Retired Boxers Foundation founder and president Alex Ramos has long been one of my favorite human beings. Alex, living on a small check himself, continues to provide hope to ex-fighters that have given up on themselves. Last month Alex and the executive director of the Retired Boxers Foundation Jacquie Richardson, were inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame.
On December 11-13th, he continues to build my admiration for him when he and the Retired Boxers Foundation host an event named “The Greatest Ever” at the Paris Las Vegas casino in Las Vegas Nevada. For three days, the best fighters in boxing history will converge on Las Vegas to help raise money to help out the underprivileged or severely injured ex-boxers.
Recently Alex sat down with Convicted Artist Boxing Magazine to discuss this event.
Bob Carroll (BC): Alex give the readers of Convicted Artist Boxing Magazine an overview of your career.
Alex Ramos (AR):I’ve been in boxing for over 23 years now. I had a wonderful amateur career, which I loved. I had a lot of amateur fights, won basically every amateur tournament that existed, Nationals, four time Golden Gloves champion, national champion, man you name it. I turned professional in 1980 and became Shelly Finkel’s first fighter on the “Tomorrow’s Champions” card. I had a wonderful pro career, God, what a wonderful career. Today I am still having a wonderful career in the sport of boxing, helping boxers with the Retired Boxers Foundation. I am loving life and trying to help out fighters, so I’m still involved in the sport of boxing.
BC: You started the Retired Boxers Foundation in 1998. Give us an overview of this organization.
AR: Well, I started the foundation before that, but my executive director, Jacquie Richardson incorporated it for me in 1998, because I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew I was on the right track, but she helped me get it fully together and I sincerely thank her and her husband. They incorporated it for me, got me the papers and got everything I needed together for the corporation. The Retired Boxers Foundation helps fighters that are down on their luck by providing a helping hand. It’s about fighters helping fighters, it’s about fighters getting together and helping one another. Nobody else helps these fighters and we have been doing it with the little bit that we have, or whatever Jacquie can do to help these fighters is incredible. We also have a top medical advisory board with top neurosurgeons and neurologists, because a lot of fighters leave the sport with neurological problems and need help, we try to help those guys. I just love doing this, I mean look, here I am today talking to you Bob and I love it. You guys at Fightin’ Words and Convicted Artist are wonderful and I love talking to you. Like I have always said, I am here to stay and I am going to die a fighter doing the right thing, but it will be the right thing, helping fighters. I just received an e-mail and I want to tell you, I want to announce that Joe Calzaghe, to me one of the best fighters, will be participating in an event that we (the RBF) are hosting in Las Vegas, to help out the fighters. I was honored to receive that e-mail and have him help out.
BC: Alex, you were recently inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame. How does it feel to have your work acknowledged in such a huge fashion and how has the induction helped the RBF?
AR: I am honored first of all, to be inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame. It’s a big plus and I thank them sincerely. You know I have been in this game a long time and it’s wonderful to be able to see that they are recognizing what we are doing, the work that Jacquie and I are doing. Now there are going to be more people out there watching what we are doing. It’s all about what we are doing, it really is, so as long as people watch what we are doing and follow our mission, it’s a plus. That’s what it is all about.
BC: As you just mentioned, there will be a huge event benefitting the RBF on December 11-13 called “The Greatest Ever”. Tell our listeners about this event.
AR: Yes, December 11-13th. Guys like Joe Calzaghe, who has committed to being there on the 12th and 13th. One of our medical advisory board members, Dr. Ray Manswell, lives in Wales and spoke to Joe. The event is called “The Greatest Ever”(www.greatestever.com) and it will take place at the Paris Las Vegas, on the strip in Las Vegas. We will have people like Roberto Duran, Emile Griffith, Aaron Pryor, Jeff Fenech, Carlos Ortiz, wow I can’t remember all of the fighters that will be there, but a lot of great fighters. These are great fighters that are going to be there to help out other fighters.
BC: How can our readers get information on attending this event?
BC: What type of activities are you having during this event?
AR: It will be a three day event and we will have all kinds of activities. There will be all sorts of events to raise money for the Retired Boxers Foundation like dinners, autograph sessions, there will be shows, we are doing all kinds of things at the Paris Las Vegas. They are going all out for the Retired Boxers Foundation! I am so excited! It will be a three day event and not one dull moment, believe me. If you are a fight fan and with all of the fighters walking around, you are likely to run into one of your favorites at the Paris Las Vegas! I can’t hardly wait for this event! I am really excited!
BC: What does the RBF have planned for 2010?
AR: For 2010, there are a few things I would like to work on during the year. I always like to be quiet about things we are working on, I don’t like to talk about what we have planned. I will tell you that Colonel Bob Sheridan, who has called the most fights of any other commentator in boxing history and the guy who called the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali fight in Zaire, is on my board. He, along with political consultant James Carville, executive director Jacquie Richardson and I are going to sit down to plan something big for the Retired Boxers Foundation in the next year. What I feel we should do is get a place that these guy can go when they retire, like the Screen Actors Guild does for their members. I remember a while back, Jacquie and I had to go pick up a microwave oven for Bobby Chacon. He was living in a place with just a hot plate to warm up his food, and we went out a purchased a microwave so it would be safer for him to heat up some food. He was living on skid row and my executive director went and picked him up took him to get some things to help. There are a lot of things that would shock you if I told you, a lot of things believe me.
BC: How would our readers be able to donate to the RBF and is it a tax deductible charity?
AR: Wow, of course, we have a tax ID number for all donations. The Retired Boxers Foundation is totally tax deductible, so you can write off the charitable deduction. All they have to do is go to our website, which is www.retiredboxers.com or www.retiredboxers.org to give to our charity. We do the best that we can, we have always tried to do the best that I can for these guys. We have been doing the work for years and I will die doing this work.
BC: We love having you on Fightin’ Words and Convicted Artist Magazine. Will you make sure you stay in touch with us?
AR: God bless you all, I love you guys, you know that! Fightin’ Words and Convicted Artist are the best outlets to speak about the Retired Boxing Foundation and you know what Bob? As long as Fightin’ Words is around, I am around! I love talking to you Bob!
I'd like to thank Alex Ramos of the Retired Boxers Foundation, for taking time out of his day to speak with Convicted Artist. For more on this and other boxing stories, tune into Fightin' Words Radio Show, Wednesdays, 8-9 pm on 1490wwpr.com, hosted by Bob Carroll, Butch and "THE Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. Make sure to visit the shows website fightinwordsonline.com.