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 Photos: Gervonta Davis, Jesus Cuellar - Ready For WBA Title Fight Photos: Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno - Ready For Title Fight Photos: Adrien Broner, Jessie Vargas - Ready For War Frampton Admits a Loss To Donaire Could Mean End of Career Broner Weighs In Heavier Than Vargas for Their 144-Pound Fight Photos: Otto Wallin, Adrian Granat - Ready For a Viking War Gervonta Davis Makes Weight on First Try - First Time in 3 Fights WBC Reveal Huge List of Boxers Not Drug Testing With CBP/VADA LIVE Stream: Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas - Official Weigh-In Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz Finalized For May 19 at MGM Harbor Khan: I Want To End Career With a Big Bang, I'm Still in My Prime Max Ornelas, Tony Lopez Fight For Bragging Rights on beIN Pacquiao: I Still Have a Couple of More Fights Before I Retire Povetkin's Promoter Claims $4.3 Million Court Win Over Wilder Photos: Frampton, Donaire Prepare For Fireworks in Belfast Photos: Amir Khan, Phil Lo Greco - Ready For War in Liverpool Hugo Centeno Reflects on Stoppage Loss To Maciej Sulecki Jesus Cuellar: Gervonta Davis is Overrated; He's No Mayweather! Broner on Vargas: He Ain't Win His Fights When He Stepped Up Hearn: We Won't Let You Play With Our Balls To Overpay Wilder! BoxingScene.com's Television Picks of The Week - April 20 Max Ornelas: I'll Do Whatever it Takes To Be a World Champion Vanes Martirosyan: Canelo is a Cheater, Golovkin is a Gentleman Khan vs. Lo Greco: Bilal Rehman To Remain On Card Amir Khan: If I Lose To Lo Greco - It's All Over For Me Jessie Vargas: No One Will Care About Broner After I Beat Him Euro News: Serge Michel, Stefan Haertel, Elvis Hetemi, More Photos: Pacquiao, Matthysse - Go Face To Face in Malaysia Pacquiao Expects a "Toe To Toe" Fight With Lucas Matthysse Don King Warns That Vanes Will Bring a Real Fight To Golovkin Lamont Roach, Orlando Cruz Fight To a Ten Round Split Draw WBC Prez: Canelo's Image Can Improve, Time To Turn The Page Sullivan Barrera Wants The Winner of Kovalev-Alvarez Khan: I Hoped Canelo Would Get Longer Ban, A Few Years at Least Video: Adrien Broner Goes Bonkers on Ellerbe at Final Presser Abel Sanchez Reacts To Canelo Suspension, Sends Message To WBC Photos: Ramon Alvarez, Jorge Paez Jr - Go Face To Face Golovkin vs. Martirosyan: Huge Crowd Expected at Stubhub Photos: Gervonta Davis, Jesus Cuellar - Square Up at Barclays Photos: Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno - Go Face To Face
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement