This content is protected BY ANSON WAINWRIGHT Ruben Olivares is remembered fondly as one of the most exciting – and best – fighters in history. Olivares became immensely popular among Mexicans and action-loving fans worldwide because of his ferocious fighting style, chilling punching power (particularly his left hook to the body) and winning ways over a career that extended beyond two decades. All but 17 of his 105 fights ended in a knockout (either of his opponent or himself), which made for many thrilling nights. He finished with a record of 89-13-3 (79 knockouts) and once had a record of 61-0-1 (58 KOs), an indication of how dominating he was in his prime. Olivares ultimately had four title reigns – including two as Ring champion – over two divisions. “Look at his number of knockouts,” the late Hall of Fame writer Bert Sugar once told The Ring. “He was a dual champion. He was never in an unexciting fight. He had a left hook from hell. Everything about him said ‘great fighter.’” Olivares turned pro a few days shy of his 18th birthday, in 1965, scoring the first of 24 consecutive knockouts to start his career. The native of Mexico City punched his way up the bantamweight rankings before winning his first titles by stopping WBA and WBC beltholder Lionel Rose in the fifth round at the Forum in Inglewood, California, an arena in which he fought 22 times. He considers that his proudest moment in boxing. Olivares would go on to face some of the biggest names in the late 1960s and ’70s, an era filthy rich with exciting fighters in the lower weight divisions. He defeated Chucho Castillo in two of three classic wars, winning and regaining his titles in the process. He split two memorable fights with Art Hafey, including a knockout loss. He lost his WBA featherweight title to the great Alexis Arguello by stoppage. He won two of three fights against Hall of Famer Bobby Chacon, including a second-round KO that gave him the WBC featherweight title. And, it seemed, he never let down fans hoping to be entertained. Olivares’ last great victory was a second-round knockout of future star Jose Luis Ramirez in 1978, the only time the iron-jawed Mexican was stopped. Olivares initially retired in 1981, made one-fight comebacks in 1986 and 1988 and then left the sport for good. “Looking back, there are three men that I would have liked to have fought,” Olivares told The Ring through representative Gene Aguilera. “Of all the fighters from Mexico, I would have loved to face Rodolfo Martinez, the former bantamweight world champion. I tried to get the fight but it never got made. I really would have liked to have fought Eder Jofre and Vicente Saldivar because they had big names.” Olivares, now 70, lives in Mexico City with his wife and has six grown children. He is still greeted with spirited applause at boxing events and keeps a foot in the sport. He said he trains a few boxers. “I am looking for the next Ruben Olivares, with the left hook to the liver!” he said. That isn’t likely.