Cover image for The Italian stallions : heroes of boxing's glory days
The Italian stallions : heroes of boxing's glory days
Brunt, Stephen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Wilmington, Del. : Sport Classic Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
224 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Added Uniform Title:
Sport (New York, N.Y. : 1946)
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1131 .B78 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



This book profiles 7 famous Italian boxers.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The greatest of the greats come to light in this wonderful history of Italian-American boxers-Rocky Marciano, Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta, and Willie Pep. In his intro, Hauser (Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times) sets the tone of the book: these boxers "would shape the way in which America viewed the Italian-American community and also the manner in which the Italian-American community viewed itself." He lists surprising statistics culled from seemingly in-depth research (e.g., "in 2,101 professional fights, [Italian-American boxers] were knocked out only 44 times"). Then, in the following sections, Brunt (Facing Ali) launches a solid narrative about Italian immigration and boxing, before the book segues into selected articles, culled from Sport magazine from as far back as 1946. Rex Lardner and W.C. Heinz weigh in on Rocky Graziano, while Ed Fitzgerald sells the story of Rocky Marciano. In all, this is an excellent addition to boxing's reference shelf. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

This portrait of a fistic age by Ali biographer Hauser and Canadian sportswriter Brunt honors the heyday of the Italian American boxer. Filled with classic photos and profiles culled from the archive of the recently defunct Sport magazine, it ranges from the sadly inept but Mob-backed giant, Primo Carnera, to superb ring craftsman Willie Pep and is understandably clustered around the two iconic Rockies of the postwar era-free-swinging and quotable middleweight champion Rocky Graziano and Rocky Marciano, the powerful shoemaker's son from Brockton, MA, who retired undefeated (56-0) as heavyweight champion. (While Sinatra and DiMaggio are better remembered today, these two were their equal in most Italian American homes of the Fifties.) In the second tier are the thuggish but compelling Jake LaMotta ("Raging Bull") and the anti-LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, the honest Catskills onion farmer's son. This group portrait is also an unintended tribute to a non-Italian, the great Sugar Ray Robinson, who in his prime beat most of these fighters, including LaMotta five of six times. With some filler (good-enough fighters like Roland LaStarza and Willie Pastrano) and leaving the Italian boxing story with its 1980s coda, the throwback champion Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, this book does the paisans and boxing fans proud.-Nathan Ward, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Thomas HauserStephen BruntJack SherFrank GrahamBarney NaglerFrank GrahamStanley FrankRex LardnerW.C. HeinzJohn DevaneyThe Editors of SPORTBarney NaglerEd FtizgeraldBrian GlanvilleEd LinnBarney NaglerLewis BurtonGordon CobbledickStan HochmanStephen Brunt
Introduction: When Boxing Matteredp. 9
1 The Exodus
From Italy With Love--and Desperationp. 13
2 The Early Days
The Strange Case of Carnerap. 27
One For the Book: Tony Canzonerip. 44
3 Guglielmo Papaleo
The Return of Willie Pepp. 49
Say, Isn't That Willie Pep in There?p. 55
Great Rivalries: Willie Pep vs. Sandy Saddlerp. 59
4 Thomas Rocco Barbella
The Improbable Grazianop. 75
Rocky Graziano Revisitedp. 90
Great Rivalries: Rocky Graziano vs. Tony Zalep. 96
Willie Pep and Rocky Graziano Discuss Boxingp. 108
5 Giacobe Lamotta
The Story of a Championp. 115
6 Rocco Francis Marchegiano
The Blockbuster from Brocktonp. 137
The Reignp. 156
At the Sound of the Bell, Come Out Fightingp. 164
7 Carmen Basilio
Carmen Basilio Reaches for the Jackpotp. 171
The Big Fightp. 186
Basilio's Back Where He Belongsp. 189
8 The End of an Era
A Heavyweight Named Rolandp. 195
The Champion Nobody Knowsp. 201
The Joey Giardello Comebackp. 207
Epilogue: After The Glory Daysp. 215
Appendix Career Recordsp. 219