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Best Italian-American Boxers of All Time

Updated on April 10, 2017

Willie Pep vs Sandy Saddler 2

Willie Pep lost the featherweight crown to Sandy Saddler but in the rematch, Pep won back his crown and gained revenge at the same time.
Willie Pep lost the featherweight crown to Sandy Saddler but in the rematch, Pep won back his crown and gained revenge at the same time. | Source

Willie Pep (Middletown, Connecticut)

"The Will of the Wisp" is widely regarded as the best featherweight boxer ever and many feel he is the best defensive prizefighter in history as we.. Willie Pep retired with a remarkable record reading: 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts to his credit. Pep is a two-time world featherweight champion who was fast with his hands and feet plus he was slick with his head and body movement. Besides his defense, the jab was Pep's key on offense along with timing.

The best wins in the career of Mr. Pep are defeating Sandy Saddler, Chalky Wright, Manuel Ortiz and Paddy DeMarco.

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Rocky Marciano vs Ezzard Charles

Rocky Mariano defended the heavyweight championship against Ezzard Charles twice, winning once by decision and once by T.K.O.
Rocky Mariano defended the heavyweight championship against Ezzard Charles twice, winning once by decision and once by T.K.O. | Source

Rocky Marciano (Brockton, Massachusetts)

"The Brockton Blockbuster" is the former world heavyweight champion and he retired undefeated with a record that stands at: 49-0 with 43 knockouts before the final bell. Rocky was short and he had a short reach for a heavyweight boxer but he had devastating K.O. power in both hands and he was relentless with his attack to the head and body with endless stamina too! Rocky had heart and he has came back from the brink of defeat a few times.

Mr. Marciano has had some fantastic and explosive victories but his best were beating Jersey Joe Walcott (twice), Archie Moore, Joe Louis, and Ezzard Charles (twice).

Tony Canzoneri (Former Three Division World Champion)

Tony Canzoneri won the featherweight titles, the lightweight title twice and the junior welterweight championshi twice.
Tony Canzoneri won the featherweight titles, the lightweight title twice and the junior welterweight championshi twice. | Source

Tony Canzoneri (Slidell, Louisiana)

Tony Canzoneri is a former featherweight champion, 2-time lightweight king and 2-time junior welterweight champion. He retired with a resume reading: 137-24-10 with 44 wins coming before the final bell. Average power and speed but he had an abundance of ring skills and when he was on he was nearly impossible to topple.

Mr. Canzoneri has had great wins in his hall of fame career and his top victories came against Jimmy McLarnin, Lou Ambers, Jack Kid Berg and Johnny Dundee.

Tony Canzoneri- Ring Legend (Video)

Jake La Motta (Former Middleweight Champion)

Jake La Motta has a book and a movie about his life called "Raging Bull".
Jake La Motta has a book and a movie about his life called "Raging Bull". | Source

Jake La Motta (Bronx, New York)

"The Bronx Bull" is the former middleweight champion of the world and he is known for having, one of if not the best, chins in the sport's history. Jake LaMotta retired from the squared circle with a record that stands at: 83-19-4 with 30 stoppages on his docket. LaMota had a solid jab, he was accurate with his right hands and hooks and he was always coming forward inflicting an onslaught of punches.

Mr. LaMotta's best accomplishments came from topping Sugar Ray Robinson, Marcel Cerdan, Holman Williams and Tony Janiro.

Carmen Basilio vs Ray Robinson

Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson is seen here gracing the cover of Life magazine.
Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson is seen here gracing the cover of Life magazine. | Source

Carmen Basilio (Canastota, New York)

"The Upstate Onion Farmer" is a two-time welterweight and former middleweight champion. Carmen Basilio retired with a record reading: 56-16-7 with 27 stoppages. He had great stamina and he was an accurate puncher up and downstairs. Usually, Basilio would out punch and out land his foes and that would be the difference.

Mr. Basilio's best wins came from defeating Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony DeMarco, Ike Williams and Billy Graham, among many others.

