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|Weight(s)||135 lb (61 kg)|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Born||August 19, 1913|
|Died||February 2, 1985 71)(aged|
|Wins||At Least 55|
|Wins by KO||25|
Tony Morgano (August 19, 1913 – February 2, 1984) was a dynamic left-handed professional boxer fighting out of South Philadelphia in the 1930s. He defeated five world champions in non-title fights including Freddie Miller, Baby Arizmendi, Tommy Paul, Lew Feldman, and Johnny Jadick. After his retirement from professional boxing he worked as an iron worker, and later served as a GOP committeeman in the Ninth Division of the 26th Ward of Philadelphia. Throughout his life he tirelessly gave back to the community, training approximately 1,250 young boxers, providing for retired fighters, and working with various charitable organizations throughout Philadelphia.
Morgano was an Italian-American boxer, born and raised in Philadelphia on Montrose Street, to Paul and Concetta Morgano. Tony had four brothers - Robert, Paul, Sam, and Edward and two sisters - Anne and Grace. His father Paul was an immigrant painter who died when he was five. As a result of this Tony was forced to grow up rather quickly. He finished the third grade and having spent a lot of time watching fighters train at the Olympic gym at Broad and Bainbridge streets, he started his boxing career - at the age of 12.
Morgano went undefeated as an amateur defeating 22 fighters. He weighed 88 pounds at the age of twelve, when he fought and won the Middle Atlantic AAU flyweight title. Fighters were not allowed to weigh under 100 pounds by rule so he filled his shoes with lead and tipped the scales at 105 pounds. In the next three years he won 21 fights.
In order to help his mother support his family, after winning a bout, he would be awarded "a Walton watch, and somebody at ringside would buy it from you for $2 or $3 dollars . I'd sell the watch and take the money home to Mom for food. I was boxing every night. It helped out."
Philadelphia, at this time, was a lightweight hotbed that included Cool, Massey, Willis, Tony Falco, Johnny Jadick, Tony Morgano, Georgie Gibbs, Young Firpo, and Benny Bass, that provided the city's boxing fans with an exciting local round-robin of cross-town rivalries and neighborhood feuds, as all of the above faced each other in hectic matches. Morgano finished his career with victories over both Cool, Gibbs, and Jadick.
Tony's professional career started almost by accident. A Camden promoter offered him $25 to be a stand-in against Pee Wee Ross, an experienced fighter. He took the fight on January 15, 1929, and in his own words "punch the stuffing out of Ross" He kept 5 dollars and gave 20 to his mother to help pay for food. Telegraphs revealed that much of his prize money in later fights would be sent back to his mother to help provide for his siblings. When it became known that he had fought for pay his amateur days were done. At 15, he found himself under contract to Max "Boo Boo" Hoff a local promoter. Prior to going with Hoff, Morgano was managed by Vincent "Jimmy" Barbieri (1907-2011), who at the age of 102 told stories of "his boy" Tony.
He boxed in the Philadelphia area until the age of 21, accumulating approximately 51 victories. He then teamed up with Frankie Caris, a middleweight, and traveled the nation boxing. They landed in California and Morgano became a star, entertaining and working with many Hollywood types. He rapidly defeated Georgie Hansford, Tommy Paul (ex featherweight champion) and Lew Feldman taking 9 out of 10 rounds on April 5, 1935. His only blemish during this stint came against Jimmy Christy which was considered an upset, they drew in a rematch.
During his time in California in 1935 he participated in musicals such as Golddiggers of Broadway with Dick Powell and Joan Blondell, a film with Mae West, and then another cowboy movie.
Upon his return to Philadelphia, in a period of four years he strung together at least 13 victories, with a loss to Billy Maher. It was well documented at the time that Morgano entered the bout with two broken ribs and a fractured ankle. Following this loss he defeated Tommy Speigal on September 27, 1940 for lightweight title however Morgano came in overweight and was not award the title as a result. Morgano retired in 1940 after a shattered hand.
Morgano finished his career with 55 victories, 11 defeats and at 25 kos.
During World War II he worked as a welder at the old New York Shipyard in Camden. After the war he became an ironworker and worked on several major projects. He soon married a young woman by the name of Patrica and had three sons, Kevin, Tony and Michael.
He became active in Republican Party politics serving as a GOP committeeman in the Ninth Division of the 26th Ward and ran for City Council and for state legislature.
Morgano gave much back to the community of South Philadelphia, working in his spare time with young boxers at the Police Athletic League and the Southside Boys club. Ge trained some 1,250 boxers over 30 years. His Southside Boys club competed for and won on several occasions the Pennsylvania Golden Gloves tournament.
Morgano served as longtime president of the Veteran's Boxing Association, and worked hard to better the lives of many ex boxers. Often staging events to support them.
