Roberto Velasquez was a talented young boxer training in Puerto Rico whose future as a professional was uncertain due to his meager size and weight, prompting Velasquez to accept an offer from Miami crime boss Armando Avilés to undergo an experimental physical augmentation treatment. Unknown to Velásquez, Avilés was in league with the Power Broker, a Los Angeles-based criminal organizer who used the strength augmentation process developed by criminal research scientist Dr. Karl Malus to create an army of super-powered henchmen. In his first match after receiving the treatment, Velásquez inadvertently killed his opponent and went into hiding, refusing to join Avilés' gang. After his friend was killed by Hammerhead, an augmented boxer working for Avilés, Velásquez, as "the Battling Bantam", joined forces with Captain America to raid Power Broker, Inc.'s Miami Base and defeat Hammerhead.
Bantam later split his time between super heroics and training other boxers at Trini's Gymnasium in San Juan (knowing that he was too powerful to ever step into the ring himself).
After enactment of the SHRA, Bantam was among the heroes who immediately registered with the government and subsequently confronted the unregistered hero known as Thunderclap on a Manhattan street, believing he could convince Thunderclap to register through force. In the ensuing battle, Bantam was thrust into an oil truck, which exploded and killed the hero.
Powers and Abilities:
The Power Broker's physical augmentation treatments imbued Bantam with superhuman Class 10 strength, durability, stamina, agility and endurance as well as enhanced speed. In particular, his skin was durable enough to repel conventional arms fire. He was an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant intensively trained in American boxing, although he had a tendency to lose focus and fly into a berserker rage while in combat.