Advertisement
Advertisement

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 Povetkin's Promoter: I Think We'll Reach Wilder Deal Without Bids McWilliams Arroyo Confident He Can Shock Roman Gonzalez Froch: I Think About a Comeback Every Day, But I'm Realistic Felix Verdejo Has April Fight Set For Puerto Rico Willie Monroe Return is Pushed Back After Opponent Snafu Santa Cruz vs. Martinez: Hunter, Mendez, Marrero Added Marquez: Khan Can Win, But Canelo Can KO Him at Any Time Roman Gonzalez-McWilliams Arroyo Done For Golovkin-Wade Avtandil Khurtsidze, Giovanni Lorenzo Set For Broadway Boxing Vargas Predicts He'll Make Sadam Ali Quit; 'Not On My Level' Wlodarczyk Faces Brudov on 3/4, Shumenov in Play For April Abel Sanchez Not Viewing Andre Ward's Inactivity as Advantage Quigg Motivated By Fear of Losing as Frampton Bout Nears Khan: Mayweather, Pacquiao Would Be Easier Than Canelo! Ballisai Replaces Kevin Mitchell in Tatli EBU Title Fight on 3/18 Pungluang Sor Singyu Retains WBO Belt With Technical Nod Win Mayweather Stumped on Who Would Win Fury vs. Wilder Floyd Mayweather: Timing Was Not Right For Amir Khan Bout Roy Jones Jr. and Kevin Mitchell: A Tale of Two Retirements McWilliams Arroyo Creeps In, Eyed For Roman Gonzalez Bout Marquez Says There Have Been Talks For Miguel Cotto Bout Photos: Povetkin Getting Jacked, in Beast Mode For Deontay Wilder Estrada's Promoter Questions Chocolatito's Pound For Pound Rank Luis Ortiz Content With Random Testing To Prove He's Clean Bob Arum: I Don't Ever Want To Retire! Why Would I? Robert Garcia Hopes Brother Mikey is Back in First Half of 2016 Tarver's Suspension Upheld, Fined $50K For Positive PED Test Lucas Matthysse-Pablo Cesar Cano Showdown in Talks Bob Arum Continues To Be The Master of Salesmanship Pungluang Sor Singyu Defends WBO Belt Against Pabustan Luis Ortiz Hopes Activity Level Doesn't Slow Down Anytime Soon Chavez Jr. Training Hard For Possible Jack Bout, Says Garcia Lebedev Will Go With Ramirez Unification First, Then Mandatory Mike Tyson Returns For Round 2 at The MGM Grand Antonio Orozco-Miguel Acosta Set For 3/25 at Fantasy Springs David Haye Tells Joshua Not To Risk His '0' Before They Fight McGuigan Believes Frampton vs. Quigg is a Crossover Fight Flanagan-Mathews: Zolani Tete To Face Jose Santos Gonzalez Sullivan Barrera: My Goal is To Knock Andre Ward Out! Blackwell-Eubank Jr. Set For March 26 At Wembley
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement