Tony Galento vs. Lou Nova—Not Playing the Piano

By Clarence George on January 27, 2013
Tony Galento vs. Lou Nova—Not Playing the Piano
It was "One of the most disgraceful fights staged since the days of the barroom brawls."

Mahatma Gandhi’s theory that “Nobody can hurt me without my permission” would surely have gotten a busted-mouth “You don’t say?” from Nova…

Fighting dirty ain’t what it used to be.

No fight reached the crescendo of brutality and savagery of the relatively recent—June 16, 1983—bout between welterweights Luis Resto and Billy Collins. Trainer Carlos “Panama” Lewis had removed an ounce or so of padding from Resto’s gloves, which resulted in Collins suffering a torn iris. His boxing career ended. Collins died in a car crash less than a year later. He was drunk at the time, and it’s at the very least conceivable that his death was more suicidal than accidental.

While notoriously dirty fighters of recent and current vintage, such as Andrew Golota and Abner Mares, haven’t sunk to Resto and Lewis’ nadir of depravity, they are nonetheless devoted subscribers to Fritzie Zivic’s adage that “You’re fighting, not playing the piano, you know.” But there’s a chasm of difference between Golota and Mares on the one hand, and Zivic on the other. The great welterweight of yesteryear knew how to foul with style. Whenever he hit Henry Armstrong below the belt (and when didn’t he?), he was sure to say “Pardon me.”

Ah, but that was a different time—rough, but hewn by a craftsman. An era marked by Lou Stillman snarling about his famous gym, sporting his yearlong tweed jacket and with .38 snugly and visibly tucked in his belt, the place so filthy that Gene Tunney refused to train there unless Stillman agreed to at least open a window. Given that Stillman was a man of principle, the windows remained emphatically shut, and Tunney took his training elsewhere. A time when Madison Square Garden was where it was supposed to be, between 49th and 50th Streets on Eighth Avenue, prowled by men in gray fedoras and ladies in fur boas, the very foundations of the arena seemingly dependent on the smoke of Lucky Strikes and Camels.

It’s 1939, and the Sweet Science’s Golden Decade, a time and place dominated by the incomparable “Brown Bomber”, is hoary and worn with age. But the decade wasn’t about to go down without a fight. And what a fight—among the delightfully dirtiest in the history of the sport.

It’s September 15, and barrel-shaped New Jersey barman “Two Ton” Tony Galento is in a foul mood at Philly’s Municipal Stadium, having seemingly come within a hair’s breadth of wresting the heavyweight crown from the brow of Joe Louis three months earlier. He had promised to “moida da bum” and had come perilously close to doing just that. Prior to his loss to Louis, Galento had won 11 consecutive fights, all by stoppage, over the course of two years. Tonight’s opponent for the fat man with the fearsome left hook? The yoga-trained Lou Nova, aka the Alameda Assassin, who was himself coming off half-a-dozen victories, including wins over Tommy Farr and former champ Max Baer.

It’s appropriate that Galento (along with fellow failed Louis challengers Tami Mauriello and Abe Simon) would appear 15 years later as a thug in Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, for “Two Ton” Tony’s approach to the manly art of self-defense was considerably more dockyard than Marquis of Queensberry.

The “New Jersey Nightstick” was exemplary in demonstrating his disdain for finesse and, well, rules in his bout with Nova, a match he won via 14th-round TKO. He gleefully fouled his opponent with everything from low blows to literally falling on top of him.  Most notable was “Two Ton” time and again mistaking the hapless Nova’s right eye for a cigarette to be stubbed out. 

Mahatma Gandhi’s lofty theory that “Nobody can hurt me without my permission” would surely have gotten a busted-mouth “You don’t say?” from Nova.

“One of the most disgraceful fights staged since the days of the barroom brawls,” sniffed The Ring. Disgraceful? No doubt. But what I wouldn’t give to have been there.

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Tony Galento, Newsreel



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Max Baer vs Tony Galento Newsreel - RARE !