Below represents a partial list of Morgano's professional bouts. Due to the incomplete record keeping of the time the list is unfinished and will be updated as more information becomes available.
|Loss||Aldo Spoldi||Decision||06-19-1941||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Buck Streator||Decision||05-08-1941||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Tommy Spiegal||Unanimous Decision||09-26-1940||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Was for title, Morgano would have been awarded had he not come in over weight|
|Loss||Billy Maher||05-24-1940||Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||lost in 8th round, in a previous fight with Maher, Morgano lost in the 5th had Novocaine injections, had two broken ribs and fractured ankle from training|
|Win||Lew Feldman||04-11-1940||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jimmy Lancaster||02-08-1940||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Lou Fortuna||01-18-1940||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jackie Sheppard||12-25-1939||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Two year layoff|
|Win||Johnny Dube||10-11-1937||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Snag Trowbridge||08-16-1937||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Young Raspi||08-02-1937||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Al Dunbar||TKO in 2nd||07-19-1937||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Freddie Cochrane||06-28-1937||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Bruce Flowers||03-13-1937||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Paper noted that Morgano easily defeated Flowers|
|Win||Dave Finn||Decision||10-28-1936||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Loss||Lew Massey||10-01-1936||Decision||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Johnny Jadick||01-16-1936||Decision||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Defeated Former junior welterweight champion|
|Loss||Joey Ferrando||12-25-1935||Decision||Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Morgano later went on to say this was the toughest fight of his career|
|Win||Jackie Willis||11-14-1935||TKO 4th round||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Draw||Johnny Craven||10-04-1395||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Loss||Eddie Cool||09-19-1935||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Also had a win and a draw against Cool Morgano told interviewers that Cool was the best fighter he ever competed against|
|Loss||Harry Serody||Decision||09-11-1935||Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Lew Feldman||Unanimous Decision||04-05-1935||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, US||Morgano won 9 out of 10 rounds|
|Draw||Jimmy Christy||03-08-1935||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, US|
|Loss||Jimmy Christy||Decision||02-08-1935||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, US|
|Win||Tommy Paul||12-28-1934||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, US||Ex featherweight champion|
|Win||Georgie Hansford||11-16-1934||Legion Stadium, Hollywood, California, US|
|Win||Georgie Gibs||1934||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Exact date unknown, victory mentioned in article in Philadelphia Inquirer|
|Win||Eddie Shea||04-09-1934||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Vincent Reed||02-22-1934||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Bobby Dean||01-18-1934||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, IS|
|Win||Harry Blitman||TKO||11-03-1932||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Tony Loftus||TKO||10-06-1932||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Loftus suffered a badly cut eye|
|Loss||Jackie Willis||TKO 7th round||03-03-1932||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Morgano suffered a badly cut right eye|
|Win||Midget Fox||02-08-1932||Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|Win||Ernie Caesar||TKO 3rd||01-28-1932||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jimmy Stewart||11-26-1931||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jimmy Donato||11-16-1931||Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, US|
|Win||Timmy Murphy||KO in 52 seconds of 1st round||10-12-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Draw||Lew Lafferty||08-29-1931||Atlantic City Auditorium, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|Win||Georgia Goldberg||TKO 7th||08-14-1931||Atlantic City Auditorium, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|Win||Steve Smith||TKO 6th round||06-29-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Young Johnny Brown||TKO 3rd||05-11-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Lew Lafferty||Decision||04-2-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Johnny Erickson||TKO 3rd round||04-13-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Al Mason||KO 2nd||03-30-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Billy Britton||TKO 4th round||02-23-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Griffie Kenbine||TKO 2nd||02-02-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Sammy Novia||TKO 2nd||01-12-1931||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Billy Kelly||KO 2nd 2 minutes 17 seconds||12-08-1930||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Matty White||11-24-1930||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Tommy Maroon||10-02-1930||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jimmy Savino||KO in 1st||08-18-1930||Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Eddie Cool||04-25-1930||Norristown, Pennsylvania, US|
|Loss||Danny Taub||Decision||04-03-1930||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Ray Stinger||Ko in 2nd||03-21-1930||Norristown, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jose Allano||03-0-1930||Auditorium, Norristown, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Al Coulon||Ko 4th round||02-21-1930||Norristown, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Al Coulon||Ko 2nd round||01-31-1930||Auditorium, Norristown, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Jack Stanley||Ko in 3rd round||12-12-1929||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Loss||Bobby Dechter||Decision||10-28-1929||Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|Win||Sammy Penzi||10-14-1929||North Side Boxing Club, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|Win||Johnny Bendon||Ko in 3rd||09-23-1929||North Side Boxing Club, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|Loss||Jimmy Dugan||04-18-1929||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Kid McCalsland||TKO||04-04-1929||Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Billy Richards||KO in 1st||03-13-1929||Olympia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Danny Sheffsky||KO in 1st||02-28-1929||New Broadway A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US|
|Win||Herb Lewis||1929||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US||Exact Date unknown|
|Draw||Pee Wee Ross||01-22-1929||South Jersey A.A., Camden, New Jersey, US||First fight as a pro|
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