By Dan Cuoco
German Ohm was born of German ancestry on May 28, 1936 in Mexico City, Mexico. He was raised in Ciudad Lerado. Leredo is a little town in La Laguna where there are thousands of fig trees. Ohm spent his early youth as a fig planter.
German launched his pro career at age 18 in Gomez Palacio, Mexico on November 11, 1954 losing a four round decision to Chato Campos. Undaunted, German knocked out Jesus Alvarado in Lerdo, Mexico six days later and returned to Gomez Palacio December 9th to knockout Vicente Ramirez in the third round.
Ohm started his 1955 campaign on a sour note by fighting Chino Flores to a four round draw and losing a six round decision to Pinky Ruiz. Even though he hadn’t won either fight he was feeling more comfortable in the ring and won his next five fights, four by kayo, including a six round knockout over Pinky Ruiz in a rematch. Two of his kayos took place in Mexico City where he thrilled hard core fight fans with his exciting style. They saw in German the ingredients that make a fighter sensational – a knockout punch in either hand. It was evident even then that German possessed a devastating left hook and a bone crushing right hand.
German suffered a setback when Luis Gutierrez stopped him in the fourth round of his third fight in Mexico City. Again undaunted, German returned to the ring wars 13 days later and closed out the year with seven consecutive wins, five by knockout. Among his victims were two of Mexico’s toughest second tier bantams Americo Rivera and Angel Iglesias.
Mexico City veteran Mike Cruz was German’s first big test in 1956. He had been in with some of Mexico’s best bantams and had only been stopped twice. And the two fighters to stop him were two of the hottest prospects in Mexico at the time – Ricardo (Pajarito) Moreno and Carlos Cardoso. Although he was stopped by both, Moreno (round 6) and Cardoso (round 5), he extended both of them before succumbing to their numbing power. German wanted to show that he too belonged with the elite and made a good case for himself by knocking out Cruz in the third round. Two more victories followed and on March 22, 1956 German was paired with another fast rising youngster named Jose Becerra. The 19 year-old Becerra had turned professional a year before German and entered the ring with a record of 30-2-1, with 17 kayos. The 19 year-old German was a month younger with a record of 17-3-1, with 13 kayos. Ohm was well ahead on points when the fight was stopped due to severe cuts. Even though he lost, German came out of the fight more determined then ever. He knew he was beating one of Mexico’s best bantams and that the only reason he lost was because of cuts. He now knew he belonged.
A month after the Becerra fight, Ohm was back in the ring and won going away against the veteran Tibico Torres. He followed that victory with three consecutive knockouts over Martin Vasquez, Joe Chamacho and Jorge Gabino.
German was now ready to step up in competition again and on June 30th he won a lopsided decision over crafty veteran Jorge Herrera. His next fight was against another Mexican bantam prospect 18-year old Raul Leanos. Raul had turned pro at age 16 and possessed a record of 20-2-1, with 6 knockouts. His only two losses were by close decision. German journeyed to Leanos’ hometown and destroyed him in two rounds. On July 28th he returned to Mexico City and knocked out tough veteran Babe Rivera in the second round. In and around the La Laguna, Mexico provinces he was now being called the Mexican Teuton. Ohm returned to Mexico City on August 18th to face Arturo (Baby) Ruiz. Ruiz was coming off impressive victories over Jose Luis Mora and Chucho Tello. He proved to be no competition for German and was kayoed in the first round.
German’s winning streak caught the eyes of the editors of “The Ring.” He entered the ratings at number ten on September 21, 1956. The only bantams in Mexico ahead of him now were number one ranked Raul Macias, number four ranked Jose (Toluco) Lopez and number seven ranked Ricardo Moreno.
In September of 1956 German fought twice, outpointing Kildo Martinez in ten and knocking out Avelino Felix in seven. Felix had just come off of a victory over Luis Gutierrez who had stopped German in his eleventh professional fight. Both victories led to his elevation to the ninth spot in the October “Ring” ratings.
The German Ohm – Jose Becerra rematch took place on October 18, 1956 before a packed arena. Ohm was at his best and gave Becerra a boxing lesson enroute to a unanimous decision. The victory was sweetened when Ohm again was elevated in the “Ring” ratings to number eight. Now the only Mexican bantams rated higher than he were number one Macias, and number six Lopez.
Not one to sit on his laurels, Ohm took out Chango Ceballos in nine rounds and then headed into the biggest fight of his career against unbeaten sensation Carlos Cardoso. Cardoso entered the December 8, 1956 Mexico City showdown unbeaten in 26 fights, with 12 kayos. The 20-year old Ohm ended the 21-year old Cardoso’s streak with a unanimous ten round decision. On January 12, 1957 he met Baby Ruiz in a rematch and repeated his earlier victory by blasting Ruiz out again in one round.
Ohm’s fourteen bout winning streak, including his impressive victories over Baby Ruiz, Jose Becerra and Carlos Cardoso, elevated him to the number four world ranking in the bantamweight division. More importantly, he was now the second ranking bantam in Mexico behind number one ranked Raul Macias. And he was only 20 years old.
Ohm did not fight again until October 26, 1957 and was dropped from “The Ring” ratings for inactivity. The Ring’s La Laguna correspondent Miguel Ramirez Aznar commented that German was in Los Angeles under the wing of Frank Sinatra. Be that as it may, Ohm made his U.S. debut at the Hollywood Legion Stadium against Ross Padilla. Ohm, a 4-1 favorite, suffered a severe gash under his right eye that hampered his performance in the late rounds. Padilla walked off with a controversial majority decision and snapped Ohm’s fourteen fight winning streak.
Two months later, Ohm returned to the Hollywood Legion Stadium to take on Hollywood’s latest bantam sensation 20-year old Horace (Boots) Monroe. Monroe was making his main event debut and entered the ring with a record of 11-1, with 9 kayos. Monroe had no problem with German and knocked him out in the fourth round.
On July 17, 1958 German won a ten round decision over Memo Diez in Matamoros, Mexico in what turned out to be his last professional fight. The 22-year-old German disappeared from boxing with a record of 32-6-1, 22 kayos. But for one 18-month period in time, German Ohm was the toast of the La Laguna Mexican Provinces.