All the glory and sacrifice that they offered in their years as top-level athletes, when they represented the country throughout the world, today hangs – without luck – from a rusty nail.

In any remote corner of the home of Laureano Ramírez Padilla, there are hanging dozens of dusty medals and forgotten trophies and certificates that silently account for his great feats in a sport “in which no game is played” and in which they exhibited your health to raise the Dominican flag.

“In that Pavilion of Fame it seems that there were not a single people from the times when I went up to the ring to fight for my country: I was a gold medalist in a Central American and Caribbean Boxing Championship, here in 1981, I beat the Cuban; I also won the silver medal at the Pan American Games in Caracas, 1983, easily defeating the Cuban Pedro Orlando Reyes, they stopped the fight for an injury when I was on my way to gold; the following year I reached the quarterfinals at the Los Angeles Olympics, 1984 …

When Pedro Julio Nolasco secured his bronze medal in the afternoon, I had lost in the morning; the difference was a triumph. All that is there, gentlemen, in the books, I never lost in the National Games or in the Military. What else could I do in my time? ”, Narrates Laureano Ramírez Padilla about the best of his career.

Conversing with El Deporte de LISTIN DIARIO, Ramírez Padilla (Nango), one of the most successful Olympic fighters of the late seventies and during the eighties, exclaimed from Spain, where he lives, that boxing is the most underrated sport and abused in the country despite the triumphs provided.

“I speak for my teammates too, it is a great abuse that dozens of world champions and medalists do not let them pass because for boxing there is a stopper, players and other disciplines have three and four safe immortals to enter each year,” claims the fearsome left-handed of the 51 kilograms of the Maquiteria Club. “We don’t want to harm anyone’s morale, but this is very suspicious of what happens to us boxers and the Hall of Fame.”

The Olympian wept …

Manuel de Jesús Herrera, the only fighter to snatch a gold medal from the great Cuban navy that participated in the Central American and Caribbean Games Santiago 86, also bitterly complained about the treatment he has received on the way to “immortality”.

“They don’t understand that when a player hits 50 home runs he does it for his money, they pay him millions for that … When in ’86 I had to face Rogelio Marcelo, the 48 kilogram Olympic champion, and I defeated him to win that only gold for the country, that is done out of national pride.

“So, these gentlemen with those millions of dollars should not compete with us, by chance they will always come in front and we will go back to see them pass into immortality and then also see how the door crashes in our faces and next year … The same ”, the Roma fighter described crying.

“El Olímpico” Herrera, who was the country’s first youth world champion, 1983, and then the first foreigner to win two gold medals in consecutive years at the Battle of Carabobo in Venezuela, bleeds from the injury and blames the authorities. .

He remembers that he lives in Miami, where he has had to be a waiter in many restaurants to earn a living and although he is not ashamed of his “luck”, if it hurts him that the sports authorities have not considered him for his two participation in the Olympic Games, 1984 and 1988, where his bronze medal was stolen with an outrageous split decision in the quarterfinals in Saul, Korea.

“Today we see that to be immortal one world gold, one Central American gold, one bronze in the Córdoba Cardín de Cuba, two gold in Venezuela, and more than ten military gold and in National Games are not taken into account … That has only been valid for ridicule us and get into a raffle, like a lottery, with millionaire athletes who did not represent this country because those who play here with the Marlins or with the Yankees and the Mets, it is with the uniforms of those teams that play and get paid … we did not get off a plane and they did not give us a chele, “he adds.

Professional field

Performance

Both remained for more than a decade within the national team, arriving at an advanced age to pay boxing, reducing their chances of great success. Against all the negative omens were two gladiators that were for years in force in the Top-ten of the world organisms, both managing to dispute world crowns in their respective categories. Padilla conquered the intercontinental bantamweight scepter (118 pounds), International Boxing Federation (IBF) version, defeating Junai Ramayana.

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