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  1. Clarence George 08:57am, 02/11/2013

    Fantastic, FFC!  Abundant thanks.

  2. The Fight Film Collector 08:51am, 02/11/2013

    Perhaps a little late for your excellent article, but for those who are interested, I have restored and posted the NBC radio broadcast of the Galento-Nova fight.  The program is hosted by Bill Stern and the fight call by Ben Taub.  By the way, Clarence, I think it’s interesting that neither Stern nor Taub question Galento’s tactics in the fight.  Enjoy.

    http://youtu.be/QghwSqAlKSQ

  3. Clarence George 08:20pm, 02/06/2013

    I don’t agree with you, Pugknows.  A bit of character doesn’t necessarily make one a clown.  Galento was a no-nonsense brawler with a standout left hook.  The damage he did and the record he holds are nothing to laugh at.

    As for today’s heavyweights:  Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

  4. pugknows 07:55pm, 02/06/2013

    Tony would be beaten to a pulp by The Brothers and just about every other heavyweight fighting today. Too fat, too short, too slow, and way too telegraphic with that hook. Today’s fighters would get inside the hook and put Tony to sleep. He was more clown than fighter.

  5. Clarence George 04:10am, 02/06/2013

    Pound-for-pound, Nicolas, Wilde is incomparably superior to either of the Klitschkos.  With the exception of Pancho Villa and maybe Miguel Canto, he’s the greatest flyweight of all time.  Will there be a historical determination or at least consensus that the Klitschkos are among the all-time best of their weight class?  Not if I have anything to say about it!

  6. nicolas 02:34am, 02/06/2013

    ERIC: My feeling about the four fighters you named in the lower weights, I would have in this order of greatness, Armstrong, Mayweather, Duran Pacquiao, though I give credit for Pacquiao to be maybe the greatest fighter from Asia, if not from outside of the Americas. Possibly Azumah Nelson might be that person. I would have 10 to 13 other heavyweights who I would consider higher ranked all time than the Klitschko’s. But their weight certainly I think would make them difficult opponents for any of the greats. As for Clarence saying Wilde is a better boxer than Wlad or VItali, I don’t know about that. Did Wilde really defeat a whos who of boxing? However if Mr. Silver ever asks who were the greatest mini flyweight and light flyweight fighters. Instead of the two Mexican greats that we would normally be accustomened to put in, I will not replace them with Wilde and Pascual Perez respectively. I would love to see Ricardo Lopez try to make the minimum weight on the day of the fight against Wilde. Of course that will not happen unless we can invent a time machine.

  7. Clarence George 06:11pm, 02/02/2013

    Is that a sincere craving for forgiveness, Mr. Thresher Shark?  Hmmm, I’m not convinced.

  8. the thresher 06:07pm, 02/02/2013

    It still went over your head

  9. Clarence George 05:40pm, 02/02/2013

    The misunderstanding was inevitable, Mr. Thresher Shark.  After all, you said that the heavyweight division is the only “variable” one.  My reaction was that, if that were so, there wouldn’t be junior middleweight, middleweight, and super middleweight divisions (among other examples).

  10. Clarence George 05:29pm, 02/02/2013

    But, Eric, you’re making my argument for me.  You’re saying that the Klitschkos could beat their counterparts from the past solely because of their superior size, weight, and strength.  My position is quite similar—if the brothers could beat Dempsey, Louis, Marciano, it would only be through overpowering.  Unimpressive.  This is boxing, not bodybuilding.  Could Wladimir beat Jimmy Wilde, for instance?  He’d squash him like a bug.  But is he the better boxer?  In a pig’s eye.

  11. the thresher 04:39pm, 02/02/2013

    Sorry Clarence, but it went over your head. Variable in the sense that the heavyweight division has no upper limit in weight. It keeps going up and up and up.

  12. Eric 02:36pm, 02/02/2013

    No doubt the Henry Armstrongs and Roberto Durans would’ve beaten Mayweather Jr. and Pacman on the same night. I will absolutely agree the fighters of the past were better conditioned, more skilled, had more heart, and were far tougher SOBs. However, the heavyweight division is a far different animal, being that the heavyweight division has no weight restrictions. It is interesting that just a few decades ago many boxing scribes offered that fighters like Marciano and Dempsey were too small to compete against an Ali or Holmes. Probably the ideal heavyweight isn’t NORMALLY as big as the Klits or Lewis or as small as Marciano, but all four are/were great fighters. Of course Rocky didn’t fight a lot of huge fighters and a great deal of his opponents weighed less than 200lbs, while Dempsey it seems feasted on large men and had trouble with smaller more agile boxers. Honestly, I can’t see many of the past heavyweight champions beating either Klit brother, and undersized champs like Patterson, and the great Ezzard Charles would be simply giving up too much size, no matter how skilled either man was.

  13. Clarence George 01:37pm, 02/02/2013

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse, Mr. Thresher Shark, but I’d like to comment on your “the only weight division that has become variable is the heavyweight division”.  Not so.  There were eight divisions in those days; there are 17 today.

    Also, providing a reason (and it’s a valid one) why boxers fought more frequently in the past than they do today doesn’t alter that they did; that their experience is on an immeasurably higher plain.

  14. the thresher 07:39am, 02/02/2013

    “I think he would have done reasonably well against Galento”

    HUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lewis would have decapitated poor Tony if he could have found his neck line. As for a broad comparison between eras, I offer Einstein’s theory of relativity as a rebuke. For example (and this is just one of many), fighters fought more often back in the day because they had to earn. More fights meant more money because the purses were very small. Today, there is a different model in place and it’s called “more bangs for the buck.” It’s just the way it is.

    Also, the only weight division that has become variable is the heavyweight division, so the old guys would need to fall into a lower weight like cruiser or light heavy. Somebody like Patterson would be eaten up by today’s monsters.

  15. Clarence George 02:10am, 02/02/2013

    Thanks very much for the kind words, which are truly appreciated.

    Interesting question about Lewis.  I think he would have done reasonably well against Galento and other top-of-the-line contenders—winning some, losing some.  But I don’t know how he would have fared against ring marvels such as Louis.

    In general, I think the standout fighters of today would have a very hard time against their opposite numbers of the past.  I think Pancho Villa would beat Nonito Donaire, and Henry Armstrong would win out over Floyd Mayweather Jr.  Boxing was a much tougher game in those days, as were its practitioners.  And no comparison in terms of experience.  In Mayweather’s 35th year, he had one fight; in Armstrong’s, he had, if I remember correctly, 19.

  16. Ben Hoskin 11:40pm, 02/01/2013

    Love the piece Clarence, takes the reader back in time to a wonderful era for boxing. I even had to look up hoary to ascertain the great analogy! If I could add a little grist to the comments, how would a fit Lennox Lewis, a semi-goliath of recent years, have fared in yesteryear? In his early to mid twenties and coming in around the mid sixteen stone mark, Lennox had a jab only bettered by Holmes and his follow up right was laced with malevolence. If his laconic style had been supplanted by the constant work-rate of the old-timers perhaps he would have been regaled as a suitable comparison between the ages? Thresher, great comment-as long as the ref says its ok, is it really not ok?

  17. Clarence George 02:40pm, 01/30/2013

    I can only reiterate, Eric, that I consider the current crop of heavyweights nothing to write home about.  The Klitschkos are the best of an indifferent lot, but that’s only damning with faint praise.  Could they beat Joe Louis and other greats of the past?  I don’t think so.  Even if they could, it would only be because of their almost superhuman strength. 

    Boxing is the Sweet Science—incalculably more than the sort of one-dimensional brutishness required to collect the vig.

  18. Eric 01:06pm, 01/30/2013

    While I admire the “old time” fighters probably more than the modern fighters and admit the “old-timers,” especially the heavyweights had a much higher workrate, I can’t see many of them beating either Klitschko. The thresher makes some very VALID points. I’m not sold on Tyson Fury or the other giant heavyweights like Price, but I will give both Klits their just dues. Personally I think Fury will prove to be nothing but hype, and I don’t think Price will be as good as the Klits, but only time will tell. I would never put RIddick Bowe in the same class as either Klit or Lewis, however.  Growing up my favorite heavyweights were always the “swarmer” types like Marciano & Frazier, and like all good Irishmen, I rooted for Jerry Quarry.  But as much as I admired Marciano & Frazier for their incredible fitness, toughness, heart, will, and punching power, I honestly couldn’t realistically see either one beating either Klitschko.  The late Johnny Unitas was my favorite quarterback back in the day, but to think he could step into the NFL in this day and age and perform like he did in the Fifties and Sixties would really be naive on my part. Not so sure Babe Ruth would have been able to have hit a Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens fastball either for that matter. One thing the old-timers did have of course was their superior conditioning. Don’t let Tony Galento’s barrel shape body fool you, any man who can box with a world class heavyweight for 10-12 hard rounds is in wonderful shape. A set of “six-pack” abs might look good on the beach and impress the ladies but that “six-pack” look don’t mean squat when it comes to “fighting shape.”

  19. Clarence George 12:20pm, 01/30/2013

    Ha!  Permit me to address what I think is the core issue, Mr. Thresher Shark:  Presentism, the knee-jerk and wrong-headed belief that the present is, by definition, superior to the past.  While this may be true in some instances—e.g., an increase in medical knowledge—it isn’t inherently so.  Was boxing in general and the heavyweight division in particular better then than it is now?  Hell, yes!

    Of course, this whole topic has absolutely nothing to do with my article, but I’m nothing if not a good sport.

  20. the thresher 12:09pm, 01/30/2013

    I give up

  21. Clarence George 11:45am, 01/30/2013

    I accept your apology, Mr. Thresher Shark.

  22. Clarence George 11:43am, 01/30/2013

    Thank you, FFC, for both the compliment and the link, which I had not seen before.

  23. The Fight Film Collector 09:07am, 01/30/2013

    Great article.  Here is Jackie Gleason telling Rocky Marciano the story of his altercation with Tony Galento.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq9MNX0nZQw&feature=youtu.be

  24. the thresher 07:00am, 01/30/2013

    And Tony was very agile and did not rely on brute strength?

    Look, you people who like the old-timers seem to rely on your many years of experience. I get that. But I’ll stand by the fact I have just as much experience (if not more than most) to make my case. I also made a balanced comment, not one that implied “I am right because I am who I am.”

    You need to see both sides of this issue. These are real heavyweights. These are not cruiserweights. And Pulev and the Kilts are not Toro Moreno; they are the real McCoy—-as Price, Fury, and Wilder might be as well.

    Aplogies will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your cooperation.

  25. Mike Casey 03:09am, 01/30/2013

    “Vitali beating Sam Peter after a 4-year layoff was a spectacular feat.” Honestly, Ted, are you being mischievous and playing the Devil’s Advocate here? I bet 20 quid on Vitali to win that fight with a London bookie - and I had every confidence that I wouldn’t lose my money. It was a sound achievement, but hardly a spectacular one. Peter was another bloated so-so heavyweight of the era who was only halfway decent when he happened to be in the mood. Who, of any great note, did he beat sensationally? He beat Maskaev - if that was sensational. But Sam laboured to points wins over Toney and the famously timid Jameel McCline, and lost to the 223lb Eddie Chambers despite a 42lb weight advantage.

  26. Clarence George 06:30pm, 01/29/2013

    You may be right, Mr. Thresher Shark, about gigantism continuing to be the heavyweight norm, which goes a long way toward explaining why the division is a bore and a joke.  We’re talking about boxers, not competitors for title of world’s strongest man.  There’s more to boxing than brute strength.  If there isn’t, it’s not boxing…it’s just overpowering.

  27. the thresher 04:00pm, 01/29/2013

    “They’ve never attained greatness…and they never will.”

    Yeah, I think they will. Vitali beating Sam Peter after a 4 -year layoff was a spectacular feat.. Wlad’s record is heading for greatness.

    There is a new norm today. It’s called BIG. It will be so from this point on.

    Whether this makes these monsters better or worse than the older guys is not my issue because no one will change their views on it. Whether these guys are here to stay is my issue and I, for one, welcome them. Lewis and Bowe may have been the first and Lewis was pretty darn good as was Bowe,

  28. Clarence George 03:12pm, 01/29/2013

    Eric:  Completely agree.

  29. Eric 03:08pm, 01/29/2013

    Galento would have definitely had a great shot at beating Patterson or Ingemar Johansson. Some other modern heavyweight champs (including partial champs like Jimmy Ellis, etc.) from Dempsey to Klits, that Galento would have had a legitimate shot at beating would have been Sharkey, Carnera, Braddock,  Jimmy Ellis, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Gerrie Coetzee, Tony Tubbs,  and Greg Page.

  30. Clarence George 03:00pm, 01/29/2013

    Thanks, Pete.  I’ll look into it.

  31. pete 02:49pm, 01/29/2013

    @CG…Chuvalo “tasted the canvas” against Oscar Bonavena—but it was ruled a slip. Google it and judge for yourself. (I think it was early in the fight, about the 3-4th round.)

  32. Clarence George 02:05pm, 01/29/2013

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mr. Tull.  If I may:

    First, the sentence you quote doesn’t appear in my article; it was in response to a comment made by a reader.  Second, Jack Johnson and the others were indeed heavyweights, and are still so considered.  After all, no one refers to Joe Louis as one-time Cruiserweight Champion of the World.  That they would be considered cruiserweights if they appeared on the fight scene today is, of course, irrelevant.  Third, your implication that the fighters mentioned (with the exception of Louis) weren’t “complete” is indecipherable.  In what way were they not?  I never heard, by the way, that Joe Frazier was blind in one eye.  And if he were, his already outstanding record would be more, not less, impressive.  Think, for example, of Harry Greb and Sam Langford.  A “rational conclusion about [Johnson] cannot be drawn”.  On the contrary—it’s manifest that he’s among the greatest heavyweights of all time.  Fourth, my article is mercifully devoid of any reference to the Klitschkos.  And the number of times I remark on Tony Galento’s ability, or lack thereof, to defeat Wladimir or Vitali?  Zero.  My guess is that he couldn’t beat either of them.  Does that mean I hold them in high regard?  It most certainly does not.  They’re the best of an abysmal, over-muscled lot.  They’ve never attained greatness…and they never will.

    Oh, and by the way, Galento trained on spaghetti and meatballs, and beer—not pie.

  33. Jethro Tull 12:04pm, 01/29/2013

    “When I think of great heavyweights, the names Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Frazier leap to mind; those of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko do not—never have and never will.”

    Let’s see, Dempsey was a cruiserweight, Marciano was a cruiserweight, Joe Frazier was blind in one eye, Ali lost to a man who was blind in one eye, Joe Louis was undeniably a complete fighter but was just over today’s cruiserweight limit and would probably be fighting there today.

    Jack Johnson? Seen some of his fights and read all about him but the available footage of him is dire and so a rational conclusion about him cannot be drawn and, again, he would be a cruiserweight today.

    Articles such as these are interesting as historical pieces but kindly don’t go into this ‘average fighter of yesteryear would beat the Klitschkos stuff as it’s irrelevant and annoying.

    Let’s be honest, Tony Galento would be creamed by either brother with his training program of beer and pies.

  34. Clarence George 06:55pm, 01/28/2013

    Intriguing match-ups, Eric. I think Galento could indeed beat Patterson; if anything, he’d have a harder time against Bonavena.  But never-tasted-canvas Chuvalo?  Hmmm.  Of your three fantasy bouts, that’s the one I’d most want to see.

