Not to be confused with the New York Yankees, boxer Alex Ramos was known as the “Bronx Bomber.”
The hard-hitting brawler won four Daily News Golden Gloves tournaments in an unprecedented three different weight classes — the 147-, 156-, and 165-pound divisions. His impressive amateur record was 143-15 with 132 knockouts.
Former boxing teammate and fellow 2017 Golden Gloves Hall of Fame inductee Mike Rosario recalls how Ramos earned his nickname: “When he turned pro, he was so well-liked that George Steinbrenner bought him his first boxing robe, which had pinstripes. They called him the Bronx Bomber because he was always knocking people out.”
Ramos’ knockout reputation grew as he rose through the ranks. Golden Gloves boxing historian Bill Farrell described his unusual power: “He was an incredibly strong guy. He could hit. He punched like a mule and was built like a bull. He could put you down with one punch; he had that kind of power.”
Ramos got into boxing at age 11 in 1972, growing up in the South Bronx. His first interaction with the sweet science came at the illustrious boxing trainer Gil Clancy’s gym. Ramos was in awe of all of the boxers that would step foot in the gym. “Emile Griffith, Gerry Quarry, Harold Weston, Jose Fernandez, all types of great fighters. All the top-notch fighters were there,” he said. “I would go every day.”
The young Ramos’ journey to the gym was difficult at times. His mother required that he be accompanied by two fellow teenagers to ride the subway, or she wouldn’t let him go. Ramos admits now he would occasionally take the subway by himself — and that he was more fearful of the repercussions from his mom than any boxer in the ring.
“She would have had a heart attack if she found out I was going to the gym by myself,” he said. “She was very passionate. I would have really got a butt-kicking if she found out.”
Ramos moved on from Clancy’s gym and began to work out of the fire department close to his house, then to the Bronx Chester Boxing Club and trainers Luis Camacho and Lenny DeJesus. “That was where I started to win everything,” he said. “You name it, every tournament in the world.
“I used to come with a friend of mine and his father to come watch Howard Davis. I used to say, ‘Wow, this guy is good.’ And then it was my turn. I was knocking guys out in this tournament. It was unbelievable.”
Although the Bronx Bomber calls California home now, the Hall of Fame ceremony will hold a special place for Ramos because he is coming back where it all started. “It means the world to me because I love New York and that’s where I come from. That I fought in New York and being inducted at home, it means so much. I really love New York.”
Ramos made the U.S. boxing team, but his gold medal dreams were dashed in 1980 by the boycott of the Moscow Olympics.
“They gave me a crystal bear for being the best boxer for 1980,” he said.Ramos also forged a bond with the prolific sports commentator Howard Cosell, who was a good luck charm of sorts for the powerful slugger. “Every time Howard Cosell commentated my fights, I won by a first-round knockout,” Ramos said. “He did a lot for me. He was great.”
Ramos is still active in the boxing community. “I am helping others, I help kids,” he said. “It’s a big thing for me. I am still involved. To give back, there is nothing better to do … It’s out of love.”