At 80, Carmen Basilio struggles to recall his 1950s boxing feats

Full story: Newsday

Snug under a blanket in his basement shrine, Carmen Basilio watches himself clobber Sugar Ray Robinson with 34 straight punches in the 11th round of their classic middleweight title duel in 1957.

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Paul

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#1
May 29, 2007
 
I'm not old enough to have seen Carmen fight personally, but I have seen him often on old fight films. He is one of my favorites, is not THE favorite.
Barry Fleckmann

Toms River, NJ

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#2
May 31, 2007
 
I was startled to find out that Carmen Basilio is STILL alive! As a youngster (eight, nine, ten years old), I remember Basilio as being one of the GREATEST boxers who EVER lived. Yeah, he lost sixteen times, but they had TOUGH FIGHTERS, back in the 50's! Not like today. I can STILL recall going to school, one day, and seeing a newspaper clipping of one of Carmen's fights with "Sugar" Ray Robinson on the bulletin board. I guess my teacher was a fan of "Sugar" Ray's, because I think the clipping was the re-match that Robinson narrowly won. Man, it was a WAR! Back then, you see, a World Championship title fight was a BIG DEAL. I'm talking "black tie" event, here! Movie stars!

“Never Say "I Can't!"”

Since: Jan 07

Syracuse

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#3
Jun 3, 2007
 
Yeah. The second fight was when Robinson stuck his thumb in Carman's eye. Back then if that happened, you faught anyway and that's what Basilio did. Went the distance. Robinson refused to fight a third time because he knew that Carman would have destroyed him.
When i was a small kid my Dad took me down to the Syracuse War Memorial to see him fight. I think the guy was Chuck Davies. Davies was a boxer who would hit and run. What Carman did was tie him up and pound away at his left side until around abour round 7, Davies dide looked like raw beef steak. Out come round eight, Catrman throws a right to the side and Daves drops his guard. Next thing Davies is on his ass, Out cold from a beautiful left hook. A thing of beauty. This was before Basilio became Welter Weight Champion.
My dream is to some day meet the man.
Barry Fleckmann

Toms River, NJ

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#4
Jun 4, 2007
 
Snottpuppy wrote:
Yeah. The second fight was when Robinson stuck his thumb in Carman's eye. Back then if that happened, you faught anyway and that's what Basilio did. Went the distance. Robinson refused to fight a third time because he knew that Carman would have destroyed him.
When i was a small kid my Dad took me down to the Syracuse War Memorial to see him fight. I think the guy was Chuck Davies. Davies was a boxer who would hit and run. What Carman did was tie him up and pound away at his left side until around abour round 7, Davies dide looked like raw beef steak. Out come round eight, Catrman throws a right to the side and Daves drops his guard. Next thing Davies is on his ass, Out cold from a beautiful left hook. A thing of beauty. This was before Basilio became Welter Weight Champion.
My dream is to some day meet the man.
"My dream is to some day meet the man."

He's 80 years old; I wouldn't WAIT, if I were you.
Make it happen. Drop him a line.

“Never Say "I Can't!"”

Since: Jan 07

Syracuse

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#5
Jun 10, 2007
 
Would if I could. How? Will definitely buy his bio.
Barry Fleckmann

Toms River, NJ

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#6
Jun 11, 2007
 

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Snottpuppy wrote:
Would if I could. How? Will definitely buy his bio.
Drop him a line:

Mr. Carmen Basilio
c/o Irondequoit, New York 14622

Believe me, he'll GET it.

Heck, YOU live in Syracuse, he lives in Irondequoit, which is a suburb of Rochester. That's a hop, skip and a jump. DO IT!
Rosanne Warner

AOL

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#7
Nov 6, 2007
 

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Carmen comes to the Boxing Hall of Fame weekend every year. If you want to meet him you should come to Canastota in June.

“Never Say "I Can't!"”

Since: Jan 07

Syracuse

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#9
Nov 16, 2007
 
If we're both still around in '08 and are able to make it happen, so mote it be.
Art

United States

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#10
Dec 27, 2007
 
I grew up in canastota and went to canastota school. I too am a fan of carmen but wonder if alot of his fights would have been stoped if he was fighting today by T.K.O. from cuts?
Joe Shea

Pompano Beach, FL

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#11
Jan 12, 2008
 
I grew up in the Canastota area and went to school there! Was suprised to see that no one said anything about Carmen having a nephew Billy who became Welterweight Champion of the World.Just could be why Canastota has the nickname "title town"and also has the Boxing Hall of Fame!
Chris Williams

East Syracuse, NY

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#13
Feb 10, 2008
 
I remember Carmen when he was in my living room the day he became godfather to my sister. He and Pip Borgognoni. My dad and he were great friends (they ran away to Florida with some other guys)and it's a shame that old age has to play terrible games on the mind. He, my dad, and Tony Stagnitti all turned 80 last year! It's always nice to see Carmen at the boxing weekends. He still knows that Italian! And he still knows how to flirt with the gals!! Star quality? You betcha!
Chris Williams

East Syracuse, NY

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#14
Feb 10, 2008
 
That's Chris Williams (Froelick) from Chittenango (born in Canastota), not Camillus!
Don Bloch

Naples, FL

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#16
Apr 28, 2008
 
Barry Fleckmann wrote:
<quoted text>
"My dream is to some day meet the man."
He's 80 years old; I wouldn't WAIT, if I were you.
Make it happen. Drop him a line.
iF YOU'D LIKE TO MEET CARMEN, HE IS NOW A RESIDENT IN THE VILLAGES IN SUMMERFIELD, FLORIDA

Since: Jan 08

Rome

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#17
May 5, 2008
 

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Basillio's Italian Sausage rocks! Especially the hot. It's the best I ever tasted that wasn't made by my grandmother.
JPR

Los Angeles, CA

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#18
Aug 22, 2008
 
He's a great guy and still fast for his age. You shake his hand and he pulls you in and gives you a quick combo upside the head. We're working on doing a movie about his life - fingers crossed we make it happen.
Shiekdom

Elmira, NY

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#19
Apr 1, 2009
 
Carmen Basilio is now and always has been my greatest sports hero since I was 12 years old in 1957. I have a painting of him that is nearly life size that will hang in my bar room in Dansville, NY for as long as I own it. I am hoping that he and Josie will come to Dansville for dinner, courtesy of me, upon my opening in May of this year.
Savage

Rochester, NY

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#20
Apr 3, 2009
 
My Father is in the Boxing Hall of Fame too and lives in Irondequoit also. His name is Clifford Williams. I know he met Carmen many times along with many others that belong. My Dad is now 92 and has Alzheimers pretty bad, BUT, he still remember when he used to box, at least some of it.
I can't get him to go to the annual anymore, too bad.
Feel Better Carmen

Mesquite, NV

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#21
Apr 3, 2009
 
Carmen you were a GREAT CHAMPION and
Nobody today will COME close to your
record ! I hope your problems will be
defeated by you CHAMP !
John Maiuro

United States

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#22
Apr 7, 2009
 
Paul wrote:
I'm not old enough to have seen Carmen fight personally, but I have seen him often on old fight films. He is one of my favorites, is not THE favorite.
I met The Champ at my brothers sporting goods store in the early '60's. I was in my senior year at high school. He playfully put his knuckle on my chest and said "hey kid what's this" with that he moved his had up and touched my nose. Everyone laughed, then he shook my hand, put his arm around my sholder and squeezed me. He was a real gentleman and quiet. I wish I knew where to write to him.
John Maiuro

United States

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#23
Apr 7, 2009
 
I met The Champ at my brothers sporting goods store in the early '60's. I was in my senior year at high school. He playfully put his knuckle on my chest and said "hey kid what's this" with that he moved his had up and touched my nose. Everyone laughed, then he shook my hand, put his arm around my sholder and squeezed me. He was a real gentleman and quiet. I wish I knew where to write to him.

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