  35. Eric 04:25pm, 01/28/2013

    Galento surely made the most of what nature gave him and proved that the man with the most impressive physique doesn’t always win the fight. Think about it for a second, Galento’s height and weight are roughly the same as David Tua in his prime. Granted Tua and Galento weren’t exactly built the same but there was plenty of power & strength in Tony’s round body and a surprising amount of stamina also.  Instead of Galento fighting the Klits lets match him up with some fighters that more or less mirror his fighting style and are closer to his size. How about Oscar Bonavena vs Tony Galento or George Chuvalo vs Tony Galento.  You even have to wonder how Galento would have done with a relatively fragile chinned champion like Floyd Patterson. I could actually see Galento pulling off a huge upset here. Styles make fights. It would be interesting if Tony’s antics would cause a gentleman like Floyd to abandon his sharp skills and become engaged in a backyard brawl with Galento. If Galento could cause Floyd to lose his cool and elect to brawl, I could envision Galento’s powerful left hook maybe scoring a surprising knockout.

  36. Clarence George 10:41am, 01/28/2013

    Glad you liked the article, Thresher.

    As I said to Irish, either of the Klitschkos might indeed take down Galento, but the Ivan Drago-type boxer just doesn’t appeal to me.  In fact, the whole current heavyweight division doesn’t appeal to me.

  37. Clarence George 10:25am, 01/28/2013

    Irish:

    Thanks for calling my article “great”.

    Sorry if I came across as offended or irritated—I was neither, I assure you.  I’m not thin-skinned, and I relish vigorous discussion.

    I think Gleason was doing stand-up, while a fat drunk (Galento) heckled him.  Gleason, who obviously didn’t recognize the heckler, invited him out back…and eventually woke up in his dressing room.

    I do indeed hold the current heavyweight division in low regard, but not so much the Klitschkos.  They’re not without talent, but they rely primarily on their enormous size and strength.  True of the whole current crop, to one degree or another—plodding gigantors, every single one of them.  Brute strength is important to a boxer, particularly a heavyweight, but there’s more to the Sweet Science than that. 

    If the Klitschkos beat Baer or Galento (and I’m not saying they wouldn’t), it would be largely because they’re just a couple of Ivan Dragos.

    I’m confident that history will not see fit to consider either of the brothers to be of the same class as Louis and other true poets of the ring.

  38. the thresher 09:58am, 01/28/2013

    This is a fun article BTW.

  39. the thresher 09:56am, 01/28/2013

    I took the quote from Tracy Callis of the former CBZ..

    As for the KlIts fighting Tony, you are tallking 5’9” vs 6’7” plus a monster difference in weight and muscle mass. Plus superb training (perhaps on good Russian Vodka vs pissy NJ beer) . It would be a massacre of sadistic proportions with enough blood to make Dracula envious.  The Klits would slaughter him like a butcher slaughters fresh meat.

    Vitali would back him up with his punishing jabs and then quickly break him down for a second dround stoppage,

    Wlad would ice him with trhe first right hand he lands though it could end up hitting the short Tony on the top of his head,

    These images give me no pleasure but they are as real as real can be IMO.

    I am one of the rare old writers who kind of likes the new generation of heavyweight coming out of Europe.

  40. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 09:44am, 01/28/2013

    Clarence George-I was referencing the accompanying films not your great article….I’m an old timer myself and like it when you mention Tyrone Power and Jackie Gleason in your posts….the incident with Jackie and Tony must have happened at Toots Shor’s…maybe not. There are really talented writers who contribute to this site that seem to believe that Buddy Baer and others of that era could have beaten the Klitschkos….with that in mind and notwithstanding your low regard for the Klitschkos….here I go again….I just can’t help myself…if Two Ton Tony landed one, single, solitary punch, let alone his vaunted left hook on Wladimir before Klitschko literally took his head off…that in itself would be the upset of the century!

