Ralph Gruman

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Gruman in 1916

Name: Ralph Gruman
Alias: Ralph Grunan
Birth Name: Ralph H. Gruman
Born: 1895-09-08
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
Died: 1977-04-16 (Age:81)
Hometown: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boxing Record: click
Judging Record: click
Refereeing Record: click
Promoting Record: click

Managers: Billy Roche and Harry Foley

Boxing Career

Ralph Gruman's family was from San Francisco, and moved north to Portland, following the major 1906 Earthquake in that city.

Gruman boxed as a Lightweight during the early teens until 1916. The December 18, 1915 Tacoma Times reported that he had 32 wins by then [1]. He had started as an amateur in Portland, turned pro, and left for San Francisco, where he won the Pacific Coast Lightweight Title. [2] He then headed for New York.

According to reports in the Portland Oregonian, Gruman had a decent measure of success when he took his boxing career to New York, before he broke his jaw twice in the span of six months, which prompted him to retire. Gruman's most notable fight was a 6-round no-decision bout with Former Lightweight Champion Willie Ritchie. According to the Portland Oregonian, Ritchie took four out of the six rounds, with two being even.

Post-Boxing Career

In December 1916, Gruman announced that he had retired from boxing, and was working for a detective agency in New York City. [3]. Shortly thereafter, he joined the United States Army during the Great War and served 18 months overseas, where he engaged in some 15 bouts. He significantly injured his hand during several contests in England. He returned to Portland in July 1919. [4]

He then began refereeing for the Portland Boxing Commission, and worked as their most prominent referee until November 1929. After Joe Levy left the matchmaker post in Portland, the Boxing Commission changed their traditional matchmaker policy and allowed for private promoters.

Gruman would begin promoting at this time, having his most notable success using many world class Light Heavyweights who boxed in the Pacific Northwest during this period, such as Fred Lenhart, Leo Lomski, Charley Belanger, Young Firpo, and Wesley (Kayo) Ketchell. Gruman quit as a a promoter in March 1932, after Joe Waterman arrived in Portland and began experiencing success. Gruman purportedly was involved in the amateur game during the remainder of the 1930s, but kept a low profile.

Gruman returned to his role as a referee and judge upon boxing's return to Portland in 1942, and would remain as an official through at least 1961. His last known appearance at this time is as a referee for Denny Moyer's victory over Emile Griffith.

Gruman refereed one World Title bout during his career: Manuel Ortiz's decision win over Kenny Lindsay on January 1, 1943, in Portland. He also judged one title bout: Don Jordan's Welterweight Title decision win over Portland native Denny Moyer in 1959; also in Portland.

He died in 1977 at age 81.