This 1987 12 round WBC Lightweight Title Fight between Juan Luis Rameriz vs Terrence Alli took place on July 7th in Saint-Tropez, France….was for the WBC title that was vacated by Hector “Macho” Camacho when he moved up in weight….as this fight was a really good battle between a really great lightweight boxer, Juan Luis Ramirez…..who held the lightweight world title on two different occasionas while amassing a 102 wins 9 losses and 82 KOs career…..and a really good lightweight boxer (Terrence Alli)….who fought for the lightweight title on 4 different occasions while compiling a career record of 52 wins 15 losses with 21 KOs in his career during the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995).
A native of Huatabampo, Sonora and a resident of Culiacán, Juan Luis Ramírez made his professional debut on March 25, 1973 at the age of 15…. and then as a featherweight in 1978….a young Ramírez lost by knockout for the only time in his career to legendary three time former world champion Rubén Olivares in two rounds.
After his move in weight to the lightweight division….the 21-year-old Ramírez accumulated a record of 67-2….when he met another boxing legend inside a ring when he fought Alexis Argüello….whom he dropped for the first time in Arguello’s career in the 6th round….but lost a disputed ten round split decision in Miami. He then faced Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini for the North American Lightweight belt….when he lost another high profile fight by a 12 round decision in Ohio.
Ramírez won his following 10 bouts and on May 1, 1983, he was given the chance at becoming world Lightweight champion for the first time….when he fought Puerto Rican Edwin “El Chapo” Rosario at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the WBC championship….as Ramírez lost another close 12 round unanimous decision….but on November 3, 1984, he and Rosario had a rematch….and after rising from two knockdowns, Ramírez rallied back to stagger Rosario in the third round….then with Rosario pinned against a corner and Ramírez attacking relentlessly….the referee stopped the bout in the 4th after Ramírez had landed 17 straight punches….making Ramírez a world lightweight champion for the first time by a technical knockout….as this fight was named the 1984 Ring Magazine fight of the year….which just happens to be in our Ima Sportsphile boxing library.
Ramírez then went into training for a defense against Héctor Camacho, another boxer from Puerto Rico….but the fight was postponed when Camacho suffered a broken ankle during a pick up basketball game….as the fight finally came off on August 10, 1985….and in his first fight telecast on HBO Boxing….Ramírez was dropped in round three and lost a 12 round unanimous decision.
Ramírez, a culturally intellectual person, moved to Paris soon after….where he re-grouped….and was able to regain the WBC’s world championship when Camacho left it vacant in 1987 by edging out Terrence Alli with another close but unanimous 12 round decision….as seen in this video below. In his first title defense, he defeated former champion Cornelius Boza Edwards by 5th round knock out….then in his second defense….he was awarded a 12 round split decision victory against future multiple world champion legend Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. The consensus among both media and fans was that Whitaker deserved to win that fight…as the resulting decision, to this day, ranks at the top or in the top 5 of virtually everyone’s list of most controversial decisions ever in boxing.
Ramirez’s opponent in this championship title fight was Terrence Alli….who was a perennial contender in the lightweight and super lightweight divisions for nearly two decades. In the late 1980’s and early 90’s, Alli was one of the most entertaining fighters in the lightweight ranks….for Alli was a quick, pressure fighter who threw punches from all angles….while utilizing adequate defensive skills to offset his foe’s strengths. He was always a tough opponent for anyone in the ring….for he who was a non-stopping punching machine that often made his opponents fight for all three minutes of each round.
Born in Guyana on June 26,1960, Terrence Alli, began his professional career in December of 1979, after only putting boxing gloves on for the first time at the age of 18. The young man got off to a relatively slow start, but was able to manage eleven victories in his first fourteen fights. However, Terrence was able to reel off 13 wins in his next fourteen bouts against other up-and-coming fighters. After knocking off some of the other top prospects, including Melvin Paul and Frankie Newton, Alli was able to secure his first world title shot.
At the age of twenty-four, Terrence challenged the twenty-seven-year-old, defending champion Harry Arroyo on January 2,1985 for his IBF World Lightweight title. Alli, who forced the action from the opening bell, dropped the champion in the second round with a straight right hand. Maybe too aggressive at times throughout his career, Alli kept up his aggression late in the fight when it appeared that he may have been winning. Stunned by a big right hand from Arroyo early in 11th round, the young contender staggered back into the neutral corner and was eventually dropped by a flurry of punches. Moments later, after the referee allowed the action to continue, Alli was badly hurt by more follow up punches, prompting the stoppage.
Not to be denied in his quest for a championship, Alli won the vacant USBA Lightweight title against Miguel Santana on September 27,1986 by unanimous decision. After another string of victories, including a win over Jeff Bumpus, Alli looked again for another world title opportunity.
Terrence Alli, unafraid to travel anywhere in the world, fought Jose Luis Ramirez for the vacant WBC World Lightweight title in Saint-Tropez, Var, France. Alli gave Ramirez all the he could handle for twelve hard fought rounds before losing by unanimous decision. The judges had the fight close with the Mexican winning the brawl by scores of 115-113 (twice) and 114-113.
This non-stop fighting machine from Guyana would end his boxing career losing eight of his last nine fights. Terrence Alli was a formidable opponent for all of the top fighters of his generation. Never able to secure a world title championship, Alli gave everything he had against the best. He fought a total of seventy bouts, winning fifty fights, but was unfortunate to come up just short in his three world title opportunities.
Any way you cut the pie….this 1987 WBC Lightweight Title Fight is well worth the watch….cuz it was a true action packed war.