Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Don Chargin Remembers Close Friend Carmen Basilio

By Ryan Maquiñana

Every summer, California-based promoter Don Chargin makes an annual trip to Canastota, N.Y., to visit old friends and fellow enshrinees at the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

When he returns to “The Showplace of Boxing” next year, he will do it with a heavy heart as Carmen Basilio, the man who always sits next him during the induction speeches, has passed away at age 85 due to complications from pneumonia.

“Carmen was one of my best friends in boxing, and it was always a pleasure to see him there [at the Hall of Fame] every year,” Chargin told BoxingScene.com Wednesday morning.

“He meant so much to the sport.  Carmen’s the reason why they have the Hall of Fame in Canastota, because it was his hometown and also of his nephew, [former welterweight champion] Billy Backus.”

Despite living on opposite sides of the country, Chargin had kept in contact with Basilio and his wife Josie over the years via telephone.

“He was a great guy and a real joker, too,” Chargin said.  “[He was] a lot of fun to be around.  It killed me because every year I could see him deteriorating, and I just feel terrible.  It was not unexpected.  I talked to Josie a couple weeks ago, who takes care of him, and she told me he wasn’t doing well.  I’m really going to miss him.”

Basilio (56-16-7, 27 KOs), a relentless pressure fighter out of a converted southpaw stance, was renowned for his unwavering grit—one that willed him to world titles at welterweight and middleweight.

“The Upstate Onion Farmer” secured his first championship in 1955 when he stopped 147-pound king Tony DeMarco in 12 rounds.  Two years later, he would capture the 160-pound crown, earning a split decision victory over Sugar Ray Robinson.  Both battles were part of a string of five consecutive Ring Magazine Fights of the Year in which Basilio participated (1955-59).

“As a fighter, he was really something, a great welterweight and middleweight,” Chargin said.  “His fights with Ray Robinson were epic.  This guy was so tough, it was unbelievable the chin and guts he had.  His eye would be a bloody mess and you wouldn’t be able to notice him, but he just kept coming. 

“Think of all the guys he fought.  There were those great fights with Tony DeMarco and Gene Fullmer.  I could go on and on.  Every fight was a war, and Carmen was as much a warrior as there’s ever been.”

Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com.  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Frank Ducketts on 11-08-2012

9 of them are wrong! R.I.P Mr Basilio!

Comment by New England on 11-08-2012

[QUOTE=edgarg;12676594]I always regard this as a humourous comment. What good is it if he has forgotten it..........[/QUOTE] if he's forgotten more than others know, just think of all the great stuff he remembers...

Comment by edgarg on 11-07-2012

[QUOTE=mrpain81;12675501][I]Chargin has forgotten more about boxing then most of us will ever know.[/I][/QUOTE] I always regard this as a humourous comment. What good is it if he has forgotten it..........

Comment by mrpain81 on 11-07-2012

[I]Chargin has forgotten more about boxing then most of us will ever know.[/I]

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Sullivan Barrera vs. Felix Valera Part of HBO Triple on Nov. 25 Video: Richard Schaefer Talks World Boxing Super Series Ronnie Shields: Lara's Style is His Style - I Won't Change it For Critics! Photos: Ruiz vs. Montano - Boxeo Telemundo Weights Milan Melindo vs. Hekkie Budler Rematch Ordered By The IBF Schaefer: WBSS Has Elevated the Entire Cruiserweight Division News: Montgomery Brothers, Ruben Villa, Dutchover, More Demetrius Andrade: Golovkin Beat Canelo - I Want GGG Next! DiBella: Wilder vs. Whyte To Get Joshua is Stupid, Whyte Irrelevant! Photos: Murat Gassiev, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk - Go Face To Face David Haye: If I Beat Bellew, But Scrape Through - I May Retire! Sosa, Castellanos Plan For War on Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy Card Photos: Joe Joyce, Ian Lewison - Ready For Battle Top Rank on ESPN - Television Ratings, Numbers, Statistics Gabriel Gonzaga Ready For His Pro Boxing Debut Gervonta Davis To Stand Trial on Assault Charge on November 29 Katie Taylor Won't Let Title Opportunity Slip, Hungry To Win Belt David Benavidez: I Wanted Gavril Again To Prove Doubters Wrong Lara: Andrade is Broke, Frustrated & Getting Worse by The Fight Roach: Will Be Hard for Retired Cotto to Resist Canelo-GGG Winner Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence-Thurman, Charlo, Lubin, PEDs, More Joshua Expects Late KO: Takam's Head is a Block of Cement! Steve Collins Granted Licence To Box Again Euro News: Teper-Lazarides, Braekhus-Lauren II, Jamoye Retires Hearn Talks Possibility of Joshua Fighting Overseas in Early 2018 Rob Brant's Promoter Confident Boxer Will Win WBSS at 168 DeGale: Can't Moan Over Canelo-GGG Draw, It Was Close Fight Joshua Backs Bellew To Overcome Haye Again, Win Rematch Burnett-Zhakiyanov: Unification and Foundation Sanchez: If Canelo Rematch Is Made, GGG Won't Fight Before Then Orlando Salido Confident He Has The Tools To Unseat Berchelt Malignaggi: Me vs. McGregor would sell a lot, draw a lot in boxing! Top Rank Prez: Crawford, Horn Will Not Wait For Pacquiao Vargas: Golden Boy Didn't Offer Enough Money to Fight Cotto Photos: Gabe Rosado, Glen Tapia Ready For War in Las Vegas Wlodarczyk: I'm Not Sold On Gassiev; Could've Lost to Lebedev Hearn: I'd Like Wilder To Fight Whyte - Winner Gets Joshua Shot Warren: Saunders Has To Look A Million Dollars Against Lemieux Jezreel Corrales vs. Alberto Machado - Training Camp Notes Rosa vs. Evans Tops ShoBox Quadrupleheader, November 10
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement