Richie Sandoval retired after suffering a brutal knockout defeat to Gaby Canizales, in defense of his WBA bantamweight title. Sandoval was knocked out and fell unconscious a few minutes after the fight. He stopped breathing for about three minutes and was rushed to the local hospital, where he remained in critical condition for the next few nights. Sandoval had life saving brain surgery. Had he not had the brain surgery, doctors prognosed he would have died. Because of the type of procedure involved in the surgery, he would not be allowed to fight again as he would have been in greater risk of dying. It's believed that he is the only known "survivor" in the boxing world from this type of brain injury. Sandoval's brother Alberto was also a bantamweight contender during the early 1980s.
Sandoval now works as a trainer for Top Rank in Las Vegas, NV.
Sandoval was the 1979 National AAU light flyweight champion and 1980 National AAU flyweight champion. Sandoval also qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games as a Flyweight, but did not compete due to the United States' boycott.
| WBA Bantamweight Champion
1984 Apr 7 – 1986 Mar 10