January 3rd, 2005, AT 6:00 PM,
By Nigel Clarke
Champions for Dignity!"
Clarke recently spoke with Alex "The Bronx Bomber"
Ramos of the Retired Boxers Foundation. In this informative and emotional
interview, Alex and his assistant Jacquie Richardson, provide
details on the Retired Boxers Foundation and the many ways they are helping
retired fighters. If you're a boxer or a fan of the sport, you don't want to
miss this interview.
CLICK HERE FOR INTERVIEW
Clarke: What is the Retired
Boxers Foundation and what is its mission?
The Retired Boxers Foundation, "The Undisputed Champions for Dignity!"
It is a Non Profit organization that has been in existence for several
years--since 1998. We exist to help fighters when their careers are over,
helping them live a dignified life. As you know, in boxing, there is no pension
plan, there are no medical benefits and as a result, many fighters wind up owing
the government back taxes and also having problems neurologically....physical
stuff. We exist to help the fighters throughout the world. We also have a
medical advisory board. We've been helping fighters, and that is what I'm going
to die doing!
Clarke: You had a magnificent
career inside the ring. If, I'm not mistaken, when you retired, you faced some
tough times. Can you provide some insight on the types of issues a fighter faces
once he retires?
you know, I can speak for myself and I can speak for a few fighters that I know.
A lot of fighters leave the sport, sometimes they leave badly damaged and
whether it be neurologically or whether it be emotionally or physically, there
are a lot of things that happen when your career is over.
Boxing is a
wonderful game and a beautiful sport. I love it and I will die a fighter. Today,
I'm going to die as a fighter today doing the right thing for the sport of
boxing, which is helping my brothers in the sport, who need help. We get calls
every day. I talk to fighters everyday no matter where they are. We have people
who represent the foundation in the states and overseas, we also have a medical
advisory board; we have a great honorary board that includes James Carville and
director Ron Shelton. We have some good people who have been helping. Director
Ron Shelton, when we started this foundation was our biggest contributor. He
gave us $50,000 donation for five years for operating expenses. We've been doing
some great things to help fighters. No body draws a salary at the RBF. 100% of
the donations go back to the fighters who need a hand up.
We also have
people that help us with financial services. You hear stories about fighters
owing back taxes or filing for bankruptcy. This is nothing new to the sport. You
hear it today, with guys like Antonio Tarver not too long ago, Mike Tyson--who
is a good friend and my brother in boxing till death--filed for bankruptcy. You
hear it with numerous fighters. There are a lot of fighters who file for
bankruptcy. We try to educate and do the right thing for the sport. Boxing is a
wonderful game, like I say, your fighters don't come from ivy league schools, we
come from the ghettos, the barrios and third world countries and were looking to
make it out of there. So we have to educate the fighters. Our organization is
about fighters helping fighters. Because nobody else does....and educating the
public too, because people don't know about these things! People think the
fighters make millions and the truth of the matter is that before they get
anything, the IRS gets at least a third, their manager gets a third. Then
there's 10% for the trainer, 2% for the cut man, and then you gotta pay the
bills that have been piling up while you're waiting for the payday. Every
fighter needs to have some legal counsel and accounting assistance, from day
one. You can't trust nobody in the sport of boxing, so you gotta create your
own protectors in this sport. These fighters also need to look at the "hangers
on..." These are the people who always have their hand out, but don't
really do shit to help you.
Clarke: I've been a
participant and a fan of boxing for several years and I have not heard of your
been in existence for over six years. You don't hear the stories. I've had
struggles in my life. You hear about fighters when their stories hit the
newspapers. They wind up with problems--some they caused and some they can't
help. I did. I had problems with drugs and alcohol and I was homeless, but God
has saved me for a reason. He gave me the heart of a fighter and a few brains so
that I could work from the inside to change things. I am honored to speak about
what God has given me and that includes all of my experiences, good and bad, so
that I can be an authority on what the sport needs and what the athletes need
when their careers are over. None of them, myself included, want pity. All we
need is a chance to start a new life. My Executive Director calls me the "Poster
Child" of what can happen to a fighter who leaves the sport of boxing with
some damage and no clue what to do when their careers come to an end. I am
living proof that we can over come our addictions--I've been sober 5 years on
December 29th--and that we can repair some of the physical and neurological
damage if we get the right kind of medical care. We can start a new life. I
always say, "My past is like my ass. It's behind me!" Alex: I
testified at the attorney general boxing tasks force hearing back in 1999,which
helped pass the bill for the Muhammad Ali boxing safety act, which has not done
anything for the sport of boxing. Even though the intent was good and it drew
attention to the need to make the sport safer, it didn't come with any funding
to enforce it. It was in place when fighters like Greg Page fought in Kentucky,
with no ambulance on site, no Oxygen, an unlicensed doctor--and where did it get
him? In a coma for months and now completely disabled. His wife looked on the
Internet and found us. We were able to raise funds, several thousand of dollars
to help him when he left the hospital. One of our reps, Brad Cooney, jumped in
and helped them get Supplemental Social Security in less than 90 days, and
because Greg is totally disabled, he also got Medicare. We've been doing the
right thing and that is what this is about.
There are a lot of stories that you might not know about. I've been in the
game for over thirty years, there are many things people don't know about. Bobby
Chacon, two-time world champ. He still walks around with dementia and you have
people who still exploit him, which is disgusting and I can't stand to see it!
We are here to help the fighters!
Clarke: You founded the
Retired Boxers Foundation in 1998. What difficulties have you had in advancing
the organization? Alex: You would literally think that you would get a lot of
help from the sport of boxing. But what happens is that we don't, we mostly get
help from outside contributions. We do the right thing to help the fighters and
I am going to die doing this!
Alex is very passionate about what he does and it is very satisfying work. We
operate on a budget of less that 25K a year. No one takes a salary. It might be
as little as 85 dollars for bus fare to go home for a guy who is one the
streets. It might be 400 dollars for someone who wants to become a certified
trainer, but can't get far enough ahead to do it. Or like Jaun Antonio Lopez, we
paid for his chemotherapy for six months ....until the WBC took over. Alex:
Eight months! Jacquie: Eight months before the WBC took it over. You can't do
much with 25K, but we can be the bridge until we find the right resources.
Clarke: That leads into my
next question, you guys operate on less that 25K for a year, yet promoters and
cable networks make millions from fights, why aren't you getting assistance from
Jacquie: You know what, when you talk
about Mike Tyson's $3 million purse, you're talking about one percent of what
really comes in through television. I went through old lawsuits, when they were
making 27 million from fights that were televised in 1977, who knows what it is
now. If they gave us 25 cents from every pay per view subscriber it would endow
this and every other foundation out there. You know...the Retired Boxers
Foundation could be out of business, which is our goal, if every state adopted
the kind of pension plan that California did, which costs $.89 per ticket sold
to a boxing event, and a quarter from every PPV in boxing. You tell me one fan
in boxing that wouldn't mind paying twenty five cents extra when they buy a PPV,
or care if their ticket included eighty nine cents to help boxers retired with a
pension and have some insurance while they were risking their lives to entertain
Clarke: So you have reached
out to promoters and networks?
We don't directly, but James Carville had Don King as his guest on CNN's
Crossfire, and he specifically asked Don King why he didn't help people like
Alex Ramos and the RBF. Don responded that "there are lots of poor people
in the world and I try to help as many as I can." Dan Goosen and Showtime
have been wonderful in providing tickets so that Alex and I can go to the
fights. That's where we get information on who needs help. In fact, it was a
writer at one of the fights that told us about Juan Antonio Lopez. You
know...it's funny, but we NEVER get calls from the retired boxer themselves,
asking for help. It's always from a fan or a family member or another fighter.
HBO used to give us tickets to fights, but they haven't in over two years. We do
our networking at the fights. Like I said, neither Alex or I draw a salary, and
I already subsidize the RBF, so tickets to the fights would be out of the
question without the generosity of people like Dan and Craig Goosen and
Showtime. Bob Yalen at ESPN was also very generous to us, but we don't even know
who the new people are.
Clarke: What are you goals
for the upcoming year?
Our goal for the upcoming year is to raise another 25K to stay in business. It
does not sound very lofty, but that is the reality of what this is. For a normal
nonprofit it takes 3 to 5 years to build your credibility. In boxing I believe
it takes twice as long. Alex works 24/7, contacting people and getting
resources. I work part time for the Ventura County District Attorney, and spend
another 20-40 hours a week finding resources and delivering things that fighters
need. Amazing what you can do if you care enough. Like I said, a phone call to
the right person can change someone's life. Alex has a great relationship with
Mauricio and Jose Suiliaman and the WBC. They picked up the cost of Juan
Antonio's chemotherapy after we had paid it for 8 months. One phone call to the
WBC and Genaro Chicanito Hernandez, and they arranged for his eye surgery and
paid for it. Alex isn't afraid to ask anyone for help for one of his brothers in
boxing! How much does it cost to make a phone call? Nothing really. We have
helped dozens of fighters get Supplemental Social Security, we have helped them
appeal rejections, we have helped them get Veterans Benefits and we have gotten
them the medical treatment they need. Not only do we make the calls, we drive
them to the Social Security Administration and VA offices, we help them fill out
the paper work and we make sure that they get the right kind of physical and
neuro exams to make sure they have appropriate diagnosis.
Clarke: What are your
thoughts on boxing reform and a national boxing commissioner?
Alex: They talk about a national boxing commission.
If it is with the same guys who are in the sport today, what is the sense of
having it? They need to have boxers on this commission. There're many fighters
out there who are very intelligent. A lot of people think that fighters, because
that they come from the ghettos, are not educated. First of all, all these guys
on commissions, they are all political appointees. Come on! How in the hell!?
These guys aint't never boxed in their life! If the commissions were doing their
jobs the way they are supposed to at the state level, we would not have to be
talking about this shit!
Clarke: If I am currently a
professional fighter in the sport, why should I concern myself with the Retired
never know what could happen--your life could change in a minute. Look at Gerald
McClellan, he was one of the best fighters in the world, he needs 24-hour
medical attention. Wilfredo Benitez, the youngest champion ever in the world!
Needs medical attention 24 hours a day. The government of Puerto Rico is paying
him some money, like a social security. I know because I was at his house, and
we did a fundraiser for him in New York. We have a lot of support. Bernard
Hopkins has supported us in many things; Fernando Vargas is on our board. We try
to do the right thing for the fighters, because, you never know! Current
professional fighters should enjoy their glorious days in the ring, but wouldn't
it be nice if they could do something for the great warriors that paved the way
for their success? We have never received a dime from a fighter, past or
present. We are brothers in this sport and we do care about each other, but when
it comes time to make charitable donations, everybody seems to look the other
way. Maybe they are afraid of what they see.
Clarke: What should boxers
know about your organization?
Boxers should know that they can contact us, whatever time it is. If they want
help they got it. There are a lot of fighters that may not know if they are
damaged. But these fighters can be helped and the doctors need to know their
boxing background before they can make the right diagnosis. I took an MRI and
the MRI showed that my brain is beautiful and looks perfect. I had problems with
my balance and I was embarrassed and the doctors knew that there was something
wrong. They did a complete neuro work-up that verified the damage, but not the
cause. The next step was very extensive neuro-psych testing and they found on
the frontal lobe part of my brain-- they found damage to my frontal lobe and
right Temporal Lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe of the brain is the Executive
function of our thought process. It is where our emotions are centered. When it
is damaged, the neurotransmitters "misfire" and that is where the rage
disorders, authority disorders, and how we determine consequences for our
actions takes place. When it is messed up, we do stupid things and we don't even
know that what we are doing is wrong. A lot of the fighters have that. We want
to educate my brothers.
