Sunday 24th March 2019,

On This Day in Boxing History: Carlos Ortiz Knocked Out Sugar Ramos

ramosortizOn this day in 1967, Carlos Ortiz stopped Sugar Ramos in four rounds to retain the World Lightweight Title. It was a rematch of their October 1966 bout, won by Ortiz via Round 5 TKO.

Ortiz was the great lightweight champion of the 1960s and one of the best boxers ever from Puerto Rico. His first world title came in 1959, when he captured the newly resurrected light welterweight title by beating Kenny Lane. Ortiz defended that belt twice, handing the Italian great Duilio Loi his second loss in June 1960, before dropping the belt to Loi in a rematch three months later. Loi won the 1961 rematch.

Ortiz captured the lightweight title in April 1962 from Joe Brown and held it for most of the rest of the decade. He lost the belt to Ismael Laguna by majority decision in April 1965 but recaptured it a November rematch.

Ortiz beat featherweight great Flash Elorde twice at 135 pounds and drew with Nicolino Locche at 140 pounds. After his second win over Ramos, Ortiz won a rubbermatch with Laguna, before dropping the belt in June 1968 to Carlos Teo Cruz. In 1972, Ortiz lost his final fight, to English great Ken Buchanan, the man who would lose to Roberto Duran.

A Cuban native who fled to revolution and became a star in Mexico, Sugar Ramos was a hard-punching featherweight champion, with 40 career knockouts. In 1963, he won the featherweight title from Davey Moore, who dies tragically days later from injuries sustained during the fight. Ramos would lose the featherweight belt in 1964 to Vincente Saldivar.

Ortiz has to be rated very highly in the ranks of the all-time greats at lightweight, based on the length of his reign and the fact that he had multiple quality wins over other Hall of Famers, such as Brown, Ramos, Elorde, Loi and Laguna. While I would not place him in the top five with Roberto Duran, Benny Leonard, Joe Gans, Henry Armstrong or Pernell Whitaker, I would definitely squeeze him into the top 10, probably at eight, behind Ike Williams and Tony Canzoneri.

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