Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista is trying to resurrect his once colorful career. He is somehow successful in all of his recent fights stopping his opponents in the early rounds. But a fight with his former tormentor Daniel Ponce De Leon is still in limbo as Deleon still has some unfinished business with Gerry Peñalosa. Rey got his name from the former lightweight champion Ray “Boom boom” Mancini a straight forward boxer who showers his opponents with volume of power punches much like Manny Pacquiao. Bautista and Mancini are somewhat similar on some ways while Bautista fought his way to poverty Mancini fought for his father’s dream. Mancini’s first title fight was with Alexis Arguello he came to the fight undefeated and like Bautista both of them tasted defeat on the hands of experienced champion fighters.
Mancini got his first title two years after challenging Arturo Frias for a world lightweight title. Ray Mancini defended his crown twice but a twist of fate made Mancini change his life forever. The young 21 year old boxer was challenge by 23 year old Duk Koo Kim in Las Vegas. Kim had to lose weight before the fight and came out dehydrated and exhausted while going toe to toe with Mancini. The fight lasted the full 14 rounds but left the South Korean with brain injuries and led to his untimely death 5 days after. Ray Mancini was now known as the boxer who killed Duk Koo Kim. Ray left boxing and begun a period of reflection his guilt have covered his tenacity on the ring and he blames himself for Kim’s death. Kim’s mother committed suicide 4 months after his son’s death and the bout’s referee, Richard Green also committed suicide in 1983.
It was a tragedy bound to happen and Ray Mancini change boxing in a poignant way. The different boxing councils change 14 rounds to 12 rounds of boxing. Weigh in are done a day before the fight starts and safety measures now are being done to save the gladiators in the ring fighting for dear life.
Rey Bautista has still has a bright future ahead of him. Being labeled as “Boom boom” might not be a good name to carry with but who knows and maybe Rey “Boom boom” Bautista might change boxing… hopefully in a good way.