Tony Galento

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Tony Galento
Tony Galento.jpg
Galento in November, 1938
Statistics
Real nameDominick Anthony Galento
Nickname(s)Two Ton Tony
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Reach175 cm (69 in)?
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg  American
Born(1910-03-12)March 12, 1910
Orange, New Jersey, United States
DiedJuly 22, 1979(1979-07-22) (aged 69)
Orange, New Jersey, United States
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights112
Wins80
Wins by KO57
Losses26
Draws5
No contests1

Domenico Antonio Galento (March 12, 1910 July 22, 1979) was an American heavyweight boxer. Nicknamed "Two Ton" for his reasoning to his manager for being nearly late to one of his fights: "I had two tons of ice to deliver on my way here". Galento was one of the most colorful fighters in the history of the sport. He wrestled an octopus, and boxed a kangaroo as publicity stunts for his fights. He also boxed a 550 lb. (250 kg) bear, as a stage attraction.

Heavyweight is a weight class in combat sports.

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

Octopus order of molluscs

The octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda. Around 300 species are recognised, and the order is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with squids, cuttlefish, and nautiloids. Like other cephalopods, the octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beak, with its mouth at the center point of the eight limbs. The soft body can rapidly alter its shape, enabling octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They trail their eight appendages behind them as they swim. The siphon is used both for respiration and for locomotion, by expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight, and are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.

Contents

Style

Galento was a "no holds barred" brawler, with a wicked left hook, who never let such niceties as the ring rules, or sportsmanship, interfere with his goal to knock out the other fighter. During his prime years as a boxer, Galento owned and operated a bar named "The Nut Club" in Orange, New Jersey. He was reputed to do his roadwork (training) after he closed the bar at 2:00 a.m. When asked why he trained at night, Galento replied, "Cuz I fight at night." Galento was also known to refrain from showering to encourage body odor in a strategy to distract his opponent. Max Baer commented "He smelled of rotten tuna and a tub of old liquor being sweated out".

Hook (boxing) punch in boxing, performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent; usually aimed at the jaw or (less often) the liver

A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent. A hook is usually aimed at the jaw, but it can also be used for body shots, especially to the liver.

Orange, New Jersey Township in New Jersey, United States

The City of Orange is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 30,134, reflecting a decline of 2,734 (-8.3%) from the 32,868 counted in 2000, which had in turn increased by 2,943 (+9.8%) from the 29,925 counted in the 1990 Census.

New Jersey State of the United States of America

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Northeastern United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, particularly along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states; its biggest city is Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia and was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

Training

Galento, who claimed to be 5'9 (177 cm) tall, liked to weigh in at about 235 lb (107 kg) for his matches. He achieved this level of fitness by eating whatever, whenever he wanted. A typical meal for Galento consisted of six chickens, a side of spaghetti, all washed down with a half gallon of red wine, or beer, or both at one sitting. When he did go to training camp, he foiled his trainer's attempts to modify his diet, and terrorized his sparring partners by eating their meals in addition to his.

He was reputed to train on beer, and allegedly ate 52 hot dogs on a bet before facing heavyweight Arthur DeKuh. Galento was supposedly so bloated before the fight that the waist line of his trunks had to be slit for him to fit into them. Galento claimed that he was sluggish from the effects of eating all those hot dogs, and that he could not move for three rounds. Nevertheless, Galento knocked out the 6'3" (192 cm) DeKuh with one punch, a left hook, in the fourth round.

Heavyweight Championship

On June 28, 1939 Galento fought for the heavyweight championship of the world against Joe Louis. At this time, Louis was heavily favored (8 to 1) to stop Galento. Galento was not impressed. In a pre-fight interview, Galento summed up his perspective on the fight as follows:

Joe Louis American boxer

Joseph Louis Barrow, best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber", Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 title defenses, second only to Julio César Chávez with 27. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time".

He also predicted that he would "moida da bum", and would telephone Louis daily to personally inform him that he was a bum and that Galento would "moida him"—this colorful version of early tubthumping, seems in retrospect, to be Galento's standard manner of presentation (LOOK Magazine, March 14, 1939; Vol. 3, No. 6). [1] Louis later said "He called me everything." Though known as a splendid self-promoter, Tony had the significant help of "Uncle" Mike Jacobs to sell the fight via ballyhoo, alone. Jacobs frequently posed Galento for photo ops and new stories, with beer bottles, steins and kegs; an openly clowning shot, had Tony drinking from a milk bottle, with Jacobs trying to grab it away. [2] Long before George Foreman as a cheeseburger eating contender, Tony Galento captured fans' imaginations as a challenger who trained on beer. It would seem almost necessary that, in order to show he was serious and properly prepared for the Louis fight, Galento stated that he had not taken alcohol for two days before the bout.

Mike Jacobs (boxing) boxing promoter

Michael Strauss Jacobs was a boxing promoter, arguably the most powerful in the sport from the mid-1930s until his effective retirement in 1946. He was posthumously elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1982, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

George Foreman American professional boxer, ordained Baptist minister, author and entrepreneur

George Edward Foreman is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1969 to 1977, and from 1987 to 1997. Nicknamed "Big George", he is a two-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist. Outside the sport he is an ordained minister, author, and entrepreneur.

The two fought in Yankee Stadium in New York City. The short, balding Galento stunned the crowd, and his opponent, by staggering and hurting Louis with a powerful left hook in the first round. In the second round, Louis began hitting Galento with vicious combinations, opened a cut in Galento's mouth and floored the challenger with a powerful left hook that actually lifted Galento off his feet. This was the first time Galento had ever been knocked down in his professional career. In the third round, Louis was again hitting Galento with combinations when Galento caught him with a wild left hook; this time Louis went down. Louis, however, got up quickly, but took no chances for the remainder of the round. The fourth round was brutal for Galento, who had no defense and was wide open for Louis' assault. Louis hit him with murderous combinations which forced the referee to finally stop the bout.

Yankee Stadium Baseball stadium in The Bronx, New York City

Yankee Stadium is a baseball park located in Concourse, Bronx, New York City. It is the home field for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB), and New York City FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). The $2.3 billion stadium, built with $1.2 billion in public subsidies, replaced the original Yankee Stadium in 2009. It is located one block north of the original, on the 24-acre (9.7 ha) former site of Macombs Dam Park; the 8-acre (3.2 ha) site of the original stadium is now a public park called Heritage Field.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

After the fight, Galento was unconsolable. Whitey Bimstein, acting cut man: "...he is sitting there with blood pouring from his eyes, his nose and his cheek. He won't let me touch the cuts. He won't let me take off his gloves He pushes me away every time I try to do something for him, and bellows, 'You guys wouldn't let me fight my own fight. I'd've knocked that mug cold.'" Galento contended throughout life, that his trainers convinced him to change styles, and to fight cleanly; he regretted he did not fight "his" fight and foul Louis. Only a year after the Louis fight, Bimstein offered a different perspective, asserting the bob and weave Tony adopted in the first two rounds was working, citing the knockdown of Louis in the second frame as proof. "Then (Galento) thought he was John L. Sullivan, and came up straight to slug," said Bimstein, "and you just can't do that with Louis." [3]

Joe Louis and Tony Galento appeared together on The Way It Was, a sports nostalgia program (PBS), on January 29, 1976. The episode was lively, due almost exclusively to Galento's still-direct and colorful style of engagement. Louis showed a surprising side of himself when, after fending off a question by veteran fight commentator Don Dunphy, regarding any ill feeling vs. Max Schmeling (Louis stating he and Schmeling had not truly been adversaries but indeed "good friends"), he then pointed at Galento and stated, "But that little fellow...he really got me mad. All those mean things he said about me while training for our fight. He got me mad, all right." Louis furthered this statement by revealing that his anger by fight time was such that he had decided to "carry" Galento, i.e. to drag the fight out in order to "punish him for those nasty things". After suffering the knockdown, however, Louis changed his mind: "[Galento] hit too hard. So I knocked him out as quickly as I could." [4]

Other fights

Galento's other two famous fights were with former champion Max Baer, and contender Lou Nova. The Nova fight is reputed to be one of the dirtiest and bloodiest fights ever fought. Nova was knocked down five times. Galento kneed, butted, gouged, hit below the belt, and on at least two knockdowns, Galento "fell" with his 230 lb (104 kg) on Nova, knees first. Referee George Blake finally stopped the mayhem at 2:44 of the 14th round.