This I think will be a major service to families. A lot of fighters end up with
some damage on the front part of their brains. That part handles executive
functions. The earliest symptoms of damage to a fighter are rage disorders and
outbursts and extreme jealousy according to medical research on the subject.
What fighters don't know is that they can be helped. Depakote is one drug that
is normally prescribed for seizures, but has an unusual side affect in that it
can improve the balance and gait problems that many fighters have. If you go to
a regular doctor, they might misdiagnose you. They don't fully understand the
impact on the brain from boxing. We happen to work with doctors and we have a
great medical advisory board. The fighters them selves feel badly, if they only
knew that there are things that can diminish those problems. Many fighters
respond well to Welbutrin, for some reason it works well for some fighters.
We've seen fighters improve dramatically.
Clarke: So there is
medication that can help?
Yes. The fighters need to know that there is help. It also helps if they
continue to be active and to continue to exercise. This improves the blood flow
to the brain and it helps. They need to exercise their brains as well. They
should read the newspapers, do crossword puzzles and thinks that make them
think. It sounds goofy, but it really works. Depression is also a common side
effect of frontal lobe damage. When anybody is depressed, they want to withdraw
from the world, and curl up in a ball. This is the worst thing for a fighter to
do. These are things that can be helped. Their quality of life can change
dramatically. Also, fighters need to know that substance abuse will kill them
faster than their boxing injuries. Worse, if they have damage, alcohol and drugs
will just speed the process up so they end up with dementia.
If anyone would like more information on the Retired Boxers Foundation,
they can visit the website at www.retiredboxers.org
JULY 12th, 2004, AT 10:20 AM,
Open Letter To
And Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor
The Retired Boxers Foundation is a small
nonprofit organization founded by retired professional boxer, Alex "The
Bronx Bomber" Ramos for the purpose of assisting retired
professional boxers in the transition from their glorious days in the ring to a
dignified retirement. Part of our mission is also to educate the public about
the sport of boxing and advocating for safety and integrity in the sport. We
have an impressive coalition of boxing experts, including a Medical Advisory
Board with internationally recognized neurologist, neurosurgeons,
neuro-psychiatrists and neuro-behavorists who assist our organization and the
athletes who are now retired professional boxers.
With all due respect, we feel we must educate the two of you
about the condition of boxing in the State of Kentucky and the fact that your
admonishment of Mike Tyson is looking more like the pot calling the
kettle black. Mike Tyson has made mistakes and he has served his time.
Kentucky, on the other hand, has yet to admit to what many in boxing would call
their own "criminal acts." Kentucky Champion boxer, Greg
Page is sitting in a wheelchair, completely disabled, because of some faux
pas made by your State Boxing Commission. Some would say that the State of
Kentucky was guilty of complete and utter lack of oversight when Greg Page,
age 42 at the time, fought Dale Crowe, 24, at Peel's Palace in Erlanger Kentucky on March 9,
The following details were widely reported and, even if you
were elected for your first terms, as long-time residents of the State of
Kentucky, it is unfathomable that you might have missed it:
At Peel's Palace
in Erlanger, Kentucky, on March 9, 2001, Greg Page, 42, of Louisville,
and Dale Crowe, 24, of Alexandria, Kentucky fought 10 hard rounds before
the fight was stopped when Greg Page went down due to an apparent shove
by Dale Crowe Page's head landed on the bottom rope of the ring, while (according
to his wife, Patricia Page) he began foaming around the mouth and
was clearly dazed. He remained there for a full nine minutes while ring
officials stepped over his legs and proceeded to make the ring announcement
declaring Dale Crowe the winner. There was no oxygen available at
ringside, even though your regulations require one, and no emergency medical
technicians. Even though there was a stretcher and a blanket, there was no one
to carry it out and no ambulance on sight. One of Page's friends, a
Louisville police detective named Jonathan Bryant, had to go find the
ringside physician and bring him to ringside for Page to receive any
kind of attention, a process that took several minutes. It also took nine
minutes for a call to be placed to the 911 emergency line. The doctor -
Dr. Manuel Mediodia - was not near the ring when Page went down,
and had to be found elsewhere in the building. Greg Page nearly died
because the ringside physician, Dr. Mediodia, was NOT licensed to
practice medicine in Kentucky and in fact, his license had been suspended twice
in Ohio. He was not trained as a ringside physician and told reporters he
learned what he needed "by reading the USA boxing handbook."
Nancy Black, executive director of the Kentucky
Athletic Commission, which regulates boxing in the Commonwealth, said ambulances
don't have to be at fights. This, in spite of the fact that the Muhammad
Ali Boxing Safety Act requires it. Nancy Black admitted that she
had never been to a boxing match and was unfamiliar with what happens ringside.
Four of seven members of the Kentucky Athletic Commission attended: Jack
Kerns, chairman; Emmitt Igo, Tim Gonterman and Fred Burch,
and obviously, all four of them observed Greg Page go down and remain,
head suspended, on the bottom rope for over twenty minutes before an ambulance
took him away - first to the wrong hospital which was not equipped for severe
head injuries. Greg Page suffered in a coma for months due to strokes
following the fight. Page is currently relegated to a wheelchair and is
completely disabled. Since there were no insurance provisions required, the
Kentucky commission is taking the position that they have no responsibility
whatsoever for the well-being of Greg Page. Obviously, the State of
Kentucky is going to wait for an impending lawsuit to be settled and then we
hope they can find it in their heart to apologize to Greg Page for
allowing such poor oversight and concern for boxer safety to have changed Greg's
We implore you to read a series of articles that are well
researched and fully documented by Charles Jay, an advocate and friend
of the Retired Boxers Foundation, in a series of articles called "Operation
Clean-up." All of these articles are posted at the International
Brotherhood of Prizefighters at these links:
In defense of boxing and certainly in defense of Mike
Tyson, we feel we have a moral obligation to inform you of the
transgressions that remain in litigation at the present time. Contrary to what
the media focuses on in defining Mike Tyson, he is a man who has made
amends and served his time. He is trying to make a living in his trade and take
care of his family. If he meets your licensing requirements, it seems absurd
for anyonehigh level elected officials included - to make moral judgments
on this man's worthiness to fight in Kentucky, especially in light of the
transgressions of your State Boxing Commission just a couple of years ago. We
will forgive you (Kentucky) if you will forgive Mike.
Page and his family may not be so willing to let bygones be bygones, but, on
the other hand, they have forgiven Mike and even baked him a birthday
cake when he appeared at the Louisville Press Conference.
Alex "The Bronx Bomber"
Founder and President RETIRED BOXERS FOUNDATION
Bryan Avenue Simi Valley, CA, 93063
JUNE 16th, 2004, AT 8:20 AM,
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos
attended the Mayor's Reception for the Olympic Torchbearers tomorrow. Pictured
with Alex is Rafer Johnson, who carried the 1984 Olympic Torch
into the Coliseum, and Sylvester Stallone. NBC is covering the event
all day tomorrow, with a one hour special tomorrow, early evening. Also,
Telemundo is doing a one hour special with a feature on
Alex. The piece airs at 6:30 tomorrow (June 16th) on the East
Coast and again, on the West Coast. Even if you do not understand Spanish, you
can see our boxer and friend, Alex on TV. It is really an awesome
experience for him.
Tomorrow, its the torch run, followed by some visits to the
gyms in the area, and the day ends with the Dodgers vs the Orioles, with special
seats for the Olympians and the Torchbearers.
Talk to you all soon!
Retired Boxers Foundation
MAY 24th, 2004, AT 11:10 PM,
Retired Boxers Foundation Founder
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos
as U.S. A. Torchbearer for
ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch
The 1980 Olympics in Moscow were boycotted so Ramos
never had the chance to realize his dream of "Olympic Gold."
Twenty-four years later, he is honored to carry the Olympic Torch in Los
Simi Valley, CA, USA:
The Founder and President of the Retired Boxers Foundation, Alex "The
Bronx Bomber" Ramos, has been selected as one of the US
Torchbearers for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay in Los Angeles, California.
The Olympic flame visits the United States, June 16-19, in the first-ever global
Olympic torch relay. The Olympic flame will be carried in Los Angeles,
California; St. Louis, Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia and New York City, New York.
Ramos will carry the torch for 400 meters in Los Angeles, California on
Wednesday, June 16th, 2004. According to a press release from the U.S. Olympic
Committee on May 4th:
"Some of America's greatest Olympians will carry
the flame in the USA on its historic journey including Bonnie Blair (Delafield,
WI.), Gail Devers (Loganville, GA), Janet Evans (Irvine,
CA), Rulon Gardner (Cascade, CO),
Rafer Johnson (Sherman Oaks, CA), Jackie Joyner Kersee (St.
Louis, MO), Shannon Miller (Grafton, MA), Peter Vidmar
(Coto de Caza, CA) and Bonny Warner (Byron, CA), among
many other notable athletes. Some of the torchbearers, such as these Olympians,
are known all over the world. A common thread ties all the torchbearers together
in that they exhibit characteristics that exemplify the Olympic ideals. They
represent the best of humanity in their city, country and world.
Being selected as a torchbearer for the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay is a
tremendous honor. The theme for the torch relay is "Pass the Flame,
Unite the World." The Athens Organizing Committee for the 2004 Olympic
Games established criteria that all torchbearers 'represent the best of
humanity' and that selection programs include some form of public participation.
Torchbearers selected reflect the values of the Olympic games and are people who
unite their communities through sport, education or culture. They also inspire
others through participation, celebration, human scale and heritage. Along with
the official nomination form, nominators were asked to submit an essay of 50-100
words explaining how the nominee meets the criteria of being an inspirational
person who reflects the 'best in humanity'. Local judging panels
selected the individuals who will have the honor of uniting the world by
carrying the Olympic flame. ATHENS 2004 approved all torchbearers.
Alex Ramos is deeply honored to have been nominated and selected to
be a Torchbearer for the 2004 ATHENS Olympics and intends to carry the torch to
honor all of the amateur boxers who aspire to be medalists and for all of the
fighters who never made it - especially his USA Boxing Teammates who were killed
in a plane crash in 1980 en route to Warsaw, Poland for the USA vs. Poland
Box-off as part of "USA vs. the World." Killed in that crash
were Lemuel Steeples from St. Louis; Calvin Anderson from
Connecticut; Paul Palomino -
Carlos Palomino's brother; George Pimentel, New York and others,
including trainers and Olympic Coach, Sarge Johnson.
Ramos would have been on that flight, were it not for the fact that
he was in the semi-finals for the New York State Golden Glove Tournament in 1980
and would have had to give up his shot at the Golden Gloves to make the flight.
He boxed Mike "The Body Snatcher" McCallum and had he
lost that fight, he would have been out of the semi-finals and on that plane.
Ramos was able to participate in "USA vs. Moscow" in
1980, when President Carter gave special permission to the USA Team to
go to Moscow for this event. Because of the boycott of the Moscow Olympics, Ramos
said that the USA Boxing Team had to go to Washington, D.C. to obtain special
permission from President Jimmy Carter to travel to Moscow for the
box-offs for USA vs. the World. Permission was granted by President Carter
and Ramos won the tournament - the only fighter to win by a knockout! He
was presented a crystal "Misha the Bear" trophy, which was the
Olympic symbol for the 1980 Olympics and presented to the outstanding fighter
from the United States.
Alex Ramos began his boxing career at the age of 11, and turned pro
in 1980 after the Moscow Olympics were boycotted. By then, he had won 4 New York
Golden Gloves and several other amateur titles - pretty much every amateur
tournament fought in those days, including the Empire State Games, the PAL
Tournament and the National AAU Championship. He became the USBA Middleweight
Champion in 1984 and the 1986 California Middleweight Champion. He was one of "NBC's
Tomorrow's Champions" which launched the careers of many great
fighters. In 1995, after some time in what Ramos calls "the
darkness" of alcoholism, drugs and homelessness, Ramos turned
his life around and started what was to become the
Retired Boxers Foundation The RBF was created by Ramos to help all of the
retired professional boxers who had a hard time making the transition from their
glorious days in the ring to a dignified retirement. "Boxing is the
only professional sport that does not provide a pension or a retirement plan for
the athletes when their careers are over. Many of us struggle with the aftermath
of boxing, whether its physical or emotional damage, with no idea how to get
back on our feet," said
Ramos is highly respected by his brothers in boxing and he likes to
call the Retired Boxers Foundation "fighters
helping fighters" because the athletes have created a network where
they look out for each other. The RBF
finds the resources, no matter how big or how small, to help restore the dignity
these athletes deserved. Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos
will carry the 2004 Athens Olympic Torch to honor the brotherhood of boxing and
he will run as one of "The Undisputed Champions for Dignity!"
For more information about the
Retired Boxers Foundation, visit their website at
or call Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890.
December 23rd, 2003, AT 5:50 PM,
Boxers Foundation Play Santa at Los Angeles Area Gyms
RBF Founder & President, Alex "The Bronx Bomber"
Ramos delivers toys and turkeys donated by L. A. County Sheriff's Department
CA: On Thursday, December 18, 2003, the Retired Boxers
Foundation took a truckload of toys and turkey dinners to the boxing veterans
and their families at such famous locations in the sport as the Azteca Gym in
Bell, the Oscar De La Hoya Youth Center in East LA, Freddie Roach's Wild Card
Boxing Club and TRU Boxing in Hollywood.
Retired Boxers Foundation L.A. Representative, Richie Robert,
helped arrange the holiday deliveries in conjunction with the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department. According to Sergeant Sven Krongeyer, Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department, the only stipulation would be that the toys and turkeys be
delivered to retired fighters, their families and children residing in Los
Angeles County. "No problem!" said Alex Ramos, a former fighter who
knows lots of his fellow retired fighters who could use a hand up during the
The first stop made by Ramos and the RBF entourage, was the
famous Azteca Gym in Bell. Ramos has good friends at that gym, where he once
trained, including Dio "El Martillo" (The Hammer) Colome and Lucilo
Nolasco. Before they opened the doors to unload the gifts, Ramos was warmly
greeted with high fives and hugs. "There is a brotherhood in boxing that
no one understands like the fighters do," said Ramos. "We never
forget!" Colome was a top welterweight contender, known for entering the
ring wearing giant hammerheads over his boxing gloves. He was Stroh's
Tournament Welterweight Champion in the early 1980's.
Like most retired fighters, Colome and Nolasco are still drawn
to the neighborhood boxing gym where they share their expertise and experience
with those who dream of a career in the sweet science. Neither of the fighters
made a fortune in boxing, but both cherish the friendships like the one with
Ramos. As Ramos was leaving the gym, Colome hugged his friend and said, "Gracias
mi hermano! Te quiero mucho!"
The next stop was the Oscar De La Hoya Youth Center in East Los
Angeles. Ramos and Richardson unloaded 40 unwrapped toys that the trainers took
for distribution to the children that train in the Youth Center boxing gym. The
kids at the gym seemed to sense the presence of the former pro boxer and worked
hard and fast showing off their moves and their power on the heavy bags. But
even the most dedicated kid is distracted by a boatload of toys and their faces
lit up with megawatt smiles. "Of all the things I have had in my life,
there is nothing like seeing a happy kid!" said Ramos, who reminisced about
the days growing up in the South Bronx and the Christmas he was worried he
wouldn't get any presents. His dad worked hard and some years, the money was
tight. "People forget the reason for the season and of course, the first
reason is that Christmas is the birth of Christ. The second reason is to give
children hope and warmth and a smile and of course, a Christmas present to
celebrate Jesus' birthday," continued Ramos.
From Oscar's Youth Center, the RBF headed down the freeway to
Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club and then to TRU Boxing in Hollywood.
With a twinkle in his eye, Ramos was quick to point out that Freddie Roach could
get his own Christmas presents because he had a helluva year in the training
business. While a lot of the athletes at the Wild Card are doing very well in
professional boxing, the young, up and comers and the sparring partners are not
always doing so well. Alex is taking names of any boxer who needs a little help
making this holiday special. He says, "I ain't no Santa Claus, but
everybody knows that fighters have the best hearts in the world. Nobody can
tell me that we ever lose them either. Long as I live, I'm gonna be there for
my brothers in boxing! I was born a fighter and I'm gonna die a fighter! This
(the Retired Boxers Foundation) is about "fighters helping fighters."
Ramos would like to thank Richie Robert, who more than twenty
years ago, remembers the Marines and the Army trying to recruit Alex Ramos on
his way home from Lehman High School in the Bronx. Richie was only 17 at the
time, and while Alex Ramos chose a career in boxing Richie joined the Marines.
The Retired Boxers Foundation, a 501(c)3
nonprofit corporation started by 1984 USBA Middleweight Champion, Alex "The
Bronx Bomber" Ramos in 1995 to help fighters in need, is leading a campaign
called "Fighters Helping Fighters" to inspire other fighters to help.
Ramos started the Retired Boxers Foundation because of what happens to
professional boxers once their careers are over. Because boxing is the only
sport that does not provide adequate pensions to fighters once they retire, too
many of them suffer in the transition from their glorious days in the ring to a
dignified retirement. If you want more information about the Retired Boxers
Foundation, please visit their website at
You can email Alex Ramos at JaxFacts@ix.netcom.com
July 9th, 2003, AT 10:35 AM,
Boxers Foundation Asks for Votes for
World Boxing Hall of Fame Nominee
"Fighters Helping Fighters"
extends same energy for the good people in boxing - Col. Bob Sheridan is
certainly one of them!
July 8, 2003, Simi
Valley, CA: Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos, founder and
President of the Retired Boxers Foundation, and RBF Executive Director, Jacquie
Richardson, are proud to announce their endorsement of International Boxing
Commentator, Col. Bob Sheridan, as a top candidate for the World Boxing
Hall of Fame. According to Hall of Fame sources, the ballots are out and the
choices are outstanding. The Retired Boxers Foundation is doing what Sheridan
is too modest to do: Bragging about the man's accomplishments! "I want
to make sure that the people who will be voting for the World Boxing Hall of
Fame nominees, know what an asset Col. Bob Sheridan is to the sport of boxing,"
said RBF President, Alex Ramos. He continued, "Because he is a
commentator for the International markets, most people in the U.S. don't hear
him and I am afraid they may not know him. I have traveled with the Colonel and
I have fought on the cards he has announced. I have known him since the late
1970's and he is awesome!"
Col. Bob Sheridan is an International celebrity having
broadcast over 10,000 fights on radio and television, with over 725 world title
fights in a career spanning parts of five decades from the late 1960's to the
new millennium. Some of his accomplishments include:
- Anchored the world feed of the first live heavyweight championship
telecast-Foreman vs. Ali in the 1974 in the historic "Rumble in
the Jungle"-in Zaire, Africa. This fight was telecast to an audience
exceeding 1 billion people!
- He also commentated the first heavyweight fight out of the Philippines-"The
Thrilla in Manila" featuring Ali vs. Frazier in 1975-Ring
Magazine's "Fight of the Year."
- Anchored the first live heavyweight title fight out of Japan, which was the
upset of the century: Tyson vs. Douglas.
- Commentated the first live telecast our of China on Showtime in 2000, which
showcased Laila Ali's first televised fight (arranged by RBF
Founder, Alex Ramos), followed by Andrew Golota in the main
- Anchored the world feed of a fight with the largest live crowd in the
history of boxing (135,000 live gate!!!), featuring Julio Caesar
Chavez vs. Greg Haugen at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
Colonel Bob Sheridan is an award winning broadcaster/commentator
respected by the biggest names in boxing. He has been the witness to boxing
history -from the ordinary to the extraordinary-and has shared what he has seen
with millions of people around the world. According to his fans, Sheridan
is candid yet respectful of the sport and the athletes who have paved the way
for his position as International Commentator Extraordinaire. Boxing fans are
sure to know his voice, if not his face, because he is also the man who does the
voice-overs for hundreds of the ESPN Classics. No one could ever doubt Sheridan's
dedication to the sport and to his position as international commentator.
Experiencing a third heart attack and angioplasty, Sheridan checked
himself out of the hospital, convincing his cardiologist Dr. Ram Singh
to administer fluids and monitor his blood pressure while he commentated the
Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson rematch, Sheridan never skipped
another beat (no pun intended) and returned to the hospital after the
fight for his second angioplasty procedure.
The Retired Boxers Foundation executives and supporters are huge fans of
Colonel Bob Sheridan because he "walks the talk" of
helping the organization to help the fighters. The Retired Boxers Foundation was
successful in recruiting Col. Bob Sheridan to their Board of Directors
in 2001, followed by two recruits, political consultant, James Carville and
respected real estate developer from New England, Gary Litchfield. Sheridan
never misses a chance to say good things about Alex Ramos and what he is doing
through the Retired Boxers Foundation. "I can always count on Bob
Sheridan. His word is for real and THAT is really something in this sport,"
said Ramos. The Retired Boxers Foundation considers Col. Bob
Sheridan one of the "Undisputed Champions for Dignity". If
you want to hear more from Ramos, just call him at (805) 583-5890.
The Retired Boxers Foundation, a 501(c)3
nonprofit corporation started by 1984 USBA Middleweight Champion, Alex "The
Bronx Bomber" Ramos in 1995 to help fighters in need, is leading a
campaign called "Fighters Helping Fighters" to inspire other fighters
to help. Ramos started the Retired Boxers Foundation because of what
happens to professional boxers once their careers are over. Because boxing is
the only sport that does not provide adequate pensions to fighters once they
retire, too many of them suffer in the transition from their glorious days in
the ring to a dignified retirement. For more information on the Retired Boxers
Foundation, "Fighters Helping Fighters" program, call Alex Ramos
at (805) 583-5890 or visit their website at
You can email Alex Ramos at JaxFacts@ix.netcom.com.
The Fighters Helping Fighters campaign has assisted over 100 retired
professional boxers and their families, including arranging surgery, tax
consultation to clear up problems with the IRS, legal services, rehabilitation
services, Dignity Bags for homeless fighters and fighters in convalescent homes
as well as financial assistance for the families. Ramos takes between
15 and 20 calls a day from fighters and their families from all over the world.
He, along with RBF Executive Director, Jacquie Richardson, make
referrals and help fighters apply for medical assistance, social security
disability, rehabilitation services and legal assistance. They also assist
organizations interested in hiring retired fighters for appearances and for
speaking engagements. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation you
can send it to Alex Ramos, Retired Boxers Foundation, 3359 Bryan Avenue,
Simi Valley, CA 93063.
June 9th, 2003, AT 4:00 PM,
"The best way to predict your
future is to create it.
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent
out of shape."
Takes Over Monthly Donation from
Retired Boxers Foundation for
Antonio Lopez's Chemotherapy
Their detractors call them one of those "Alphabet"
Organizations but Alex Ramos of the Retired Boxers Foundation and RBF Writer
Jaime Estrada call the
WBC one of the "Undisputed Champions for
June 9, 2003 Simi
Valley, CA: Jose Sulaiman, President of the
Council (WBC) and his son, Mauricio
Sulaiman, announced today that they would begin taking over the $140 monthly
contribution for Juan Antonio Lopez's chemotherapy from the Retired
Boxers Foundation. About six months ago, Retired Boxers Foundation columnist,
Jaime Estrada, who writes "Boxeo en Espanol" for the
RBF website, contacted the Retired Boxers Foundation, desperately seeking
financial assistance for Super Bantamweight Champion, Juan Antonio Lopez,
who has leukemia. After more than 100 fights, Lopez is fighting something that
no referee, trainer or commission can change: A possible death sentence. Like
many retired professional boxers, Lopez was able to care for his family
but was not prepared for a curve ball like leukemia. Also, like most retired
Lopez was without medical insurance to cover the $140 monthly charge for
chemotherapy in his native Sinaloa, Culiacan, Mexico.
Estrada wrote to the Retired Boxers Foundation, "Life
is full of turns in the destiny of every human being and the potential for bad
luck lurks around the corner. Most of us have memories of close calls and many
have had lives tested by adversity." He continued in his passionate
email to Alex Ramos, Founder of the Retired Boxers Foundation, "When
God blesses us with health and prosperity, sometimes it seems like we forget
where we came from and our hearts are blocked to the pain of others. It is
nothing less than a selfish attitude when we choose not to help the less
fortunate when we can afford to."
Juan Antonio Lopez was a trainer until he got sick, but
he is better known as a boxer where he had a remarkable 92 victories (60
KO's) and 20 defeats. For the last 8 months of last year, Lopez was
training a group of talented kids from Culiacan to help them increase their
chances of success in the world of boxing. Juan Antonio went to see his
family in his hometown and was not feeling well. He went to the doctor and was
immediately hospitalized. The tests revealed that Juan had Leukemia,
which is essentially "cancer in the blood."
Ramos did not hesitate to help Lopez and sent
the first of several checks for $140. When the Retired Boxers Foundation
realized that they didn't have the resources to continue the monthly
contributions past June, he didn't hesitate to contact the
WBC. "I would have sent him money
out of my own pocket, money that I would collect from my friends, to help Juan.
I would never let him down," said Ramos.
Alex Ramos wrote to the Sulaimans and the
WBC to see if they could help. According
to Ramos, "I was hesitant to ask for the help, but I knew that the WBC had helped many other fighters before and since
Juan was being treated in Mexico, I thought the
WBC would either help financially or have
some resources that we could tap in Mexico."
Mauricio Sulaiman told Ramos he would see what he could
do. He met with Jose Sulaiman to discuss the options and without
hesitation; the WBC notified Ramos
that they would begin the monthly contribution immediately. They also said that
they would pursue assistance from Mexico to acquire the equivalent of Social
Security so that Juan would get the medical attention he needed and his
family would be taken care of. Ramos said he wasn't at all surprised by their
In December 2002, Ramos was honored by the
WBC at their annual convention in Tokyo,
Japan, for his humanitarian efforts through the Retired Boxers Foundation. Ramos
said, "I knew that the
WBC did things to improve the sport of
boxing but I had no idea how much they had done until I read the program at the
Tokyo Convention. You don't hear the stories about the good things the WBC does for fighters. I knew that the
WBC conducts training for ringside
physicians, cut men, referees and all of the boxing officials with 100% of their
efforts to make the sport safer. As a former professional boxer, I can tell you
that the officials at the fight have a huge responsibility and their decisions
can be life saving or life threatening. I could tell by talking to Jose
Sulaiman and his son, Mauricio Sulaiman, that the WBC is about more than sanctioning fees. I bet most
fighters don't even know that some of the money they pay for these fees also
goes to things that benefit the sport and the athletes themselves. For example,
I didn't know about the generous donations the
WBC. made to the University of California,
Los Angeles (UCLA) for neurological studies that are related to injuries
suffered in boxing. That contribution was over $200,000. Believe me, the more we
can find out about chronic brain injuries and the impact on the neurological
health of the athletes will go a long way towards making the sport safer."
Ramos expressed his respect for Jose Sulaiman
and the WBC for "walking the talk"
just like the Retired Boxers Foundation, to do everything possible for the
athletes, whether they are in the ring or retired.
June 1st, 2003, AT 1:00 PM,
Mandatory MRI's and the
Retired Boxers Foundation
Has a plan to pay
The Retired Boxers Foundation wants the fines imposed on
professional boxers to used to pay for boxer safety issues-not deposited in ANY
state's General Fund!
Simi Valley, CA:
On May 30th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission was scheduled to debate
whether or not to mandate Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Magnetic Resonance
Angiography testing (MRI) at a cost of over $400 per athlete. The Retired Boxers
Foundation fully endorses any efforts to protect the athletes and to improve the
safety of the sport, HOWEVER, the Foundation contends that the athletes have
already "paid their dues" making the sport of boxing profitable in the
State of Nevada. To impose a $425 fee on a boxer who makes less than $800 for a
fight does not make good business sense for the athlete or the Commission.
The Retired Boxers Foundation is advocating that fees, as well
as all fines imposed on professional athletes, be used to pay for these tests
rather than taking another chunk out of the professional boxers paycheck.
According to Alex Ramos, Founder and President of the Retired Boxers
Foundation, "It makes no sense to fine boxers and then give the money
to the state! That money should be used to improve the sport and make it safer.
The fans keep the sport profitable in Las Vegas-and they are good for the casino
and hotel business as well. In other words, the fight game is good for the
.you think they could show some respect to the athletes and
at least let them keep the money they already earned once--in the sport of
Many people would be surprised to know that when the athletes
are fined--such as the $100,000 fine imposed on Fernando Vargas for testing
positive for steroids and Tyson's enormous seven figure fine--the money
is relegated to the State of Nevada's General Fund, not the State Athletic
Commission. The Retired Boxers Foundation is already on the record stating that
any fine imposed on the athletes should be used to improve the sport, not the
State's general fund. Jacquie Richardson, Executive Director of the
Retired Boxers Foundation explains the rationale behind their advocacy to return
the money to the Commission this way, "Fernando Vargas's fine
of $100,000 would cover 235 MRI/MRA tests and God knows how many could have been
paid for with Tyson's fine. There is simply no good excuse not to use
the money made on the backs of the fighters to improve their sport and make it
safer. Boxing has been good for Nevada and now we would like Nevada to be good
to the athletes as well as a Commission that ranks as one of the best in the
Country. Give them the resources they need to oversee this sport and make it
safer for the athletes, who earned the money in the first place. We are not
asking the state to invest taxpayer dollars on the State Athletic Commission
are just asking them to reinvest the boxers money-their fines--on the boxers
So who can make the change that would allow the boxers fines to
be reinvested in the sport of boxing and in boxing safety? Unfortunately, the
decision does not lie with the Commission, but with the legislature of the State
of Nevada. There is not one person on the State Athletic Commission who would
oppose using the fine money to improve the sport of boxing. The problem is that
the Commissioners are all political appointees and the staff is essentially on
the State's payroll and a not in a position to lobby for a change in the
existing laws that mandate the return of all fines to the State General Fund.
At one time, this legislation was probably crafted to "pay
back" the state for the costs incurred in funding the Commission.
Obviously, the sport of boxing has prospered in Nevada and the State of Nevada
no longer operates a State Athletic Commission in the red. Nevada's Commission,
under the outstanding direction of Marc Ratner, is one of the best run
Commissions in the Country. In other words, the Nevada State Athletic Commission
is NOT a burden on the State of Nevada and it is time to change the law. Today,
the fines imposed on the boxers are nothing less than a "windfall"
to the State General Fund and the Retired Boxers Foundation thinks it is time to
use the money for the labor force that created the windfall. The Retired Boxers
Foundation and our representative Stitch Duran--a fine Las Vegas cut man
(And former IKF Kickboxing Hall of Fame Amateur trainer and
promoter) and devoted advocate of boxer safety--have already made
the case for using boxer fines to support safety and improvement of boxing at
the Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing when the
Fernando Vargas fine was levied.
It is up to everyone who cares about the sport of boxing to
speak out on this issue. The Commissioners and staff, including Flip
Homansky and Dr. Goodman, are not in a position to ask that the
fines imposed on boxers be remanded to the Commission for improving the sport.
If they were able to advocate for the allocation of boxer fines to the
Commission, they would in a heartbeat. Truth be told, they are devoted to the
fighters and they could jeopardize their positions by advocating for these funds
from the Nevada legislature and we certainly do not want to lose the good people
in boxing. If the good people of Nevada really want to see boxing become self
sufficient in Las Vegas, and by that I mean, pay for the safety precautions they
are soon to consider mandating, then the people of Nevada have to call their
legislative representatives and demand change. They need to respectfully tell
the elected officials that they want the money earned in boxing and taken from
the athletes in the form of fines, to be used where it is needed most--to
improve the sport. If the fine money is made off the backs of the athletes,
then it only makes sense that the sport CAN be self sufficient if this money is
used to support the improvement of boxing and athlete safety. The Retired
Boxers Foundation encourages the newly organized Joint Association of Boxers (JAB)
to join us in our mission of improving the sport of boxing.
We think that JAB, with the resources of the Teamsters, are in
the best position to lobby for a change in Nevada law which would designate
boxing fines to be used by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for boxer
safety, rather than by the state for their general fund. This is a labor issue
that impacts the boxer's income (when a majority of boxers make less than
$800 for a fight, an assessment of $425 is unreasonable), the working
condition and their future. These changes are too late for the athletes that we
assist through the Retired Boxers Foundation, but a considerable chunk of our
mission is advocacy to improve the sport--especially athlete safety--so that
some day, the RBF can go out of business. That is highly unlikely in this
lifetime and God knows that there are too many athletes who are depending on the
good people in boxing to do the right thing.
Jacquie Richardson, Executive
Director - JaxFacts@ix.netcom.com
"The Bronx Bomber" Ramos, Founder & President
May 15th, 2003, AT 8:30 AM,
Open Letter To James
From The Retired Boxers Foundation
REC: May 13, 2003 Simi
Valley, CA, USA:
Dear Mr. Hoffa:
The Retired Boxers
Foundation, on behalf of thousands of retired professional boxers, want to thank
you and the Teamsters for your interest in organizing a union for professional
boxers. I see on your website that one of the Teamsters goals is "organizing
the unorganized." God knows that you hit the jackpot! The Teamsters are
not the first to suggest a union for the fighters, as I am sure you know. We
think we can help the Teamsters gain the success that others have found so
elusive, by offering some suggestions that will insure that your mission is the
same as the athletes-to improve the working conditions of the fighters; to
protect their rights and make sure that they are paid what they deserve for
their efforts, including insurance benefits and a pension when they retire.
REPUTATION IS IMPORTANT
If you have done your
homework on boxing, and I am sure that you have, you probably know that the
sport of boxing has a really bad reputation because of a handful of greedy,
unscrupulous and exploitative people that circle the bloodied ring warriors like
a shark around chum. I know that the Teamsters have had the same kind of
problems so you know first hand about the stigma of corruption and the damage it
can do to the innocent people who look to the "leadership" of any
organization to deliver on the promises that are made. People who have been
around for a while know that the Teamsters have been victimized-just like
professional boxing--by the same kind of power hungry thugs and criminals that
give all of us a bad name. I know that people change and I am all for giving
others a second chance. I always say, "Your past is like your ass-it's
PROFESSIONAL BOXERS WANT A UNION, BUT IS IT POSSIBLE?
real reason for this letter is that we do not want the Teamsters/Joint
Association of Boxers (JAB) to start off on the wrong foot. We fear that another
organizing failure will put the idea of a union to bed for another twenty-five
years. More importantly, we do not want you to mislead the professional
athletes in the sport of boxing, promising them what others have been unable to
deliver for the past hundred years. Professional boxers have been
clambering for changes in the sport of boxing and many superficial, but very
genuine efforts have been made. In fact, the fella's at the Boxing Organizing
Committee (BOC)-Paul Johnson, Jose Chequi Torres, Irv Abramson (before he died),
Tim Witherspoon and others--have been very vocal about their mission to organize
the fighters and have been the most visible as well as consistent. If it is true
that the BOC has declined your offer to join them, you will essentially be
working against them. How can the unity among fighters be achieved when there is
a division in the organizing entities? If it is true that the Teamsters offered
jobs to at least three of the BOC leaders to abandon the BOC and join the JAB
organization on the Teamsters payroll, the job was allegedly offered to Eddie
CAN THE TEAMSTERS DELIVER? IMPORTANT QUESTIONS NEED
- Did the Teamsters offer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad a job with the Teamsters or
LRA Consulting to organize the professional boxers union/JAB? Is he on the
Teamsters Union payroll?
- Did Eddie Mustafa Muhammad initiate the proposed Union-Joint Association of
Boxers- or was it organized under the guidance of the Teamsters Union with the
intent of having a professional boxer lead the charge?
- JAB has publicly announced the names of two fighters as supporters-one
current and one retired. In addition to Holmes and Abdulaev, who else will lead
this effort to organize? Your press release said that the "biggest names in
boxing" were behind the union. Who are they? The fighters want to know
because they think this is the deal breaker.
WHAT CAN THE TEAMSTERS DO THAT OTHERS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO
- According to their website, the National Football League organized in 1920,
but waited 35 years for representation-noting that they are a team sport in a
league, with a defined season. Acknowledging the unsuccessful efforts of many
over the past fifty years in boxing to organize a boxers union, what will the
Teamsters be able to offer that the AFL-CIO, the BOC and the others have failed
to offer, to cement this organizing effort?
- Boxing is an international sport and organizing efforts in Europe have been
tentative at best. Reports from the fighters tell us that less than 100 fighters
have joined, and collectively, they report that their opportunities to work,
i.e., box for pay, have all but disappeared which is a great concern to them.
How many fighters to you intend to sign as Teamsters in order to make a union
- The Boxing Organizing Committee clearly had a strategy for organizing and
they chose the "slow and steady" route. After ten years of the BOC's
efforts, why did you chose to rebuff their request for support, and, rather than
strengthen their efforts, turn your back on them?
- What about Gerry Cooney's FIST Foundation Union? Even though FIST has
denied that the OPEIU Guild is NOT a union, you reported in your press releases
that it was. It would seem that UNITY is a key component of UNION and we now
have the BOC, FIST's OPEIU "Union" and JAB. Did you try to hook up
with Cooney or do you consider OPEIU competition to the Teamsters? Please
Finally, even though I wish you the
best, I still think that the professional boxers will get what they want and
need when they are ready to accept the fact that the changes they desire are
really up to them. In 1960, Jack Demsey spoke to some business people in the
Midwest and he said it was TIME to organize the fighters-to fight for dignity
and respect. He died waiting. I got tired of waiting for a union and I got
tired of the talk. I started the Retired Boxers Foundation in 1998 and started a
campaign called "Fighters Helping Fighters." While the Teamsters are
working with the Joint Association of Boxing and while we all wait to see if you
can make it happen, the retired fighters will continue helping each other. There
are others who are tired of waiting, including all of the Ring Organizations and
groups like the Golden State Boxers Association. Gerry Cooney continues to do
what he can to help fighters and God knows that there is enough for all of us to
do to restore the dignity our athletes deserve, whether it is a proper burial,
new teeth or a job. For the old timers, it's too late for a union.You have
Gerry's number. Mine is (805) 583-5890.
In the meantime, while you initiate collective bargaining in
boxing, the Retired Boxers Foundation will continue to pay for Juan Antonio
Lopez's chemotherapy and Joey Gambino's new dentures. I will continue to help
Olympic Gold Medalist, Andrew Maynard, apply for his Veteran's benefits, and
I'll keep checking to see if Bobby Chacon has a roof over his head. Boxing is
full of fighters who bow their heads in shame for believing in people who
promised them the world and for all the other mistakes they made when they were
champions. The fact remains that boxing reform must come from the fighters-not
Teddy Atlas, John McCain or the Teamsters.
Good luck. We will be waiting to see if this is about the
fighters or if this is about the new Teamsters Organizing strategy to increase
membership (membership fees). The BOC worked more than a decade and there were
others before them. Maybe the Teamsters have the clout (political and financial)
to make it happen. I'm gonna die a fighter, and I would like to leave this world
knowing that the kids that follow me will not suffer like some of my
friends-that they will have the same respect that other athletes have and that
they will have medical insurance and pensions when their days in the ring are
over. This is America and I believe that all things are possible as long as
people are honest and are willing to "walk the talk."
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos
Founder and President
RETIRED BOXERS FOUNDATION
Simi Valley, CA, 93063
January 27th, 2003, AT 10:50 AM,
The Retired Boxers Foundation
To the Rescue of Juan Antonio Lopez.
Life is full of turn in the destiny of every human being, and
the sour moments are always one step waiting to happen. We all had bad memories
and teste somehow adversity, but when God bless us with health and prosperity
sometimes seems like we forget frome where we camefrom and our hearts is lock
to the pain of others in selfish attitude for not helping the less fortunate
when we can afford it.
Juan Antonio Lopez is a trainer that as a boxer got
92 victories (60 KO's) and 20 defeits. He was living in the Valley of Las Vegas
for the last 8 months of last year, training a group of talent kids from
Culiacan to get better in the world of boxing. Juan Antonio when to see her
family to his hometown and because he did not feel good he when to the doctor
only to find out that he got Leukemia (cancer in the blood).
was a brave warrior in the banthaweight category he got wins against Romeo
Anaya and "Famosito" Gomez but he did not succed twice against the
puertorican Wilfredo Gomez at the time champion Fetherweight WBC.
Antonio Lopez is more well known because he was the one that introduce Julio
Cesar Chavez to boxing. In the other hand I got the oportunity to know Alex "The
bomber from Bronx" Ramos and Jacquie Richarson President and Director
executive of Retired Boxers Foundation, so I explain them about Juan Antonio
Lopez unfortunate situacion and they agreed to put the example of humanity
sending him some money for treatments and medicine in this sad moment for him
and his family.
The Retired Boxers Foundacion works for contributions to
keep helping all the retired or hurt boxers that do not have way to help
themselves. The RBF colect from the public $3000 for Greg Page and now they will
focus in the donations to help Juan Antonio Lopez to fight his disease.
the contributions are full refundable in taxes but this only apply in the
United States. We should give a standing ovasion to the great compassion from
the RBF, for assisting those that are laid down in the canvas with no choice of
getting up. All the retired boxers in the whole world must to know that they
not alone. The RBF gives them a little hope. God bless you all.
contributions or information.
The Foundation of Retired Boxers.
Ramos / Jaquie Richardson
3359 Bryan Avenue
Simi Valley California 93063
(Alex Ramos) 805- 583 5890
MORE ON THIS
Bantamweight Champion Juan Antonio Lopez
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos and his
Retired Boxers Foundation
Asking for help to pay Lopez's medical bills
January 26, 2003 Simi
Valley, CA: Less than one week ago, boxing writer Jaime Estrada
contacted the Retired Boxers Foundation, desperately seeking financial
assistance for Super Bantamweight Champion, Juan Antonio Lopez, who has
leukemia. After more than 100 fights, Lopez is fighting something that no
referee, trainer or commission can change: A possible death sentence.
wrote to the Retired Boxers Foundation, "Life is full of turns in the
destiny of every human being, and the potential for bad luck lurks around the
corner. Most of us have memories of close calls and many have had lives tested
by adversity." He continued in his passionate email to Alex Ramos,
Founder of the Retired Boxers Foundation, "When God blesses us with
health and prosperity, sometimes it seems like we forget where we came from and
our hearts are blocked to the pain of others. It is nothing less than a selfish
attitude when we choose not to help the less fortunate when we can afford to."
is especially sad when a boxer as great as Juan Antonio Lopez-best known for
introducing the legendary Julio Cezar Chavez to the sport of boxing-is suffering
and too proud to ask for help. Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos and his
Retired Boxers Foundation responded to Jaime Estrada within 48 hours, sending
money to pay for desperately needed cancer medication to Lopez in his hometown
of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. "I am happy that I got the opportunity to
know Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos and Jacquie Richardson of Retired
Boxers Foundation, so I could explain to them about Juan Antonio Lopez and his
unfortunate situation. Then did not hesitate and they set the example of
humanity, sending him some money for treatments and medicine in this sad moment
for him and his family," said Estrada.
Alex Ramos, humbled by
Estrada's compliment, believes that it is his relentless promotion of the
mission of the Retired Boxers Foundation that makes sure the fighters know where
to turn. He said, "People tell me all the time that they get a lot of
email from me. Sometimes I think they are annoyed, but this just proves that if
I can't afford to call you, you can count on regular emails. You won't forget me
or what I am trying to do, and who knows, maybe you will call me someday about a
fighter like Juan who needs our help."
Juan Antonio Lopez was a
trainer until he got sick, but he is better known as a boxer where he had a
remarkable 92 victories (60 KO's) and 20 defeats. For the last 8 months of last
year, Lopez was training a group of talented kids from Culiacan to help them
increase their chances of success in the world of boxing. Juan Antonio went to
see his family in his hometown and was not feeling well. He went to the doctor
and was immediately hospitalized. The tests revealed that Juan had Leukemia,
which is essentially "cancer in the blood."
Juan Antonio was a
brave warrior in the bantamweight category, winning bouts against Romeo Anaya
and "Famosito" Gomez, but he regrets that after two tries, he did not
succeed against Puerto Rican, Wilfredo Gomez, at the time the WBC Featherweight
Champion. Even after 100 fights-every one of them exciting, Juan Antonio Lopez
remains better known for introducing Julio Cesar Chavez to boxing.
Retired Boxers Foundation exists to provide assistance to fighters who need a
hand up. The Founder and President of the Retired Boxers Foundation, Alex
Ramos, said, "We never have enough money to help the way we should, but
we never turn anyone away. If I had to sell my own championship belt for a
fighter who needs chemotherapy like Juan Antonio Lopez, I wouldn't hesitate.
The RBF is "Fighters Helping Fighters" because no one else gives a
For those who blame the fighters for not saving their money
and planning for retirement or for life's curve balls, Ramos says, "That's
a bunch of crap. We need to look at this like the emergency room doctor. He
doesn't ask whose fault the injury is, he looks at it, treats it and sends the
patient on their way. It is not for us to judge." He continued, "Juan
Antonio Lopez needs our help TODAY. For anyone who had the pleasure of watching
him fight-for anyone who got a moment of entertainment or made a dime off the
backs of prizefighters, now is the time to show your appreciation. The man needs
our help and I am asking you to open your hearts and your pocketbook."
