“Bronx Bomber” reaches milestone
January 17 is a very auspicious date.
While we honor Martin Luther King Jr. on this particular Monday, it is also a birthdate shared by boxers Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos, “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali, “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera, and “The Toy Tiger” Art Hafey. Fellow Capricorns also include female boxing trainer and ex-fighter Ann Wolfe and Los Angeles boxing manager and former fighter Arnulfo Bravo, who also blow out the candles on January 17.
But there is one individual who is circling this date as a very, very special one.
For Alex Ramos, today ushers in his 50th birthday.
And for this New York-born boxer, these past five decades are not something he takes lightly.
“Yes, today is my 50th birthday! I had a lot health issues in 2008,” Alex tells me when I called him to wish him a “Happy B-day,” ” Oh yeah..I was very sick then but now I am okay–Thank God!”
The former amateur star and USBA middleweight titlist began celebrating early this morning with some good friends. “I am at my next door neighbor’s house celebrating,” the ebullient Ramos says. “They are great! They put balloons up all over and we’re having some morning coffee.”
While I spoke with the popular Puerto Rican slugger (39-10-2, 24 KOs) he wanted to take time away from his own birthday spotlight to shine the light on what he and the Retired Boxers Foundation (RBF) are doing to help others less fortunate in the sweet science.
Along with RBF’s Executive Director Jacquie Richardson and the board, Ramos has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the plight of what happens to boxers after they hang up the gloves. He is a true champion for a cause he believes 101% in while reaching out to others through this nonprofit organization.
“I just love the sport so much; I’ve been around the sport for so long. I love my brothers and the women fighters in the sport,” he explains to me with emotion rising in his voice. “I know what they go through. Listen…I’m gonna die a fighter, Michele. And I’m gonna tell you this…I’m gonna DIE A FIGHTER doing the right thing for other fighters.”
The ex-puncher gets a little choked up when he thinks about what he still wants to accomplish with Monday marking his fiftieth year on the planet. “I will continue, continue, continue to help other fighters with conviction!” Alex confides. “There are a lot of things that happen when their careers are over. I’m not leaving this earth until I do that–until I help others!”
Alex is known in boxing circles as one of the most enthusiastic and caring supporters of the sport. He is part of the riveting documentary film “After The Last Round,” which bring awareness to some of the plights the pugilists face in and out of the ring. While he could understandably be bitter and angry about the dark side of the sport, Ramos chooses to assist and support others with his upbeat personality.
The buoyant Ramos is a frequent fixture in lending his support to both amateur and pro boxing. And he mentions that he never ever forgets his roots early in his career and is proud of his achievements. “I was the Golden Gloves Champ in 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980. I had 189 wins, 132 KOs and only 9 losses,” the beloved four-time GG Champ says. “I was the PAL National Champion and the Junior Olympic Gold Medalist.” The Simi Valley resident is still very involved in many amateur youth boxing programs.
With his milestone birthday to celebrate, the former middleweight also wants to give a shout out to his many friends and countless fans.
“I must have gotten over 2,000 emails, Michele! I can’t believe it,” he laughs as we began to wonder how he’ll answer them all. “I am a ‘two-fingered’ typist but I’m the best speller in the world–I don’t use Spell Check! And I really want to thank everyone definitely from the bottom of my heart.”
Heralding this half a century milestone, I say to Alex “Here’s to another 50 years!”
“Here’s to another ONE HUNDRED years!” Ramos quickly counters with a chuckle. “God always keeps us around!”
“Okay, Champ,” I laugh. “I will see you soon then.”
“Thank you, Michele! I appreciate EVERYTHING,” his voice cheerfully booms. “And I will see you at the next fight!”
Happy Birthday to the “Bronx Bomber”!
Photo by Michele Chong
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