Galento's fight with Max Baer ended when the referee stopped the bout in the eighth round. On the day of the Baer fight, Galento decided to first stop off at his bar. There he had a big bowl of spaghetti, with meat balls, washed down with half a case of beer. After his meal, Galento became embroiled in an argument with his brother. The dispute ended when his brother threw his beer glass in Galento's face, severely cutting his lip. Galento was forced to get the cut stitched up, hours before the fight. Baer re-opened the cut in the first round, forcing Galento to swallow blood for the remainder of the fight. After the fight, Galento blamed his inability to "hook him around the head and butt him" for the loss. His record was 80-26-5 with 57 knockouts.

Less known, possibly with good reason, is Galento's battle with Ernie Schaaf in 1932 (Newark). Schaaf was at the time ranked No. 3 by Ring Magazine, and the fight was considered a stepping stone to a title fight with then-champion Jack Sharkey. The fight seemed jinxed from the first, however, rained out three times before finally taking place. It went the scheduled 10-round distance, but was a seesaw affair, rife with brutal infighting and containing many illegal blows. Two-Ton Tony repeatedly struck Schaaf behind the neck with right hand chops ('rabbit punches'). Schaaf, who recovered quickly, was stronger at the end and won the decision, but did not leave his dressing room table for long hours, while Galento merely collected his purse and went home. Schaaf's career spiraled down, culminating in a harrowing beating from Max Baer, followed by his death from light blows early in his final fight, vs. Primo Carnera. Fight lore has long held Baer's devastating right hand responsible for the ring death of Schaaf, but in the hardline culture of the 1930s, Newark sportswriters were quick to claim Galento and the above battle-royal as having done the telling damage. [5]

Retirement

Galento retired from boxing in 1943, and applied his talents to the world of professional wrestling. He also turned to acting, and was given roles in Wind Across The Everglades (1958), The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956), Guys and Dolls (1955) and On the Waterfront (1954). He retained a kind of "folk hero" status, and was profiled several times, once by W.C. Heinz in TRUE Magazine (AUGUST, 1960; VOL. 41, NO. 279). [6]

Galento was interred in St. Johns Catholic Cemetery in Orange, New Jersey. [7]

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1954 On the Waterfront Truck
1955 Guys and Dolls Spectator at Hot Box ClubUncredited
1956 The Best Things in Life Are Free Fingers
1958 Wind Across The Everglades Beef(final film role)

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References

  1. McLemore, Henry (March 14, 1939). "Beer Barrel Buddha". LOOK. 3 (6).
  2. Miller, Margery (1945). Joe Louis: American (pre-ISBN First ed.). New York, NY: Current Books, Inc./A.A. Wyn. p. 115.
  3. Fried, Ronald K. (1991). Corner Men (First Edition, 1st Printing ed.). New York, NY: Four Walls Eight Windows. pp. 210–211. ISBN   0-941423-48-4.
  4. Dunphy, Don (1988). Don Dunphy At Ringside. New York: Henry Holt And Company. pp. 289 (includes Index). ISBN   0-8050-0530-7.
  5. Donovan, Joseph (1939). Galento the Great. New York: George Winn. pp. 118 (plus ring record).
  6. Heinz, W.C. (August 1960). "The Curious Career of the Primeval Pugilist". TRUE. 41 (279).
  7. Tony "Two-Ton" Galento, Find A Grave. Accessed August 23, 2007.

Bibliography

Joseph Monninger, Two Ton: One Night, One Fight ( ISBN   1-58642-115-8 Hardcover)

Joseph G. Donovan, "Galento the Great" (1939; George Winn, New York Hardcover)