  41. Clarence George 09:00am, 01/28/2013

    Ha!  Well, Mike, he did indeed have a brutish and intimidating demeanor; I doubt anyone ever confused him with Tyrone Power.  His wife looked a bit like him, rather amusingly.  They had a son, who must be around 80, but I never heard anything of him; didn’t become a boxer, that’s for sure.

  42. Clarence George 08:45am, 01/28/2013

    Is that a quote from Joseph Monninger’s book on Galento, Mr. Thresher Shark?

    He sure as hell knew how to brawl, but he also had a fantastic left hook—not on a par with Frazier’s or Laszlo Papp’s, perhaps, but nevertheless top-of-the-line.  Louis found that out the hard way, as did Jackie Gleason, who once had the foolish temerity to call him out.

    Among my most prized possessions is an autographed photo of Galento (with Louis), in which he writes how he broke his left hand in the first round of the “Bare” (Buddy Baer) fight.  Fantastic stuff.

  43. Mike Casey 08:39am, 01/28/2013

    Good points, Clarence - and a nice succinct summary from Ted (Thresher) on Tony’s no-nonsense attitude and very admirable fight record. Don’t quite know what it was about Tony’s countenance, but whenever I saw his picture when I was a kid, he terrified me!

  44. Clarence George 08:30am, 01/28/2013

    Very different, Mike.  Can you imagine Galento in pink boxing gloves, a la Adrien Broner?  Don’t hold with these newfangled notions myself; boxing gloves should be black or burgundy.

    Anyway, thank you for your good post, and for the shin-kicking info.  And I certainly agree with your assessment of Galento as “very frightening and formidable”—true, at least to some significant degree, of all of Louis’ so-called bums.

  45. the thresher 07:55am, 01/28/2013

    “Galento was a short, tough brawler who often fought from a crouch that accented his short height; he feared no man and lost only 26 bouts of 110 contests”... “Two-Ton” Tony scored 56 knockouts during his career.

  46. Mike Casey 07:31am, 01/28/2013

    Different times indeed, Clarence! Tony was also permitted to repeatedly kick Lou in the shins by ‘house’ referee George Blake - an added insult for Lou as Blake hailed from his home state of California. That being said, Galento was a big hitter and a very frightening and formidable opponent at a squat 225lbs. He is so often sneered at today or regarded as a comical freak. But he beat some topnotch guys and decked the great Louis.

  47. Clarence George 07:05am, 01/28/2013

    While I have yet to write about what the “old timers would do to the Klitschkos,” I’ll say this:  When I think of great heavyweights, the names Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Frazier leap to mind; those of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko do not—never have and never will.

  48. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 06:08am, 01/28/2013

    Jeez…the only thing missing in the films above is Larry, Curly and Moe! Here’s a memo for those on this site that write about what these old timers would do to the Klitschkos….just stop it…no really….just stop it….you’re embarassing yourselves!

  49. Clarence George 07:55pm, 01/27/2013

    Thanks for the info, Pete.

    I hadn’t heard of Pack.  I looked him up, and see that he had several fights following the Galento bout, but didn’t do too well.  That said, his overall record wasn’t great, though each of his 19 wins was by KO.

  50. pete 06:17pm, 01/27/2013

    Heavyweight Lorenzo Pack was a Galento ko victim. Pack’s right eye was never the same after Galento thumbed him. Pack panhandled around Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant back in the 1960s.

  51. Clarence George 02:05pm, 01/27/2013

    Good point.

    In the Henry Armstrong-Fritzie Zivic bout of 1940, when Zivic won the welterweight crown, the ref (Arthur Donovan, I think) gave his imprimatur to the dirt, saying something like, “If you guys want to fight that way, it’s OK with me.”

  52. the thresher 12:34pm, 01/27/2013

    I loved watching Tony fight. Dirty is dirty and he didn’t hold back. As long as the ref says its ok, is it really not ok?

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