As a legendary boxing photographer, who has snapped pictures of some of boxing’s very best, Los Angeles-based Chris Farina has (literally) had ringside seats for some of the boxing’s elite, classic battles over the last 25 years. From Ring Magazine to Top Rank Boxing to ESPN, Farina has shot for boxing’s best platforms. However, before Chris got be...

Being heavyweight champion of the world was a big deal when professional boxing was a mainstream sport – a very big deal. And in the early 1950s, an Italian-American called Rocky Marciano was the guy. Born Rocco Marchegiano on Sept. 1, 1923, he was one of six children in a working-class Italian immigrant family – his father came from Abruzzo and hi...

As darkness fell over New York on New Year’s Eve 1929, Primo Carnera walked down the gangway of the SS Berengaria, stepped onto the quayside and wondered what the imminent decade held for him. Despite his fellow passengers on the transatlantic crossing including Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev, by the time the ship docked it was the Italia...

During his career between the ropes, he was a fearsome fighter across several weight divisions and a two-time world champion. He fought some of the era’s greats, beating Roberto Duran twice, and sharing the ring with the likes of Hector Macho Camacho, Roger Mayweather, Loreto Garza, Luis Santana, and Gilbert Dele. He is also known for arguably the...

With the Great Depression and Second World War firmly in its rear-view mirror, the 1950s saw the United States of America finally transition into a state of normality. Poverty had evolved into prosperity, radios made way for TVs and most importantly, life, which had been rife with uncertainty, was simple again.  It was an age that embodied the Amer...

For many Italian Americans, the sport of boxing is synonymous with Italian American pride, thanks to the timeless accomplishments of legendary names like Rocky Marciano, “Boom Boom Mancini,”  Jake La Motta, Carmen Basilio, and the late, great Angelo Dundee. But one very dedicated Italian American has made it his life’s mission to help preserve the...

Charles Messina grew up listening to boxing matches on the radio — iconic fights like Muhammad Ali versus Floyd Patterson — and sparring with his brothers in the back yard. The sport of boxing has been part of his life ever since, and he’s been a driving force behind the boxing scene in Delaware. “I went through all the stages of boxing,” Messina s...

Louis Jude Ferrigno Sr. was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Victoria and Matt Ferrigno, a police lieutenant. He is of Italian descent. Soon after he was born, Ferrigno says he believes he suffered a series of ear infections and lost 75 to 80% of his hearing, though his condition was not diagnosed until he was three years old. Hearing loss caused Fer...

An intense competitor and feared contender, Jake “The Bronx Bull” LaMotta was one of boxing’s most legendary figures. He was known as the “Bronx Bull” because of an aggressive, hard-charging style. Jake LaMotta was a classic banger, choosing to pound out his victories in weight classes ranging from welterweight to heavyweight. He was most successfu...

There can be little doubt that the story of working-class Italian-Americans making the big time in boxing is a truly loved and time-tested one; especially with an abundance of such heroes hailing from NY. From the “Rocky” franchise to “Raging Bull,” popular culture has also played its part in incubating the relationship between American citizens of...