Manuel Ortiz( born, July 2, 1916. died, May 31, 1970.) was one of the very best boxers of the 1940s, and was named to Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years. In 1996, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Ortiz, who was of Mexican American descent, started an amateur career in 1937. Within a year, Ortiz won the Southern California Amateur Flyweight Title, the Golden Gloves Title, and the National AAU title in Boston. He also defeated Chief Lopez, who was an Olympic runner-up, and Bobby Hagar(father of former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar) twice. In their first fight, Ortiz decked Hagar 17 times. In their second match, Ortiz decked Hager twenty times.
Ortiz turned pro in 1938 and in 1942 won the World Bantamweight Title by beating Lou Salica. He defended the title 15 times before losing to Harold Dade in 1947. He regained the title in a rematch later in the year, and defended the title five more times before losing the belt to Vic Toweel in 1950. He retired 5 years later in 1955.