January 14, 2000
Retired Boxers Foundation Receives $50,000 Donation
"Play it to the Bone" Director Ron Shelton, Shanghai’d Films
SIMI VALLEY, CA] At Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater premier of the new boxing film, Play it to the Bone
starring Antonio Banderas, Woody Harrelson, Lolita Davidovich and Lucy Liu, the movie’s Director,
Ron Shelton, announced that Shanghai’d Films was donating $50,000 to the Retired Boxers Foundation.
Just before the opening of the film, Director Ron Shelton introduced current boxing world champions,
Fernando Vargas, Angel Manfredy, Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero and others, as well as past champions, Mando Ramos,
Sugar Ray Leonard, Art Aragon - the original "Golden Boy", saving 1984 USBA Middleweight Champion, Alex Ramos,
for last. "Unlike normal Hollywood premieres, this one combined the traditional Hollywood opening along with the
introduction of the warriors from the sport of boxing, making it a truly unique event," said Ron Shelton.
"It is truly gratifying to make this donation to help the Retired Boxers Foundation in their efforts to
assist these great athletes, " he continued. "Hopefully, our donation will inspire others to help
retired professional fighters, in the only sport for which there are no real pensions or retirement plans."
Shelton is a great fan of the sport of boxing and has directed several sports related movies including
Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump and Field of Dreams.
Shelton’s announcement was a total surprise for Alex Ramos and overwhelmed the fighter, who was visibly
stunned by the generosity of Shelton and Shanghai’d films.
Alex Ramos, known as the "Bronx Bomber" in a career that spanned twenty-two years and over 300 amateur
and professional bouts, is the founder of the Retired Boxers Foundation, whose mission is to assist fighters
in their transition from their professional boxing, to a dignified retirement. Ramos said, "Unfortunately,
too many fighters retire from their glorious days in the ring, to a humiliating retirement suffering from
alcoholism, substance abuse, rage disorders, homelessness and even dementia pugilistica (the medical term
for punch drunk)." Ramos knows first hand, how perilous retirement from the sport can be, finding himself
on the wrong side of the law and "in the darkness" of alcoholism and homelessness. In fact, he believes
that God saved him so that he could do something about what many others have said for more than fifty years,
including Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis, both of whom died penniless, buried by the State.
Ramos founded the Retired Boxers Foundation in 1995, incorporating as a nonprofit organization in 1995. For
the past three years, he has worked seven days a week without a penny of compensation, to get the word out
about the condition of many retired professional boxers. His vision is to make the RBF "The Undisputed Champion
for Dignity" and prides himself on the fact that the RBF is an organization of "fighters helping fighters."
In 1998, Ramos met grant writer and fund developer, Jacquie Richardson, who has donated office space and
her skills to get the Retired Boxers Foundation up and running. Richardson met Ramos at an opening of
a boxing gym for which she had written a grant to get kids off the street and into gyms. "Over the
past year and one-half, I have found no mission more compelling than that of the Retired Boxers Foundation.
I donate my time and energy to the RBF and Alex Ramos because it is such an honorable cause for which there
is little support." Both Ramos and Richardson promote the RBF, seizing every opportunity to educate the public
on the condition of retired professional fighters, but also to help them "one-by one" as Richardson says.
"We take Dignity Packs to the fighters who are homeless, including the very basics of 'dignity',
including sox, underwear, sweat suit, toiletries, shoes or whatever they need," Said Ramos.
Until this donation, the Retired Boxers Foundation has existed on less than $5,000 a year in donations,
with all of the expenses and services provided by what Richardson and Ramos are able to earn and from
fans who send $5 and $10 checks. The largest donation received by the RBF was a $1,000 donation from
Dr. Van Buren Lemons, a cranial trauma specialist from Sacramento. "Ron Shelton’s donation will allow us
to serve far more fighters, and ultimately, will be the catalyst for setting up a network of supportive
services for fighters," Said Richardson on behalf of the RBF.
For more information on the Retired Boxers Foundation, their website is http://www.globalaffairs.com.
Their phone number is (805) 583-5890.