NEW YORK – Sugar Ramos, the Cuban featherweight champion whose fists led to two ring deaths — one inspiring a Bob Dylan song — has died in Mexico City. He was 75.
He died Sunday from cancer complications, the World Boxing Council said.
Ramos was best known for his 1963 fight at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles with Davey Moore in which he won the featherweight title for the first time. It was the only fight card held at the ballpark, and it was deadly.
Ramos had been battered by the champion in early rounds but came back to stop him in the 10th. Moore left the ring on his own but lost consciousness in his dressing room and slipped into a coma.
He died two days later, sparking an outcry about the safety of boxing and prompting California Gov. Edmund Brown to call for the sport to be banned. Dylan would later memorialize the bout in the song “Who Killed Davey Moore?”
Ramos was no stranger to tragedy in the ring. Five year earlier in Cuba he stopped a fighter named Jose Blanco, who also died.
After fleeing Cuba, Ramos, whose real name was Ultiminio Ramos, lived in Mexico. He was the first champion of the WBC, winning the organization’s new belt in his fight with Moore.
Ramos, who started boxing professionally at age 15, retired in 1972 with a record of 55-7-4 with 40 knockouts.