Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Boxing Great Carmen Basilio, 85, Passes Away

By Jake Donovan

Boxing great Carmen Basilio, a former two-time world champion, passed away early Wednesday morning at the age of 85. Basilio died at approximately 3:00AM in Rochester Memorial Hospital, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
 
A true people’s champion in upstate New York, Basilio won world championships at welterweight and middleweight. His welterweight title winning effort over Tony DeMarco in June ’55 made Basilio the first ever world champion for trainer Angelo Dundee, who passed away earlier this year.

Known as the ‘Onion Farmer’ during his 13-year career, Basilio served as one of the very best in an era that included Sugar Ray Robinson, widely considered as the greatest boxer of all time. Basilio beat Robinson to win the World middleweight crown in what was recognized as the Fight of the Year in 1957. 

The win made Basilio a two-time world champion, moving up in weight after having served two tours as welterweight king. It was also the last truly great moment in a truly great career; Basilio lost the crown to Robinson in their rematch six months later.

Basilio fought for another three years following the loss to Robinson. He never strayed far from the top, losing twice to Gene Fullmer and coming up short against defending world champion Paul Pender in his final fight before calling it a career in 1961, with a record of 56-16-7 (27KO).

A native of Canastota, Basilio’s existence in the town played a major factor in it serving as the location for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was a part of the inaugural class inducted in 1990 and a fixture in its annual festivities every June. 

The Hall of Fame has announced that its flag will be flown at half-staff in honor of its local hero.

“Carmen put Canastota on the worldwide boxing map and gave the village’s residents a sense of pride that couldn’t be matched anywhere in the world,” the IBHOF’s executive director, Edward Brophy, said in a statement. “During the 1950s and 1960s Carmen was everyone’s hero. 

“They talked about him in the coffee shops, grocery stores, gas stations and barbershops all the time. And they still talk about him today. He was loved, respected and idolized. His career and memories will last forever in the Village of Canastota.”

Basilio relocated to Irondequoit in 1985, where lived until his final days. His time spent in the Rochester suburb included a stint as the spokesperson for Genesee Beer. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Rk16 on 11-09-2012

RIP one of the toughest fighters ever

Comment by prinzemanspopa on 11-09-2012

No boxing fan should ever need an excuse to watch his fights with Tony DeMarco,but it's probably appropriate in this time.

Comment by Alx. on 11-08-2012

atg, r.i.p champ

Comment by Thickear on 11-08-2012

You don't have to have flair to be great. Carmen was no fancy dan but he was a GREAT fighter because he knew what to do in there, knew how to do it, and had everything required to get it…

Comment by TBear on 11-08-2012

Gone but not forgotten RIP Champ

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (43)
Top Headlines Shane Mosley Jr. Motivated To Impress on Pacquiao-Horn Card Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury Now in Manchester, September 23 Fortune: Plain and Simple - Horn Has No Shot To Beat Pacquiao! Team Rigondeaux on Lomachenko: We're Calling Your 130 Bluff! Photos: Tomasz Adamek Returns, Defeats Solomon Haumono Duran: If McGregor is Serious, He'll Break Mayweather's Legs Rigondeaux Wants Lomachenko at 126, Worried He'll Go To 135 Omar Chavez Wants To Get His Hands on Antonio Margarito Roach: I Have Not Seen This Manny Pacquiao in Seven Years! Pacquiao: I've Never Been This Motivated, Fired Up For a Fight! Loeffler: Canelo-GGG, Mayweather-McGregor Both Will Do Well Lomachenko's Manager Dares Rigondeaux: Come Up To 130! Broner Trainer: Garcia Is 'No Marcos Maidana, No Shawn Porter' Light Heavy Holds, Burnett Enters at 118: BScene Ratings Update Buatsi Confident Joshua Will Guide Him Proper To a World Title Carlos Negron Drops Derric Rossy Twice, Stops Him in Four Anthony Fowler Eager To Improve Despite Second Win Manny Pacquiao: Horn is No Easy Fight, He's a Tough Opponent Hopkins Rips Mayweather: Shows a Lack of Respect For Boxing! Golovkin-Canelo and the Allure of Exclusivity Javier Fortuna Crushes Mario Beltre in Two Rounds Carlos Diaz Stays on Track, Decisions Sergio Puente Over Ten BJ Flores Dominates Nick Guivas, Wants Bigger Fight Golovkin: Everyone Knows Saunders is Not Serious, He's a Clown Tyrone Brunson Gets Off The Mat To Blast Out Kermit Cintron Santa Cruz's Father Wants Interim-Bout Before Mares Rematch Heather Hardy Wins MMA Debut With TKO on Bellator Card Photos: Manny Pacquiao Hits Brisbane For Jeff Horn Showdown Mayweather Trainer: McGregor-Van Heerden Sparring Could Be Staged Tomasz Adamek, Glowacki, Masternak Pick Up Wins in Poland Pacquiao: I Expect Horn To Go Toe To Toe, It's Going To Be a War Deontay Wilder Ready To Travel For The Right Deal, Says DiBella British Squad Claims Record Eight Medals in Euro Championships Bradley Saunders Puts Injury Nightmare To Bed Vasyl Lomachenko To Fight in August, But Against Whom? Nam-Joon Lee Decisions Gomera, Captures WBA Asia Title Javier Fortuna Stays Busy With Santo Domingo Return Josh Kelly Watched Some Roy Jones Before 79-Second Win Dana White: We'll Learn From Mayweather-Pacquiao Mistakes Juan Manuel Marquez Return Now in Play For August 19
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement