seconds from a short right to the head. After rising, he was hit with many big shots, but showed his natural resilience and came back throwing. In the second, he was down again from a hard right to the head and once again, after getting up he was hit with many blows, however Rosario tired somewhat after that and it enabled him to come back. In the third, Rarmirez landed some hard shots and seemed to be turning the tide. Rosario seemed to come back but at the end of that round was hurt again. In the fourth, after a slow start, Ramirez hit Rosario with some vicious right hooks and uppercuts. As he rolled under a holding Rosario, he trapped him in a corner where he hit him with a few more shots before the referee waved it off. He had triumphed in a war against one of the most intimidating fighters in the division and had stopped him in 4 rounds only! The fight made The Ring FOTY selection, naturally. It would remain the greatest achievement of Ramirez's career. He also took Rosario's zero with the victory. After having two non-title fights, he took on another Puerto Rican, this time a fast and slick fighter: Hector "Macho" Camacho. The fight was on 10 August 1985 in Las Vegas and Camacho simply proved too fast and too hard to hit for Ramirez. In the third round, he was caught by surprise and floored with a left hook. He came back and made it a fight, but in the end lost by wide scores on all scorecards and was no longer the champion.

 

After winning 7 more fights, he faced Terrence Alli of Guyana for his old title, which was now vacant after Camacho had moved up to 140. In the meantime, Ramirez had moved to Paris, France and would fight there for most of the rest of his career. The fight therefore took place in St. Tropez on the French riviera, 19 July 1987 and Ramirez reclaimed his title with a close but unanimous decision. He then made his first defense by knocking out the faded former WBC super feather champion Cornelius Boza Edwards in 5 rounds, after thoroughly dominating the fight. He then had his most controversial fight when he signed to fight the Olympic gold medallist from 1984, Pernell Whitaker, who was 15-0. It was on 12 March 1988 in Levallois-Perret that the two faced off, with the title at stake. The rather unpolished Ramirez struggled against the very clever and defensively sound Whitaker, chasing him around the ring but being unable to land much against the elusive American. In the end, the judges were divided, with one favoring Whitaker but only by a point, and the other two favoring the champion by 4 and 5 points! Thus, Ramirez retained his title for the second time by split decision, but a very unpopular one, in a fight where few punches were landed. He was then chosen as the opponent of the WBA champion Julio Cesar Chavez, who had taken the title from Rosario himself, in a great unification fight. The fight was at Las Vegas Hilton, 29 October, and even tho Ramirez was hurt and almost dropped with a right hand in round 4, he came back and made it a fight, even winning several rounds. In the 11th round however, the fight had to be stopped after he butted heads with Chavez and blood spilled from his cut. The fight then went to the scorecards and, unsurprisingly, all three judges favored the big star Chavez, 96-94, 98-91 (ridiculous score) and 95-93. Afterwards, Ramirez complained that the butt was intentional, because he felt he was winning at that point. It was to no avail and he was again without a belt. After winning one fight by disqualification next year, he had a rematch against Whitaker, 20 August, this time in Whitaker's hometown of Norfolk. Once again, the vacant WBC title was on the line, after Chavez also moved up to 140. Ramirez was past his best by then however and was thoroughly dominated and received a beating, but lasted the distance, even winning the last round. He lost by 117-111 and 120-108 twice. On 23 March 1990, he had his last fight and the only one at 140, when he took on the WBA champion Juan Martin Coggi in Ajaccio, Corsica, and once again lost by lopsided scores, 118-110 and 118-111 twice. He was now 31 and chose to retire, wisely, as he was a spent force clearly.

 

As mentioned, he was listed as one of 100 greatest punchers (nr.71) by The Ring and was inducted into the (now defunct) World Boxing Hall of Fame. He is unique in the fact that 7 of his 9 losses came to future hall of famers: Chavez, Whitaker, Rosario, Olivares, Camacho, Arguello and Mancini. A cultural person, Ramirez moved to Paris in circa 1986-87 and still lives there. While perhaps not a hall of fame material, Ramirez fought the best and against most of them he gave a good account of himself, never shrinking from a challenge. It can be argued he was good enough to be in the hall of fame, but the number of his losses and his relatively short time at elite level speak against him. Whatever the truth-this guy could fight!

