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Carmen Basilio
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    (April 2, 1927-November 7, 2012)
    Born in Canastota, New York
    Birth name was Carmine Basilio
    56 wins (27 by KO), 16 losses, 7 draws
    World Welterweight Champion (June 10, 1955-March 14, 1956; September 12, 1956-September 23, 1957)
    World Middleweight Champion (September 23, 1957-March 25, 1958)
    Won his middleweight tile from Sugar Ray Robinson (and lost the title to Robinson in a rematch)
    Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year (1957)
    Inaugural member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1990)
    One of his nicknames was the less than intimidating 'the Upstate Onion Farmer.'
    He made three unsuccessful attempts to regain the middleweight title.
    Late in life, he was diagnosed with brain damage and admitted he stayed in the ring too long.
    He said, 'You learn how to fight with five older sisters.'
    He also had the more impressive nickname 'the Canastota Clouter.'
    He was a fan favorite for his willingness to go toe-to-toe with other fighters.
    He was a participant in five consecutive Ring Magazine Fights of the Year (1955-59).
    Boxing analyst Larry Merchant said, 'He was as tough as they come. You shook his hand and it was like shaking a steel bar.'
    He became a physical education teacher after leaving the ring.
    He said the day his nephew Billy Backus won the welterweight title (1970) was better than either of his own two championships.
    The International Boxing Hall of Fame was built in his hometown.

Credit: C. Fishel

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