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Tony Zale
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    (May 29, 1913-March 20, 1997)
    Born in Gary, Indiana
    Birth name was Anthony Florian Zaleski
    67 wins (45 by KO), 18 losses, 2 draws
    World Middleweight Champ (November 28, 1941-July 16, 1947; June 10, 1948-September 21, 1948)
    Best known for his three title bouts against Rocky Graziano (1946-48)
    Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1991)
    He changed his last name to try and hide his career from his mother, who disapproved of boxing.
    He was originally cast as himself in the Rocky Graziano biopic ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ until he knocked out star Paul Newman while rehearsing a fight scene.
    His championship belts, on loan from his family, were stolen from the International Boxing Hall of Fame (2015).
    When he was ill at age two, his father bicycled to a drug store to get medicine and was knocked down and killed by a car while returning home.
    He joined the US Navy during World War II.
    Three of his bouts were chosen by ‘Ring’ magazine as their fight of the year: two against Graziano (1946-47) and one against Marcel Cerdan (1948).
    Graziano said he was ‘tougher and faster than anybody I ever fought in my life’ and claimed to have recurring nightmares about facing him again in the ring.

Credit: C. Fishel

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