Retired Boxers Foundation has helped over one hundred retired professional
boxers during the past couple of years, including Greg Page who received nearly
$3000 from the Retired Boxers Foundation and from their Internet Campaign set up
specifically to help him after his tragic fight against Daryl Crowe in Erlanger
Kentucky. Page was hospitalized for nearly four months and is completely
disabled. Ringside Physician and a member of the RBF Medical Advisory Board, Dr.
Van Buren Lemons, donated $1000 and Lou DiBella, one of the best people in
boxing, sent $500. A man from Florida sends Greg $30 every month and because of
an article written by Fiona Manning about the RBF and Greg Page, two little
girls sent their life savings to help the family pay for medical expenses.
Executive Director, Jacquie Richardson, said "If you want to help, no
amount is too small. $20 will pay for the Western Union fees to get the money
to Juan Antonio Lopez's doctors."
If you want to help Juan Antonio Lopez fight this disease, you
can send your tax-deductible donation to the Retired Boxers Foundation:
The Juan Antonio Lopez Fund RETIRED BOXERS FOUNDATION
3359 Bryan Avenue
Valley, CA 93063
Jaime Estrada contributed to this story. He says, "We
should give a standing ovation for the great compassion from the RBF, for
assisting those that are laid down on the canvas with no chance of getting up.
All the retired boxers in the whole world must to know that they not alone. The
RBF gives them a little hope. God bless you all." According to
Richardson and Ramos, the RBF believes the same is true of Mr. Estrada.
If you would like more information on the Retired Boxers
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos at (805)
583-5890, or email him at email@example.com.
Retired Boxers Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation started by 1984 USBA
Middleweight Champion, Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos in 1995 to help
fighters in need, is leading a campaign called "Fighters Helping Fighters"
to inspire other fighters to help. Ramos started the Retired Boxers Foundation
because of what happens to professional boxers once their careers are over.
Because boxing is the only sport that does not provide adequate pensions to
fighters once they retire, too many of them suffer in the transition from their
glorious days in the ring to a dignified retirement. For more information on the
Retired Boxers Foundation, "Fighters Helping Fighters" program, call
Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890 or visit their website at www.retiredboxers.org.
The Fighters Helping Fighters campaign has assisted over 100 retired
professional boxers and their families, including arranging surgery, tax
consultation to clear up problems with the IRS, legal services, rehabilitation
services, Dignity Bags for homeless fighters and fighters in convalescent homes
as well as financial assistance for the families.
December 19th, 2002, AT 1:00 PM,
While many of you are fans of the sport of
boxing, you are also aware of the shortcomings of a sport that leaves the
retired fighters without pensions, insurance and the tools necessary to make a
transition from the ring to the world the rest of us live in. After five years
of trying to start an organization to meet the needs of the fighters who need a
hand up, we have discovered how profoundly connected all of the fighters all
over the world are to each other. The fighters know that without each other,
there is very little support for them when their careers end and they find
themselves broke, damaged and without resources. Such awareness heightens our
belief that the work we do is supremely important.
Our mission at the Retired Boxers Foundation remains the same
as ever: To improve the lives of retired professional boxers and their families
by providing the things they need to make the transition from their glorious
days in the ring to a dignified retirement. We remain one of the few
organizations that exist to meet the specific needs of a group of athletes that
do not have what other professional athletes have come to expect when their
careers are over-a pension and a retirement plan. Unlike the other
professional athletes, prizefighters often end their careers with physical,
neurological and emotional damage. May suffer the after affect of "chronic
brain trauma" which causes slurring, rage disorders, and erratic thought
processes. Some suffer from various stages of "dementia pugilistica"-the
medical term for being "punch drunk." Others suffer from tremors and
ataxia, which is sometimes known as "Parkinsonism." Others suffer
from alcoholism and substance abuse problems.
Unfortunately, the symptoms exhibited by the boxers are not
easy to fit into a clear and concise diagnosis that might afford them access to
Social Security Disability Insurance or other benefits. Even with prominent
and obviously debilitating symptoms, the usual tests such as the MRI, CT Scan,
EEG, and other neurological tests reveal either "normal" results or
symptoms with "undetermined" origin. The doctors are on our side and
many shake their heads in frustration as they can plainly see the problem, but
have difficulty assigning a "name" for the disorder. Only when the
fighters are allowed more extensive testing, such as a complete
neuro-psychiatric work up are the symptoms defined. Without some expertise in
chronic brain trauma and without access to the more sophisticated neuro-psych
testing, the fighters end the process no better off than when they started.
In some cases, a sympathetic physician will assign a name to
the symptoms, knowing they are not quite right. We have seen a number of
fighters diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, in an
attempt to determine that they are "disabled" to qualify them for SSDI
benefits. Because of our experience in getting retired fighters the kind of
diagnostic services necessary to completely identify their disorder, we have
been able to get the appropriate diagnosis and get them qualified for disability
benefits, housing assistance and medical treatment. Without an advocate, these
fighters just get stuck in the system and end up giving up. The Retired Boxers
Foundation has developed the right connections to get our beloved fighters into
the system and get them the unique kind of help they need.
The needs, as always, outweigh the resources for the necessary,
and ambitious tasks at hand. With more and more fighters in retirement, without
any kind of financial assistance or access to medical care, more of them are
becoming statistics in crime reports and listed among the homeless and indigent
in every city in the world. Those that have made a life after boxing continue
to struggle with the aftermath of professional boxing. Where they were once
adored, they are now ridiculed for their slurred speech, their tremors and a
walk that looks more like the town drunk than a once famous athlete. Too many
of them suffer from a sense of shame for losing and for poor decisions made in
their lives. The physical and neurological damage, which remains unexplained,
often complicates their lives and leads many to alcoholism and drug abuse.
It is more crucial than ever that public perception
support rather than impede our collective ability to meet basic human needs for
these former athletes. In fact, it is downright inhumane to ignore the needs of
these once great warriors. The Retired Boxers Foundation is dedicated to the
fighters, just as they are to each other.
Although our organization is small, with an annual budget of
around twenty thousand dollars, our reach and impact are broad. We continue to
build upon long-standing relationships with hundreds of individuals and
organizations, locally, nationally and internationally. The Internet helps
expand our activities by offering an efficient and inexpensive means of
communication, BUT we need to go beyond understanding the problems and move
towards solving the problems our retired professional boxers are facing.
We continue to get tremendous support in terms of WORDS, but
now we must humbly ask our supporters to consider offering the only kind of
support that will really help the fighters who need a hand up: A CASH donation.
Please, consider making a donation to the Retired Boxers Foundation so that we
can help the fighters who need our help. Your donation is 100% tax
deductible. If you make your donation before
December 31st, you will be providing the gift of a better life to many retired
fighters AND get a tax benefit for yourself. It's easy to raise
money for kids' charities. It is very difficult to get people to support
programs for prizefighters. If you-someone who loves the sport of boxing-do
not find a soft spot in your heart for the fighters, believe me, NO ONE will.
Thank you for your kind consideration. We are enclosing a
self-addressed envelope for your convenience. When we receive your donation, we
will send you an official letter of thanks, including our TAX ID number which
will qualify you for the tax benefits you deserve!
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos
November 21st, 2002, AT 3:30 PM,
November 20, 2002
From The Retired
Nevada State Athletic Commission Hears
people in boxing who care more about the fighters than the money - but think
the fines should benefit the sport and NOT the General Fund."
Jacob "Stitch" Duran
HERE FOR FULL STORY
We Fought For The
By Don Stavlo©
We fought our way up the mountain And many never made it to the
Some of us reached our peak And we didn't want to stop.
attempt to keep going higher, Some of us slipped back down the slopes
fleeting means to fill our dreams, Instead of anchors to hold our hopes.
fought for the world But sometimes it's hard to tell
What was done for the
world And what we did for ourselves.
We make no excuses or apologies
just want to keep our dignity.
We fought for the World Now World, will you
fight for us
Like all pursuits filled with danger, Some people ask why do it
For a moment we had a place, Where we could stand up tall
whatever reason we decided We chose to stay in the fight.
We want to find
some sense in the consequence, And right or wrong, try to make it right.
honor and glory in climbing a mountain But the final story is how we come down
all surrender our youth, there's no magical fountain, Champions must face the
truth and one day surrender their crown.
Don Stavlo, June 1998.
November 24, 2001
Simi Valley, CA: The New
Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame inducted boxing celebrities, Alex "The
Bronx Bomber" Ramos, Johnny "Bump City" Bumphus,
Michael Spinks, Mustafa Hamsho, Curtis Harris, Ernest "Red"
Barron, Tony Thornton, Sylvester Cuyler, Phil Saxton, Jimmy Young and Bobby
Cassidy, on Thursday, November 8th, 2001 at the elegant Venetian in
Gardner, New Jersey. Inducted posthumously were Sal Belloise and Robert
Kimbrough. They named Steven Ham as the "New Jersey
Amateur Boxer of the Year," and presented The Paul Cavaliere Memorial
Award to IBF World Featherweight Champion Frankie "The Shark"
They named Pete Nozza as their 2001 "Man of the Year."
The highlight of the evening was the humble and touching act of generosity by
internationally recognized trainer, Lou Duva. Just before the induction
ceremony and unknown to the audience, Duva had presented
Johnny "Bump City" Bumphus with his championship ring,
which Johnny had lost during his period of addiction which ended five
Alex Ramos and Johnny Bumphus were deeply touched by Duva's
actions. There is a lot of history between the fighters and Lou Duva.
Shelly Finkel's first professional fighter, signing with Top Rank in
1980, and was subsequently moved from Top Rank to Main Events in 1982.
Johnny Bumphus and Alex Ramos were two of NBC's "Tomorrow's
Champions," and Bumphus was also moved over to Main Events. Bumphus
and Rocky Lockridge would become Lou Duva's first two world
champions. Rocky Lockridge inducted into the New Jersey Boxing
Hall of Fame in 2000-- was also present at the 2001 induction.
Shortly after Lou Duva's quiet presentation of the Championship ring
Bumphus, Alex Ramos was introduced and approached the podium for his
acceptance speech. Stunned by Duva's action, Ramos, choked with
emotion, had a hard time speaking. He explained to the audience his pride in
being a part of the boxing family which included Lou Duva, Donna Duva,
Tommy Brooks, Johnny Bumphus and Rocky Lockridge, and said to Duva,
who was seated directly in front of the podium, "especially Lou
Duva and he knows why."
Ramos talked about the mistakes he has made in his life
specifically the years he spent "in the darkness" of alcoholism and
drug addiction. He told the audience that "My past is like my ass.
It's behind me and it's gonna stay there!" He talked about the Retired
Boxers Foundation he started to help his brothers who remain "in the
darkness." He talked about his mission to help fighters who have
trouble making the transition from their glorious days in the ring, to a
dignified retirement. He said it was "the fight of my life. I feel
more like a champion now, than when I was fighting!" Mustafa
Hamsho embraced Ramos as he returned to his seat next to Johnny
Bumphus. There is clearly a bond between fighters that the audience was
privileged to witness that night.
