That night on September 15, 1983
Madison Square Garden has been the scene of legendary battles and one of them took place 30 years ago, on September 15, 1983 when the Peruvian Orlando Romero and the North American Ray Boom Boom Mancini fought for the World Boxing Association lightweight title.
They were two young men, 23 and 22 years old. Mancini defended the crown he had won from Arturo Frias on May 8, 1982. Romero, the undefeated Challenger, fought for the first time outside Peru.
That September night, Mancini was defending his belt for the fourth time, and Madison Square Garden was filled with more than 25,000 spectators who enjoyed as Romerito complicated Mancini dodging his punches, looking for mistakes and taking advantage of the distance to use in his defense and make a ruthless attack.
At times it looks as if Mancini could not take the punching storm that haunted him, the Peruvian seemed destined to win the bout and the title.
The left hand of Romero put the champion in trouble in several occasions of the fight, but he did not give up. Mancini assimilated the punishment and insisted.
However, everything ended at the 1:56 minutes of the ninth round, when, in a punching exchange, Mancini connected a left hand to the jaw of Romero, and he went to the canvas.
Mancini retained his Lightweight Crown and Romero saw his dream fade away with the referee Tony Pérez counts.