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- -Boz, watch the Pea fight.

 

Started with the usual ama showboating and floating, but kept floating into JL left hook to the liver, maybe a dozen clean, easy shots. Then he started grabbing, lowblowing, and turning his back repeatedly in full survival mode, a clear TKO/DQ in most every jurisdiction.

 

End of the day, Pea clowned away a good career vs Chavez and Oscar too. His best fight where he actually came to fight was Uncle Roger, and even then he was hanging on in survival mode the last round...coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn't...:smiley-signs107:

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- -Boz, watch the Pea fight.

 

Started with the usual ama showboating and floating, but kept floating into JL left hook to the liver, maybe a dozen clean, easy shots. Then he started grabbing, lowblowing, and turning his back repeatedly in full survival mode, a clear TKO/DQ in most every jurisdiction.

 

End of the day, Pea clowned away a good career vs Chavez and Oscar too. His best fight where he actually came to fight was Uncle Roger, and even then he was hanging on in survival mode the last round...coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn't...:smiley-signs107:

 

I did watch it, thank you. At first Ramirez had trouble landing, that was when I was writing it, but later he started landing some-still didn't land too much. But that was Whitaker's fault, yes-he didn't deserve to get that fight, that's what I always said.

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- -Boz, watch the Pea fight.

 

Started with the usual ama showboating and floating, but kept floating into JL left hook to the liver, maybe a dozen clean, easy shots. Then he started grabbing, lowblowing, and turning his back repeatedly in full survival mode, a clear TKO/DQ in most every jurisdiction.

 

End of the day, Pea clowned away a good career vs Chavez and Oscar too. His best fight where he actually came to fight was Uncle Roger, and even then he was hanging on in survival mode the last round...coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn't...:smiley-signs107:

 

Nah come one. It wasn't the shut out that some of the US media would have you believe but it was a lousy decision. Whittaker won by at least 3 rounds. I watched the Chavez fight a couple of weeks ago and JCC is definitely taking it easy on Ramirez. He's in full control and never leaves second gear.

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Nah come one. It wasn't the shut out that some of the US media would have you believe but it was a lousy decision. Whittaker won by at least 3 rounds. I watched the Chavez fight a couple of weeks ago and JCC is definitely taking it easy on Ramirez. He's in full control and never leaves second gear.

 

---Gonna have to strongly disagree.

 

Pea starts quick and flashy, but soon faded with every left hook to the liver, ready to be KOed from the results of his noncompetitive body language and tactics over the latter half of the fight. That Duva who was always rather stupid as an overly emotional aka Loony Teddy style trainer couldn't see the Pea style of walking straight into left hooks to the liver by JL to have Pea moving away from the punch that was doing a number on him, well, words FAIL!!!

 

His actions cost Meldrick Taylor in the first JCChavez fight as another blunder on his record.

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---Gonna have to strongly disagree.

 

Pea starts quick and flashy, but soon faded with every left hook to the liver, ready to be KOed from the results of his noncompetitive body language and tactics over the latter half of the fight. That Duva who was always rather stupid as an overly emotional aka Loony Teddy style trainer couldn't see the Pea style of walking straight into left hooks to the liver by JL to have Pea moving away from the punch that was doing a number on him, well, words FAIL!!!

 

His actions cost Meldrick Taylor in the first JCChavez fight as another blunder on his record.

 

Yeah, old Lou never was the best advice-giver during fights. Plus, he was too hotheaded to be a trainer.

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George Benton was the real intelligence in the corner, Lou Duva was a glorified cheerleader. Roger Mayweather knew how to handle him.

 

--- Not sure what you're getting at. Roger other than briefly hurting Pea late in the fight wasn't handling squat. Don't recall Benton who is eminently more quality than Lou being a factor in the first JL fight.

 

Refresh me por favor...

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