Joe DeNucci a champ in political ring

Sep 13, 2017 439

BY: Joe Fitzgerald

He was once the world’s fifth-ranked middleweight, having beaten Denny Moyer, and battled Joey Giardello to a draw, and dropped a highly contested decision to Emile Griffith. Indeed, he was so immersed in the Sweet Science that at the closing ceremonies of fabled Boston Garden he was saluted for having fought more bouts and racked up more wins there than any other boxer in the building’s glorious history.

Joe DeNucci was a fighter, right up to the night he closed his career in a brawl with Philly’s Joe (Gorilla) Jones at the IBEW Hall in Waltham. He was 32 and done, and the unlikeliest guy in the world to become a political heavyweight, especially starting out running for a House seat in the 16th Middlesex District, a traditionally liberal, heavily Jewish, decidedly affluent constituency — hardly the demographics of a fight fan.

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