Tony Galento
Domenico Antonio Galento (March 12, 1910—July 22, 1979) was an American heavyweight
Heavyweight is a division, or weight class, in boxing. Fighters who weigh over 200 pounds are considered heavyweights by the major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the World Boxing Association, the World Boxing Council, and the World Boxing...

Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

. Nicknamed "Two Ton" for his reasoning to his manager for being nearly late to one of his fights: "I had two tons of ice to deliver on my way here". Galento was one of the most colorful fighters in the history of the sport. He wrestled an octopus
The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms...

, and boxed a kangaroo
A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae . In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, Red Kangaroo, Antilopine Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Western Grey Kangaroo. Kangaroos are endemic to the country...

 as publicity stunts for his fights. He also boxed a 550 lb. (250 kg) bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

, as a stage attraction.


Galento was a "no holds barred" brawler, with a wicked left hook
Hook (boxing)
A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent...

, who never let such niceties as the ring rules, or sportsmanship, interfere with his goal to knock out the other fighter. During his prime years as a boxer, Galento owned and operated a bar named "The Nut Club" in Orange
Orange, New Jersey
The City of Orange is a city and township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 30,134...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. He was reputed to do his roadwork (training) after he closed the bar at 2:00 a.m.. When asked why he trained at night, Galento replied, "Cuz I fight at night."


Galento, who claimed to be 5'9 (177 cm) tall, liked to weigh in at about 235 lb (107 kg) for his matches. He achieved this level of fitness by eating whatever, whenever he wanted. A typical meal for Galento consisted of six chickens, a side of spaghetti, all washed down with a half gallon of red wine, or beer, or both at one sitting. When he did go to training camp, he foiled his trainer's attempts to modify his diet, and terrorized his sparring partners by eating their meals in addition to his.

He was reputed to train on beer, and allegedly ate 52 hot dogs on a bet before facing heavyweight Arthur DeKuh. Galento was supposedly so bloated before the fight that the waist line of his trunks had to be slit for him to fit into them. Galento claimed that he was sluggish from the effects of eating all those hot dogs, and that he could not move for three rounds. Nevertheless, Galento knocked out the 6'3" (192 cm) DeKuh with one punch, a left hook, in the fourth round.

Heavyweight Championship

On 28 June 1939 Galento fought for the heavyweight championship of the world against the redoubtable all time great heavyweight champion, Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

. At this time Louis was heavily favored (8 to 1) to stop Galento. Galento was not impressed. In a pre-fight interview, Galento summed up his perspective on the fight as follows:
  • Reporter: "Tony, what do you think your chances are against Joe Louis?"
  • Galento: "Joe who?"
  • Reporter: "Joe Louis."
  • Galento: "I never hoid of da bum."

He also predicted that he would "moida da bum", and would telephone Louis to personally inform him that he was a bum and that Galento would "moida him". To show that he was serious and properly prepared for the Louis fight, Galento stated that he had not taken alcohol for two days before the bout.

The two fought in Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium was a stadium located in The Bronx in New York City, New York. It was the home ballpark of the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008. The stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York...

 in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. The short, balding Galento stunned the crowd, and his opponent, by staggering and hurting Louis with a powerful left hook in the first round. In the second round, Louis began hitting Galento with vicious combinations, opened a cut in Galento's mouth and floored the challenger with a powerful left hook that actually lifted Galento off his feet. This was the first time Galento had ever been knocked down in his professional career. In the third round, Louis again was hitting Galento with combinations, when Galento caught him with a wild left hook. This time Louis went down. Louis, however, got up quickly, but took no chances for the remainder of the round. The fourth round was brutal for Galento, who really had no defense and was wide open for Louis' assault. Louis hit him with murderous combinations which forced the referee to finally stop the bout. After the fight, Galento blamed his corner for the loss. He contended that his trainers convinced him to change his style, and fight cleanly. Galento always regretted that he did not fight "his" fight and foul Louis.

Other fights

Galento's other two famous fights were with former champion Max Baer, and contender Lou Nova
Lou Nova
Lou Nova aka Cosmic punch was an American boxer and actor. Born in Los Angeles, California, the Nova was the U.S. and World Amateur Boxing Champion in 1935. After turning pro, he remained undefeated in his first 22 matches, and won 40 fights in total...

. The Nova fight is reputed to be one of the dirtiest and bloodiest fights ever fought. Nova was knocked down five times. Both fighters, kneed, gouged, hit below the belt, and on at least two knockdowns, Galento "fell" with his 230 lb (104 kg) on Nova, knees first. Galento finally knocked Nova out in the 14th round.

Galento's fight with Max Baer ended when the referee stopped the bout in the eighth round. On the day of the Baer fight, Galento decided to first stop off at his bar. There he had a big bowl of spaghetti, with meat balls, washed down with half a case of beer. After his meal, Galento became embroiled in an argument with his brother. The dispute ended when his brother threw his beer glass in Galento's face, severely cutting his lip. Galento was forced to get the cut stitched up, hours before the fight. Baer re-opened the cut in the first round, forcing Galento to swallow blood for the remainder of the fight. After the fight, Galento blamed his inability to "hook him around the head and butt him" for the loss. His record was 80-26-5 with 57 knockouts.


Galento retired from boxing in 1943, and applied his talents to the world of professional wrestling. He also turned to acting, and was given roles in Wind Across The Everglades
Wind Across the Everglades
Wind Across the Everglades is a 1958 film directed by Nicholas Ray. Ray was fired from the film before production was finished, and several scenes were completed by screenwriter Budd Schulberg, who also supervised the editing....

(1958), The Best Things in Life Are Free
The Best Things in Life Are Free
"The Best Things in Life Are Free" is a song by Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson.-Song information:Released in 1992, the song was originally recorded for the Mo' Money soundtrack...

(1956), Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls (film)
Guys and Dolls is a 1955 musical film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. The film was made by the Samuel Goldwyn Company and distributed by MGM. It was produced by Samuel Goldwyn, and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the screenplay...

(1955) and On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront is a 1954 American drama film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb and Karl Malden. The soundtrack score was composed by Leonard...


The entertainer Jackie Gleason
Jackie Gleason
Jackie Gleason was an American comedian, actor and musician. He was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy style, especially by his character Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, a situation-comedy television series. His most noted film roles were as Minnesota Fats in the drama film The...

 used to tell this story from his stand-up comedy
Stand-up comedy
Stand-up comedy is a comedic art form. Usually, a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. Their performances are sometimes filmed for later release via DVD, the internet, and television...

 days. It seems he was playing a joint in Newark, N.J., called the Miami Club, where he was being unmercifully heckled by a fat, cigar-smoking, beer guzzling, middle aged, bald man. Finally, Gleason had had enough. He invited the obnoxious patron to step outside. Gleason swore he never saw anyone rise from his seat so fast. The two went out into the street and Gleason next remembered coming to on the floor of the club's cellar, next to the furnace, with a doctor looking down at him. Gleason had two questions: "What happened?", and "Who was that guy?". What happened was that he was knocked out cold. The guy that did it was Tony Galento, who at the time had retired from boxing.

Galento was interred in St. Johns Catholic Cemetery
St. Johns Catholic Cemetery, Orange
St. Johns Catholic Cemetery is a cemetery in Orange in the U.S. state of New Jersey.-Notable burials:* Tony Galento , heavyweight boxer, nicknamed "Two Ton Tony"....

 in Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
The City of Orange is a city and township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 30,134...


External links

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