Johnny "Bump City" Bumphus was introduced by his
old friend and trainer,
Lou Duva. Duva was very humble and wanted the audience to hear from
the champion, Johnny, so he kept his comments very brief. As Johnny
approached the podium and began to speak, the audience listened intently as
Bumphus began the story of the outpouring of emotion that surrounded
Ramos's speech and would color Johnny's. "I know that
the ring Lou Duva gave me is not the one that I lost during my
addiction. I am sober now and have been for five years. I know that Lou
Duva took that ring off his own finger and I know that it is not my ring,
but Lou's. I know because my ring was inscribed, "Johnny
Bumphus" and this ring has my name and Rocky Lockridge. We
were Lou Duva's first two world champions. I am deeply touched by what
he did. Not only did he give me his championship ring, he also helped me when I
needed it the most. He gave me a job training fighters and helped me stay sober.
I cannot thank Lou Duva enough."
"I don't think the audience totally grasped the significance of
what happened when Lou Duva
gave Johnny his championship ring," said Jacquie
Richardson, Executive Director of the Retired Boxers Foundation. "Alex
(Ramos) and I are used to getting letters and calls from fighters who
have lost everything and are fighting for their way back to a normal life. Many
of them were forced to sell their belts for money so they could buy food, and
for some, to buy drugs or alcohol. When the fighters recover from their
addictions, they don't even mention their losses because of a sense of shame
that they feel. What Lou Duva did tonight was incredibly generous and
respectful of where Johnny has been and where he is today and I have a
new respect for Lou," continued Richardson.
Ramos and Richardson tell stories about fans who have bought
prizefighters personal trophies, belts, Golden Gloves, Olympic Medals, etc.,
and write to the Retired Boxers Foundation asking the RBF to contact the
fighters so that they can "write a little something about how they won
the belt/trophy, etc." They say they want the fighter's personal story
and signature so that it becomes a part of the trophy/belt and increases the
value to memorabilia collectors. "I would love to see the fans and
collectors return the belts and trophies they have collected or bought. Most of
these were stolen or sold when the fighters were down and out and no one knows
what these items mean to the fighters."
Ramos knows what he's talking about. His 1984 USBA Championship Belt
was returned to him in 1999, and one pair of his four New York Golden Gloves
was returned to him this summer during a visit to New York. "You don't
know the value of these things until you are older, looking back at what was
and what could have been," said Ramos. If anyone wants to,
they can send any found items to the Retired Boxers Foundation and we will make
a point of presenting them to the fighters they were awarded to in the first
place. This is a part of "restoring the dignity" of our fighters
in need," said Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos,
founder and president of the Retired Boxers Foundation.
They can be mailed or shipped directly to the Retired Boxers Foundation at:
"Fighters Help ing Fighters" RETIRED BOXERS FOUNDATION 3359
Bryan Avenue Simi Valley, CA 93063 If you know the whereabouts of any
fighter's belt or trophy, including their Golden Gloves, please call Alex
Ramos at the Retired Boxers Foundation, (805) 583-5890. If you would like
to make a donation so that the RBF can help the fighters, your donation is tax
deductible and should be mailed to the above address. For more information
about the Retired Boxers Foundation, please visit their website at
The Retired Boxers Foundation, is an IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit
corporation started by 1984 USBA Middleweight Champion, Alex "The
Bronx Bomber" Ramos in 1995 to help fighters in need. Ramos is
leading a campaign called "Fighters Helping Fighters" to
inspire other fighters to help. Ramos started the Retired Boxers
Foundation because of what happens to professional boxers once their careers are
over. Because boxing is the only sport that does not provide adequate pensions
to fighters once they retire, too many of them suffer in the transition from
their glorious days in the ring to a dignified retirement. For more information
on the Retired Boxers Foundation, "Fighters Helping Fighters"
program, call Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890 or visit their website
The Fighters Helping Fighters campaign has assisted over
100 retired professional boxers and their families, including arranging
surgery, tax consultation to clear up problems with the IRS, legal services,
rehabilitation services, Dignity Bags for homeless fighters and fighters in
convalescent homes as well as financial assistance for the families.
November 4, 2001
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos, former USBA
Middleweight, California Middleweight Champion and founder of the Retired
Boxers Foundation (RBF), has developed an acquaintance over the past
two years with David McConachie, Executive Producer of KOTV, which is
proving to be beneficial for both. David is from England and the
relationship with Alex Ramos, began after David visited the RBF
website two years ago.
At the time, McConachie was developing KOTV and preparing to launch
the world's only international news television show featuring the sport of
boxing, past and present. KOTV is now distributed worldwide every Thursday, 52
weeks a year. KOTV reports the latest news in boxing, features highlights of
fights from around the globe and profiles boxing greats from the past and the
present. "The producers at KOTV are always receptive to new ideas for
the show and are on constant lookout for interesting boxing stories and
features," says David McConachie, KOTV Executive Producer. "A
collaboration with Alex Ramos and Jacquie Richardson who
through the Retired Boxers Foundation, are well connected in the sport of
boxing, is a natural alliance for KOTV," he continued.
Ramos is only too pleased to develop this relationship with KOTV
because his organization, the Retired Boxers Foundation is an international
nonprofit organization and exposure throughout the world is important to Ramos.
"Boxing is an international sport and unfortunately, there are
fighters all over the world who could use a hand up. That is the mission of
the Retired Boxers Foundationto provide assistance to all fighters as
they make the transition from their glorious days in the ring to a dignified
retirement," continued Ramos. David McConachie, Executive
Producer of the show, is working with boxing promoters and organizations
worldwide to promote the sport and it's stars within the thirty-minute show, now
in it's eighth week of production. Included in KOTV's format is a weekly KOTV
Gold feature, which highlights some of the great fights of yesteryear courtesy
of ESPN Big Fights. The first joint activity of the Retired Boxers Foundation
and KOTV will be an appearance at the Counterpunch Fundraiser at Gleason's Gym
in Brooklyn. KOTV 's cameras will be there to meet the boxing greats and also
to join the Retired Boxers Foundation in making a joint donation to the cause,
which will benefit the Twin Towers Fund created in the aftermath of the
September 11th terrorist attack.
The Retired Boxers Foundation will provide creative counsel and resources to
KOTV and intends to put as many retired former champions in front of the KOTV
cameras as possible. McConachie is delighted to have developed an
alliance with Ramos and Richardson and the Retired Boxers
Foundation. The RBF is equally thrilled to have developed such a great
international alliance with KOTV. For more information about KOTV, please
contact David McConachie at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Retired Boxers Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation started by
1984 USBA Middleweight Champion, Alex "The Bronx Bomber"
Ramos in 1995 to help fighters in need, is leading a campaign called "Fighters
Helping Fighters" to inspire other fighters to help. Ramos started
the Retired Boxers Foundation because of what happens to professional boxers
once their careers are over. Because boxing is the only sport that does not
provide adequate pensions to fighters once they retire, too many of them suffer
in the transition from their glorious days in the ring to a dignified
For more information on the Retired Boxers Foundation, "Fighters
Helping Fighters" program, call Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890 or
visit their website at www.retiredboxers.org. The Fighters Helping Fighters
campaign has assisted over 100 retired professional boxers and their families,
including arranging surgery, tax consultation to clear up problems with the IRS,
legal services, rehabilitation services, Dignity Bags for homeless fighters and
fighters in convalescent homes as well as financial assistance for the
September 10, 2001
Boxers Foundation news release
Music Dedicated to the Retired Boxers
Foundation Debuts at STAR Boxing Show on September 19, 2001
New Artist "Jun"
to perform two new R & B songs at Yonkers Racewaymusic written for
the Retired Boxers Foundation and produced by PitBoss Entertainment.
Simi Valley, California, September
10, 2001: On Wednesday, September 19th at the Yonkers Raceway in
New York, the Retired Boxers Foundation (RBF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
founded by former USBA Middleweight Champion, Alex "The Bronx Bomber"
Ramos will be the recipient of an unusual contribution to the organization:
Two songs produced by PitBoss Entertainment, Inc., and performed by new artist "Jun"
debuting live at STAR Boxing Promotion's boxing show. Light Heavyweight David
Telesco headlines the fight card, which promises an exciting show for fight
fans. The fights and the music debut will be televised on tape-delay on the
Metro Channel in the New York metropolitan area and the Sunshine Network. Star
Boxing broadcasts fights every week on the Metro Channel. Joe DeGuardia's Star
Boxing Promotions is also making it possible for PitBoss Entertainment to
televise a public service announcement for the Retired Boxers Foundation.
"Jun" a sensational new artist performs "Stick and Move",
a song that he wrote for Alex Ramos and the Retired Boxers, along with "We
Fought for the World" which was previously written for the Retired Boxers
Foundation. "Stick and Move" is a lively R & B song infused with
hip-hop and rap. "We Fought for the World" is a soulful R & B
piece about prizefighters on their way up. Both songs were produced and are
distributed by PitBoss Entertainment, Inc. According to Gregory Sulger, CEO of
PitBoss Entertainment, Inc. "50% of the profit from the sale of both songs
will be donated to the Retired Boxers Foundation. According to Jacquie
Richardson, Executive Director of the Retired Boxers Foundation, "It takes
about three years for a nonprofit to develop a reputation of integrity. For a
nonprofit in boxing, the job is twice as hard because of the perception of
corruption real or imagined. For that reason, the Retired Boxers has to
be more tenacious and more innovative." Alex Ramos was introduced to
PitBoss Entertainment, Inc., through a friend while on vacation in New York.
Because of the obvious connection to the music business, Alex mentioned a song
that had been written for him and the Retired Boxers Foundation an his dream
that someday it would be recorded and performed as a source of raising the
consciousness of the public about what it is like for a prizefighter on his way
up, and also what happens when their careers end. Two weeks after that
conversation with PitBoss Entertainment, Ramos was presented with a demo CD with
not only his song, "We Fought for the World" but also an original song
called "Stick and Move." Ramos was astounded at the response from the
recording industry when PitBoss offered 50% of the profit on the two songs for
the nonprofit Retired Boxers Foundation. The artist, "Jun" performed
the songs from his heart and out of respect for the fighters. He will perform
the songs live at Yonkers as a guest of Joe DeGuardia, STAR Boxing, another
supporter of the Retired Boxers Foundation. DeGuardia has promoted a number of
high-profile boxing cards at the Yonkers Raceway and other venues in New York,
recently added the Retired Boxers Foundation banner to the show and has
distributed flyers on behalf of the RBF. "I like to do what I can for the
fighters and I like what Alex Ramos is doing," said DeGuardia. Like Alex
Ramos, a 4-time New York Golden Glove Champion, DeGuardia is also a former New
York Golden Gloves Champion (147 pound open) and comes from a family of boxers.
His father and uncle were professional boxers in the 1950's. Promoter Joe
DeGuardia is presenting a sensational fight card at Yonkers Raceway on
Wednesday, September 19th, featuring David Telesco against a yet to be named
opponent. David's last fight was at Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan on May 17th
when he knocked out Tom Cameron in the first round. Singing superstar, Diana
Ross was in the audience cheering him on. Telesco is well known for going the
distance against Roy Jones, Jr. DeGuardia is a highly regarded boxing promoter
in the New York area and is part of a movement to attract new fans to the sport.
He looks forward to a live music performance by "Jun" and sees the
connection between boxing fans and contemporary music.
"Jun" will also perform the National Anthem to start the show. "Jun"
is a native of New York, growing up in Flatbush. His singing style is compared
to Usher and others in a new crop of soulful R &B, hip-hop and rap
entertainers. New York-based rap star, Parrish Smith of EPMD, is also on board
and working with PitBoss Entertainment, Inc., to handle the music distribution.
