The 25-Year Itch

By Ted Sares on March 2, 2013
The 25-Year Itch
Sal Cenicola, formerly managed by Sylvester Stallone, retired from boxing 25 years ago.

Sal Cenicola will duke it out with Nathan Perry on April 13 at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida in a fight aptly billed as “Comeback to Reality”...

“Sal seems like a nice guy. But I’m going to send him back into retirement to make pizzas at his restaurant.”—Nathan Perry

“Everybody knows Sal in this area and I mean everybody..Everybody wants Sal to win, but he’s heading into uncharted waters with this fight. Nobody has ever come back after 25 years.”—John Moceyunas of Don King Productions

“Weinman was a good fighter in his day with a good record (12-3). He fought a guy in January with a record of 0-6 and the guy knocked Weinman out in the first round.”—Matchmaker Eric Bottjer

“It’s amazing how life can imitate art.”—Anonymous

Sal Cenicola will duke it out with Nathan Perry as the main event on April 13 at the Peck Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida in a fight aptly billed as “Comeback to Reality.” At first blush, nothing seems amiss here other than it looks like a mismatch on paper. Sal “Rocky” Cenicola has an admirable 18-2 record with most of his bouts coming in New Jersey. Perry’s record is a dismal 1-6 with his only win, albeit a highly controversial one, coming against a guy standing taller than 6”8” with the last name of Price. Unfortunately for Nate, Price’s first name is James and he is from Virginia.

Sal, formerly managed by Sylvester Stallone, retired from boxing 25 years ago after losing a title eliminator to Louie Lomeli in 1988 as a result of a bad hamstring injury in the second round. Disgusted by this bad break, he moved to South Georgia to open a successful restaurant in Saint Simons Island.

In 2012, Cenicola was inducted into the prestigious New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, but apparently that was not enough to sate a 25-year itch that needs to be scratched—and prison guard Perry just might provide the fingernails.

However, before the 53-year-old Sal goes ahead with this insanity, he would be well served to check out the recent return of Mark “the Hebrew Hammer” Weinman who came back after 22 years to beat human punching bag Elvis Luciano Martinez. Shortly after, however, the “Hammer” was hammered in the first round by 0-6-1 Jahaad Wingfield. So much for the comeback.

Sal may very well pull off a “Rocky” given his opponent’s record, but sooner or later reality will catch him. The fact that he has not had 10 fights in the previous 10 years nor four in the last four years (as many states require), will also catch up with him. The inflection point will not be a pretty one. Shame on the State of Florida for allowing this fight to be made.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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Sal Cenicola gets denied a license in Georgia, but is approved in Florida.

Sal Cenicola vs Willie Fischer 7/27/83

Sal Rocky Cenicola vs Glen Sample 11/3/83 from Atlantic City, NJ

Billy C talks about the Sal Cenicola Comeback record and the guys in the top 10

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  1. Ted 12:06pm, 04/25/2013

    For the first time in over twenty-five years, Sal “Rocky” Cenicola, returned to the ring, setting a pro boxing record, as well as a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records. He beat Nathan Perry on April 13 by 4 round UD.

    HE IS 52 YEARS OLD!!

  2. Ted 09:23am, 04/12/2013

    It’s on

  3. Tex Hassler 09:27am, 03/04/2013

    Hopefully Sal can go out with a win. Best wishes from Texas.

  4. the thresher 07:53am, 03/03/2013

    Hmm, I see where 45-year-old Fitz Vanderpool won last night.

  5. NYIrish 05:14pm, 03/02/2013

    Sal, good luck. The body shows you the difference between a fighter and an ex-fighter.

  6. the thresher 02:16pm, 03/02/2013

    That’s a long time to have something stuck in your craw, but I have had some itches for just a long and am still waiting for satisfaction…if you catch my drift.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 01:28pm, 03/02/2013

    Ted Sares-Probably something stuck in his craw….maybe relating to the Lomeli fight and the way his promising career ended….some things that the passing of the years can’t erase.

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