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Fighting WITH Conviction : Boxer Ramos Vows to Right His Career After Prison Term

October 28, 1990|RICH TOSCHES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

His manager and a promoter informed him, he testified at his trial, that he would not receive any money from his purse from the Long bout. They said that the expenses for the fight equaled the purse. He was enraged and nearly broke.

A few days later, Ramos' mother telephoned from her hospital bed and begged him to come home to see her. Because he could not afford the trip, he told her he could not make it.

Later that night, Ramos' telephone rang again. A friend informed him that his mother had just died.

And just before she died, he was told, she lifted her head from the pillow and cried out for her son.

Alex Ramos, a tough-as-nails man, simply came apart.

"She was waiting for me," said Ramos, a tear in his eye.

Within an hour he had found his manager and the promoter and began a fearful beating that would send both men to the hospital.

His next stop was the Corcoran prison. He was released in January, but the memory still cuts at him.

"I never had a visitor," he said of his incarceration. "I would not allow it. Family and friends called and wrote letters, but I would not let them see me there. It just didn't feel right. I felt very bad about being there. I had never been in any trouble in my life.

"I just felt so bad about what I had done. But while I was there, I said to myself every day that when I got out I was going to come back to boxing and come back with the right attitude this time."

Shortly after his release he met with an acquaintance, businessman Paul Gonzalez of Simi Valley. They talked for many hours, Ramos of his dreams, Gonzalez of his expectations should he agree to help his friend.

"We talked of caring and respect and understanding," said Gonzalez, a producer of Latin jazz. "And I liked what I saw. I'm in a business where you have to be able to judge people. I can tell if a man is bald even when he's wearing a hat. And I saw in Alex something that I liked. I saw honesty.

"I know that Alex Ramos is a good man."

Now, it's time to find out if he can once again be a good boxer. He has hired Joe Goossen of the Ten Goose club, the longtime trainer of Nunn, to guide his career.

"The money Alex can make at the Country Club is minimal," said Dan Goossen. "He knows that. But already I have had phone calls about Alex. People are interested. Because Alex Ramos has what most fighters don't have. He has a name. Everyone knows Alex Ramos, knows the talent and knows what he can be.

"And fight by fight, one at a time, we'll find out if he does become that fighter again."

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