Birthplace of Carmen Basilio (Canastota, NY)

Rocky Graziano vs Tony Zale

The Rock fought the "Man of Steel" three times in 160 pound (middleweight) title bouts.
The Rock fought the "Man of Steel" three times in 160 pound (middleweight) title bouts. | Source

Rocky Graziano (New York, NY)

"The Rock" is the former middleweight champ and he is known for his devastating, one punch K.O. power especially his huge right hand which has leveled some solid boxers. Rocky Graziano retired with a record standing at: 67-10-6 with 52 big wins coming via knockout.

Mr. Graziano is a tremendously powerful knockout artist. the best wins in his ring career came from beating Tony Zale, Tony Janiro, Al Bummy Davis and Freddie Cochrane.

Rocky Graziano vs Sugar Ray Robinson (Video)

The Fargo Express

Billy Petrolle, who was raised in a fighting family was a former top rated lightweight contender who once challenged for a world title.
Billy Petrolle, who was raised in a fighting family was a former top rated lightweight contender who once challenged for a world title. | Source

Billy Petrolle (Berwick, Pennsylvania)

"The Fargo Express" was a top ranked lightweight contender who would have been a champion in most eras. Billy Petrolle has a record that says: 89-21-10 with 66 knockouts. This boxer-puncher could box in circles landing punches on the move or fight on the inside and flatten his opponents with deadly, short hooks.

Mr. Patrolle has some really good victories but his best come from topping Battling Battalino, Jimmy McLarnin, Tony Canzoneri and Jackie Kid Berg.

Billy Petrolle vs Barney Ross (Video)

Lou Ambers vs Henry Armstrong Fight Ticket

Lou Ambers lost his welterweight championship to the legendary Henry Armstrong.
Lou Ambers lost his welterweight championship to the legendary Henry Armstrong. | Source

Lou Ambers (Herkimer, New York)

"The Herkimer Hurricane" is a two-time lightweight (135 pounds) champion and he left the prize ring sporting a mark of: 91-8-7 with 28 knockouts. A sublime boxer with quick hands, a beautiful jab and good footwork, Ambers also knew how to brawl on the inside when he had to. This guy really knew all the ins and outs of the sport and on his best days he was hard to hit with more than one shot at a time.

Mr. Ambers has several huge wins including beating Henry Armstrong, Baby Arizmendi, Tony Canzoneri and Fritzie Zivic.

Joey Maxim vs Sugar Ray Robinson

Joey Maxim beat Sugar Ray Robinson by 14th round knockout in defense of his light heavyweight (175 pounds) title fight.
Joey Maxim beat Sugar Ray Robinson by 14th round knockout in defense of his light heavyweight (175 pounds) title fight. | Source

Joey Maxim (Cleveland, Ohio)

Joey Maxim is the former light heavyweight (175 pounds) champion and he left the prize ring with a mark that reads: 83-29-4 with 22 stoppage victories as a part of his credentials. A light puncher but a speedy, volume puncher that could box well from a distance, controlling the bout with excellent timing and he dominated some solid boxers.

Mr. Maxim's biggest wins came from toppling champions and contenders, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Patterson, Freddie Mills and Jimmy Bivins.

Joey Giardello vs Ruben Carter

Joey Giardello beat Ruben Hurricane Carter by decision in their middleweight title scrap.
Joey Giardello beat Ruben Hurricane Carter by decision in their middleweight title scrap. | Source

Joey Giardello (Brooklyn, New York)

Joey Giardello is the former middleweight world champion who left the ring sporting a mark standing at: 98-26-8 with 31 stoppage wins. A lot of heart and good stamina helped this prizefighter out on some occasions when he was being out boxed early.

Mr. Giardello's top victories came against Rubin Carter, Dick Tiger, Sugar Ray Robinson and Henry Hank.

© 2017 Buster Johnson

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 4 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Great job. My dad got see a lot of them fight. He always liked Carmen Bisilio.

      I'll give a shout out to Vito Antuofermo. His fights against Hagler and Minter were classic.

      Sharing everywhere.