Parrish Smith (aka "Pee MD") make up the "PMD" of "EPMD"
and is responsible for over 12 million records sold. Parrish Smith, also an
executive with BoonDoc Records, was touched by the music--especially the meaning
of the words--and the attempt to reach out to the world to help the
prizefighters. Parrish Smith/EPMD will also be at the fight to back up "Jun"
in his first live performance of the songs dedicated to the retired fighters.
Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos is also expected to be on hand. PitBoss
Entertainment is working with the Retired Boxers Foundation to schedule an
appearance on the Jay Leno Show in Los Angeles as soon as the distribution
contract has been completed. "This is going to be a hit!" exclaims
Ramos and he and his relentless enthusiasm along with his extensive Hollywood
contacts will help get the songs to the public.
He also said that "God don't make no mistakes. He made it possible for
me to meet the executives from PitBoss Entertainment and "Jun" and his
incredible talent were made for the songs and my mission at the Retired Boxers
Foundation." The mission of the Retired Boxers Foundation is best known for
a campaign launched by Alex Ramos to invite professional boxers to help their
brothers in boxing who are having problems after they retire. According to
Ramos, "Too many professional boxers are unprepared for the transition
from the ring to retirement. Many suffer from neurological and physical
problems, not to mention emotional problems and dementia pugilistica (the
medical term for being "punch drunk"). A lot of fighters turn to
alcohol or drugs to ease the pain and some end up homeless and hopeless. I know
because I've been there." In addition to retired fighters, Ferocious
Fernando Vargas is one of the Retired Boxers Foundation Board members, along
with Judge Mills Lane, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, actor Charles Dutton,
International Communications Director at Playboy, Inc, Bill Farley, movie
director Ron Shelton and actress Lolita Davidovich.
The Retired Boxers Foundation was the inspiration of Alex Ramos, four time
New York Golden Gloves Champion, Representative on the USA Boxing Team from 1978
to 1980, one of "Tomorrow's Champions", 1984 USBA Middleweight
Champion, and 1986 California Middleweight Champion Ramos was a boxer for
twenty two years before drugs and alcohol ruined his career. In 1995, after a
series of come-backs, and failed rehabilitation, Alex found himself on the
streets. He made a decision to fight for his life. He had spent years "in
the darkness" as he calls itand was terrified that he would die
alone and forgotten like some of his idols in the sport of boxing. He thought
of Joe Louis who had died penniless and was buried in a pauper's grave. He
started a rehabilitation program that changed his life and has be drug free for
over three years.
Alex Ramos founded the RBF because of his first hand knowledge of the
humiliation he suffered in his retirement at the young age of 33. A devout
Christian, Alex believes that God saved him so that he could find a way to help
others fighters like himself, he says, "
of which I know plenty of!"
Ramos worked for three years convincing people of the need for the RBF and
seeking their endorsement of his organization. Honorary Board Member, actress Bo
Derek, was one of the first to sign an endorsement for the RBF and is a long
time boxing fan who saw her first Championship fight at the Playboy Mansion. She
said, "I think I speak for all boxing fans when I say that your (RBF)
foundation gives us a way to give back to all the champions who gave us so
much. Ramos now has over 350 signed endorsements of celebrities, champion
fighters and other dignitaries from the sport of boxing.
The goals of the Retired Boxers Foundation include:
To provide access to
specialized medical services and facilities for the rehabilitation of retired
professional boxers suffering from pugilistic dementia. Other health related
services include making referrals and developing wider access to
neuropsychological assessment and treatment, physical therapy, personal and peer
counseling, substance abuse treatment and support groups.
To encourage youth mentorships by retired professional boxers and to
establish boxing programs for at risk youth. Boxing is a demanding sport that
emphasizes not only physical conditioning, but also self-control,
self-discipline and self-respect. The RBF will initiate programs in which
retired fighters return to neighborhood gyms to counsel and advise young
athletes. The RBF has already assisted in the development of three new amateur
boxing clubs and is working with six additional club proposals across the
To identify resources and improve access for older retired
professional boxers including assistance with simple daily tasks, insurance
paperwork, household chores, etc., through service organizations and volunteer
programs that serve senior citizens throughout the world.
To provide access to affordable housing and residential care services, with
the objective of breaking the cycle of homelessness that is common in the lives
of too many retired professional fighters. Housing will be made available to
those who are homeless and without the means to secure even basic human needs,
including food, shelter and safety.
To provide access to financial management services to insure long-term
financial security and solvency, including referrals to tax attorneys to help
fighters deal with tax problems, which is a common problem for not only fighters
who are retired, but also many current prizefighters.
For more information on the Retired Boxers Foundation, visit
the website at www.retiredboxers.org or call Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890.
SPECIAL PRESS RELEASE...
On May 23, 2001, an ad (Below Right) appeared in the
New York Daily News about an event entitled "Boxing Night"
presented by the Retired Boxers Foundation. We are an IRS 501(c)3
nonprofit corporation and we have
nothing to do with this event.
We are advocates for retired professional boxers and if you go to our
you can see what our mission is. In the meantime, the ad in the newspaper is,
in my opinion, placed to further exploit the fighters. We saw the ad. We called
Tito Puente's Restaurant and spoke to John Arminio, who
confirmed that the event was being billed as a "Retired Boxers
Foundation" event, and that arrangements were being made by David
Please read the following press release below. If you have any questions,
please call us at (805) 583- 5890 from 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. (Pacific
Jacquie Richardson, Alex Ramos
Contact: Alex Ramos or Jacquie
Retired Boxers Foundation
3359 Bryan Avenue,
Simi Valley, CA, 93063
Phone (805) 583-5890
Fax (805) 306-1663
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALEX RAMOS: Another Impostor? No Mas!
DEA Agent, David Torres, Steals
Ramos's Retired Boxers Foundation
Name to Host 2001 Fundraiser for Puerto Rican Boxers
Retired Boxers Foundation Checks for 2000 Event!
[Simi Valley, CA] The
Retired Boxers Foundation has received more than a dozen phone calls
about an upcoming fundraiser for Puerto Rican boxers on June 7th which is
advertised on today's Daily News paper at
Tito Puente's Restaurant in New York. The problem is that the
Retired Boxers Foundation has no involvement in this event and is
considering legal action against Federal DEA Agent, David Torres, for
not only illegally promoting this event, but also for forging Retired Boxers
Foundation checks for an event last year at the same location.
Retired Boxers Foundation has released this statement:
"The Retired Boxers Foundation has no
association whatsoever with DEA Agent,
David Torres and has no plans for a fundraiser on June 7th 2001, at Tito
Puente's Restaurant. Furthermore, the
RBF will initiate legal action against Torres if he continues
the unauthorized use of organization's name to promote any event. We encourage
the boxing fans and supporters to continue to fight against exploitation of
boxers, especially those who exploit sick, injured and destitute fighters under
the auspices of a fundraiser for their benefit. The Retired Boxers
Foundation is a legitimate 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, fully accountable
to the donors. Unauthorized use of our name is illegal."
According to the Executive Director of the Retired Boxers Foundation,
Jacquie Richardson, (Right), David Torres contacted the
Retired Boxers Foundation in November of 1999, requesting support for a
fundraiser he wanted to do for
Wilfredo Benitez, a world champion boxer from Puerto Rico. The
Retired Boxers Foundation agreed and worked with David Torres
from November of 1999 until the event for Wilfredo Benitez in February
Retired Boxers Foundation sent out 350 personal invitations to
supporters of the Foundation and as a gesture of support and cooperation,
addressed the response envelopes RSVP's to David Torres.
Torres was instructed to record the responses and forward the checks to the
Retired Boxers Foundation for deposit. All expenses were to be paid out
"We allowed the checks to be sent to Mr. Torres
as an act of faith because it really was David Torres' idea to host the
event. If you can't trust a federal DEA agent, who can you trust," said
RBF Founder, Alex Ramos, (Left) were in constant contact
and right up to the night of the event, Torres insisted that the 350
invitations sent out by the
RBF resulted in absolutely not one RSVP or checks payable to the RBF.
Ramos and Richardson were surprised at the lack of response
considering the number of calls received from the supporters, especially in the
New York area, who had told Ramos they would see him at the event.
Within a a few days of the event, Ramos received a phone call from
HBO concerning the names of the people who would be attending the event and told
Ramos that they had mailed a check for $500 a couple of weeks earlier.
Torres insisted that he had not received the check. The night of the
event, Ramos met many people from his list of invitees, including former
New York Assistant Attorney General, Pamela Jones-Harbour, who had
presented a check to Torres in the amount of $400.
Several others also told Alex how pleased he was to have written a
check to the RBF because they supported Alex Ramos and what he
was doing to help fighters. Best estimates are that Torres received
several thousand dollars in donations, for which contributors would expect
receipts for tax purposes. Torres was unable to provide an accounting of
the actual income for the event, and after pressure from the Retired Boxers
Foundation and a threat of legal action, Torres sent copies of some
of the checks he illegally endorsed.
The Retired Boxers Foundation also demanded reimbursement for their
costs for travel to New York, and those funds were deposited into the RBF
account. A friend of Torres sold memorabilia at the event, and one of
the workers said that 17 people from the memorabilia company were "comp'd"
for the event. Jacquie Richardson, Executive Director of the
Retired Boxers Foundation was furious that anyone was comp'd for this
event because she personally paid the full $100 cost for herself, Alex Ramos
and two guests to the event, not to mention all travel expenses with the
exception of Ramos' airfare.
"The experience we had with David Torres is
horrific, but we had no choice other than to make the best of good part of the
event -- Helping the Benitez family." Said Richardson.
"If we had had the funds to legally pursue the fraud perpetrated by
David Torres when he illegally endorsed checks made payable to the
Retired Boxers Foundation, we would not have hesitated. We simply did
not have the money to pursue it. I am appalled that after our experience with
Mr. Torres, and our threat of litigation, he would have the audacity to
perpetrate a fraud on the good people who believe in the Retired Boxers
Foundation and Alex Ramos."
The Retired Boxers Foundation has consulted with an attorney and
are considering a lawsuit against David Torres. In addition, they are
publicly requesting an audit of last year's event.
"David Torres has subjected the sport of
boxing to yet another 'black eye' the exploitation of professional boxers
in this case retired fighters who need help, without any responsibility to the
public who support the sport and no accountability or proof that the funds were
actually given to the fighters. The public has a right to know the outcome of
last year's fundraiser and why this DEA agent would perpetrate another fraud on
the fighters and their fans!" said Richardson.
Torres not only held the fundraiser for Wilfredo Benitez at
the same location in February 2000, Tito Puente's Restaurant in New
York, but also held one the night before in the Bronx. Alex Ramos, the
founder of the Retired Boxers Foundation had this to say about Torres:
"I have worked for three years to organize the
Retired Boxers Foundation and to establish credibility for the benefit
of the fighters who need help. I have yet to draw one penny of compensation from
the organization, and I'll be damned if I let another scumbag like David
Torres DEA Agent or otherwise -- exploit me or the fighters!"
Ramos just completed testifying in a long court battle involving
Alberto Lugo, who was sentenced to 148 years in prison for impersonating
Alex Ramos. (See: "Bronx Bomber cleared in New York imposter
case" Headline Link on the front page of the
Boxers Foundation at www.retiredboxers.org.
If anyone receives an invitation or information on this June
7th event, they are asked to contact Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890. You
can also contact the
Retired Boxers Foundation at email@example.com. The fax number is