R.B.F. president shares special day with all-time great Muhammad Ali
While most people know that today is the 63rd birthday of world-renowned, all-time great heavyweight champion and hall-of-fame boxer Muhammad Ali, only the truly observant boxing fan knows that former middleweight contender Alex Ramos shares his birthday with "the greatest of all time".
Ramos, forty-four years old today, did manage to win the USBA Middleweight Championship - in a grueling twelve round decision victory over Philadelphia's Curtis Parker (this war was voted 1984 "fight of the year), and compiled a stellar professional record of 39 wins against 10 losses and 2 draws (25 knockouts). As an amateur Ramos amassed an unbelievable 189 victories (132 wins by knockout) with only 9 losses, also won an unprecedented four New York Golden Gloves Championships and was touted to win an Olympic gold medal - had President Carter not boycotted the 1980 games in Moscow.
While these achievements would make any person proud, they actually pale in comparison to the work that Alex "The Bronx Bomber" has been accomplishing outside the boxing ring.
Upon his retirement from boxing in 1995, Ramos - like so many boxers - encountered his hardest fight of all. The cheering stops, the phone doesn't ring, and all those so-called friends or "hangers-on" have moved on.
Without any "real-life" acquired skills, having to deal with unscrupulous managers, promoters, etc., as well as battling depression and the effects of pugilistic dementia (the medical term for "punch drunk"), the outside world can be a very rough, cold and scary place for the unprepared retired boxer.
Determined to make a difference Ramos founded the Retired Boxers Foundation, which was formally incorporated in 1998 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. Helping hundreds of fighters annually the "RBF" has been able to secure medical services, housing, rehabilitation and emergency assistance for these former great athletes.
Restoring the pride and dignity to all ex-fighters who have lost hope; helping those who are suffering medically or financially; or just getting the word out to the young and current boxer that there are services available; keeps Ramos, Jacquie Richardson (the RBF Exective Director) and all the RBF volunteers very busy.
Still, too many of these fighters who have thrilled us over the years - whether on HBO or SHOWTIME fighting for a championship belt or at a local arena fighting a four rounder - face retirement without any kind of financial assistance or access to medical care. Unfortunately, some will become statistics in crime reports and listed among the homeless and indigent.
If you would like to help the Retired Boxers Foundation (all donations are 100% tax deductible) give Alex Ramos a call: (805) 583-5890. Wish him a happy birthday.
Happy Birthday Alex Ramos - a champion in and out of the ring!