Home Boxing History Puncher from the Past: Ricardo “Pajarito” Moreno

Puncher from the Past: Ricardo “Pajarito” Moreno

Ricardo Moreno
Born: Chalchihuites, Mexico 7 February 1937
Died: Durango 24 June 2008 aged 71
Turned pro: 16 June 1954
Record: 73 fights 60 wins (59 by KO/TK0) 12 loses 1 draw
Beat: Henry Pappy Gault, Jesse Monguia, Oscar Suarez Tommy Bain, Ike Chestnut, Silverio Ortiz, Danny Kid
Lost to: Hogan Kid Bassey, Davey Moore, Claudio Adame, Raul Rojas, Alex Benitez. Silverio Ortiz

-Of his 59 wins inside the distance 40 came in the first three rounds
-The only fight he won by other than KO/TKO was a disqualification
– He lost eight times by KO/TKO so only five of his seventy-three fights went the distance
-In 2003 Ring Magazine listed him at 76 in the list of hardest punchers in the history of boxing
– His only title shot came in April 1958 when he was knocked out in the third round when challenging Hogan Kid Bassey for the featherweight title
-He is reported to have turned professional without any amateur experience although one manager said he had won a silver medal at a Golden Gloves tournament

“Pajarito-Little Bird” Left school early to work in the mines at Chalchihuites before travelling to Mexico City where he worked as a parking lot attendant. He turned professional at the age of 17 and won 19 of his first 20 fights by KO/TKO. He won the Mexican featherweight title and his electrifying power quickly made him an idol of Mexican fight fans. He scored twelve inside the distance wins in 1955 and scored a big win over Cuban Oscar Suarez in 1956 with Suarez being ranked No 8 in the world and later that year Moreno was ranked No 6 featherweight in the world. He was just 20 and now drawing huge crowds and earning lots of money. He bought a house for his mother, a boat for partying at sea, bought a restaurant in Acapulco and a Cadillac with gold hub caps and lost money when buying two race horses and betting on cockfights.

He was also now mixing with the Jet Set having a former Miss Universe Contestant for a girlfriend. He made two films and was introduced to drugs. The fight with Hogan Kid Bassey in April 1958 drew a crowd of 20,000 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles but the good times were coming to an end for the 21-year-old knockout artist. He was stopped inside a round by future world champion Davey Moore in December 1958 and lost on points to Kid Anahuac and Kid Irapuato in 1960 and to Cladio Adame in 1961.

He then put together a winning run of 22 fights but against poor opponents and for little money. He suffered back-to-back losses against future WBA champion Raul Rojas in 1966 and his life was falling apart. He was taking drugs and drinking heavily and after losses to Alex Benitez and Silverio Ortiz in 1967 he had his licence withdrawn and his money and “friends”had disappeared. He spent some time in a psychiatric hospital, wandered the streets and slept on a cardboard box in a gym. His fall had been as rapid as his rise and he died in a rehabilitation centre in Durango at the age of 71.