This article appears on Boxing News and is written by Rolando Vitale, author of The Real Rockys: A History of the Golden Age of Italian Americans in Boxing 1900-1955.
The all-time top 10 Italian American boxers
HERE are some greats who just missed the cut. These include explosive knockout artist Rocky Graziano best remembered for his slugfest trilogy with Tony Zale which rank as the most savage duels ever witnessed inside a boxing ring. Harry Jeffra, a two-weight champion, beat great bantamweight Sixto Escobar of Puerto Rico in four out of their five bouts. Skilful Fidel La Barba and Frankie Genaro, both Olympic gold medallists, went on to dominate the flyweight division during the twenties. Joey Maxim, former world light-heavyweight champion beat Jersey Joe Walcott, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Patterson, Gus Lesnevich and Freddie Mills and Hall of Famer Jimmy Bivins staying in the world’s top ten for eleven years. Sammy Angott, the two-time world lightweight champion, knew how to get the job done. He defeated eleven world champions including Lew Jenkins, Bob Montgomery three times and was the first man to end Willie Pep’s unbeaten streak. Young Corbett III, ex-welterweight champ, is an unsung hero among the pantheon of Italian American champions. The durable southpaw won 123 and drew 17 out of 151 contests and defeated champions Young Jack Thompson three times, Jackie Fields twice, Ceferino Garcia twice and Hall of Famers Billy Conn and Mickey Walker. Sammy Mandell, former world lightweight titleholder, was a class act and for a time during the twenties he was untouchable beating the likes of Jimmy McLarnin, Jackie Fields, Tony Canzoneri and Rocky Kansas. Fred Apostoli was the most fearsome two fisted pug of the mid-thirties. He beat champions Solly Krieger, Lou Brouillard, and “Babe”Risko but is best remembered for his savage ninth round demolition of Freddie Steele, the world middleweight champion.
So who did make the cut? View the Top 10 List at Boxing News.