Nino Benvenuti

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Nino Benvenuti
Nino Benvenuti.jpg
Nino Benvenuti in 2010
Statistics
Real name Giovanni Benvenuti
Nickname(s) Nino
Rated at Middleweight
Nationality Italian
Born (1938-04-26) 26 April 1938 (age 76)
Izola, Slovenia
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 90
Wins 82
Wins by KO 35
Losses 7
Draws 1
No contests 0
Olympic medal record
Men's Boxing
Gold 1960 Rome Welterweight

Giovanni Benvenuti (born 26 April 1938 in Isola d´Istria, Italy, today Izola, Slovenia), better known as Nino Benvenuti, is an Italian former boxer who is considered by many, including noted boxing writer Brian Doogan, to be the greatest boxer ever from Italy.

At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Benvenuti earned the Welterweight division's gold medal and the Val Barker trophy as the Games' best boxer. At the end of his amateur career he had a record of 120 wins and 1 loss.[citation needed]

In a brief acting career, he appeared in such films as Sundance and the Kid.

Amateur highlights[edit]

  • 1956 Italian Welterweight Champion
  • 1957 Italian Light Middleweight Champion
  • 1957 European Light Middleweight Champion
  • 1958 Italian Light Middleweight Champion
  • 1959 Italian Light Middleweight Champion
  • 1959 European Light Middleweight Champion
  • 1960 Italian Light Middleweight Champion

Professional boxing career[edit]

On 20 January 1961, he made his professional boxing debut, beating Ben Ali Allala by decision in six rounds.

He won 29 fights in a row before challenging for the Italian Middleweight title, on 1 March 1963, in Rome against Tomasso Truppi. His winning streak extended to 30 when he knocked out Truppi in round eleven. His winning streak reached 46 wins in a row when he met former world Junior Middleweight champion Denny Moyer on 18 September 1964, beating Moyer on points in ten rounds.

After reaching 55 wins in a row, including a five-round knockout of Truppi in a rematch, he met world Jr. Middleweight champion Sandro Mazzinghi in Milan, on 18 June 1965. This was a fight the Italian public clamored for: both men were Italian, both men claimed to be the best in their division, and they had expressed desire to fight each other. Benvenuti became the world junior middleweight champion with a sixth-round knockout win. It was common, at that era, for world champions to fight for regional belts after winning the world title, so on 15 October 1965, he added the European belt at the Middleweight division, with a sixth-round knockout of Luis Folledo.

A rematch with Mazzinghi took place on 17 December 1965, and Benvenuti retained the world junior middleweight crown with a fifteen-round decision. After three non-title wins, including a twelve-round decision over Don Fullmer and a fourteen-round knockout in Germany of Jupp Elze (Benvenuti's first professional fight abroad), he travelled to South Korea, where he lost his world junior middleweight title against Ki-Soo Kim, who won by decision in fifteen rounds on 25 June 1966. Benvenuti deemed his first loss as a professional as an unjustified decision for the local boxer, and, frustrated by it, he decided to concentrate on the middleweight division instead.

On 17 April 1967, Benvenuti beat Emile Griffith by decision in fifteen rounds at New York City's Madison Square Garden, in what was the beginning of their trilogy of fights, to win the world Middleweight title. On a rematch at Shea Stadium on 29 September 1967, he lost by a decision in fifteen rounds, and the world middleweight title belt. In 1967, he wrote his autobiography, I, Benvenuti.

On 4 March 1968, Benvenuti and Griffith completed their trilogy, once again at Madison Square Garden, with Benvenuti knocking Griffith down in round nine and winning a fifteen-round decision to regain the world Middleweight title. On 14 December 1968, in San Remo, he and Fullmer met once again, and Benvenuti retained the world middleweight title with a fifteen-round decision. On 26 May 1969, Benvenuti was outpointed over ten rounds by world Light Heavyweight champion Dick Tiger in an over-the-weight, non-title match.

The most curious defense of Benvenuti's active reign, took place on 4 October 1969, when he retained the world Middleweight title with a seven-round disqualification win over American Fraser Scott at the Stadio S. Paolo in Naples. From the first round, Scott was warned repeatedly, and with increasing intensity from the referee, about attempted butting. Scott, a young fighter unschooled in the European insistence on what his trainer referred to as "that...Olympic stand-up style", knowing only the battle plan he went in with and speaking no Italian, did not understand the warnings at first, then was unable to alter his approach; to the American, he was merely "ducking" Benvenuti's shots. The bout was foul-filled even without this added controversy; Scott would later accuse Benvenuti of having tried to thumb him, and during the sixth round, the fighters' legs became entangled as they wrestled, causing both to crash to the canvas. Round Seven saw the stoppage, the referee asserting "attempted butting", Fraser Scott and corner forever insisting he had "ducked".[1]

On 22 November 1969, he beat former world Welterweight champion Luis Rodriguez by knockout in 11 rounds to, once again, retain his world Middleweight title.

This marked the beginning of a downfall period for Benvenuti: In his next fight, on 13 March 1970, he was knocked out in the eighth round of a non-title fight by unknown American Tom Bethea in Australia. While this upset defeat caused Bethea to get a world title shot at Benvenuti's title and Benvenuti avenged the defeat with an eighth-round knockout of Bethea himself, Benvenuti soon lost his title for the last time, being beaten by young Carlos Monzón by knockout in round twelve in Rome on 7 November 1970.

In 1971, after losing a ten-round decision to Jose Chirino, Benvenuti got a rematch with Monzon for the world Middleweight title. Benvenuti was once again beaten by Monzon, this time by knockout in round three on 8 May 1971, in Monte Carlo. He announced his retirement there, and never returned to boxing. Benvenuti had a record of 82 wins, 7 losses and 1 draw (tie) in 90 professional boxing bouts, with 35 wins by knockout. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Retirement[edit]

Benvenuti became a successful businessman, show host and city counselor in Trieste. He opened a high-class restaurant and forged friendships with Monzon and Griffith, and he sent his son to take boxing classes with Griffith in New York. Monzon was a guest of honor at Benvenuti's television show several times, and, when he was accused of murdering his wife in 1988, Benvenuti became one of his most loyal supporters, visiting him in jail in Argentina several times, and clamoring for Monzon's freedom.

In 1995, Benvenuti caused sensation with the news that he was turning away from the material world and had travelled to Calcutta, India, to become a volunteer at Mother Teresa's hospice.

Professional boxing record[edit]

82 Wins (35 knockouts), 7 Losses (3 knockouts), 1 Draw[2]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round
Time
Date Location Notes
Loss 82–7–1 Argentina Carlos Monzón TKO 3 (15)
1:05
1971–05–08 Monaco Stade Louis II, Fontvieille For WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Loss 82–6–1 Argentina José Chirino MD 10 1971–03–17 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Loss 82–5–1 Argentina Carlos Monzón TKO 12 (15)
1:57
1970–11–07 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Lost WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 82–4–1 United States Doyle Baird TKO 10 (10)
2:03
1970–09–12 Italy Stadio della Vittoria,
Bari, Apulia
Non-title fight.
Win 81–4–1 United States Tom Bethea KO 8 (15)
2:43
1970–05–23 Croatia Sports Stadium Arena,
Umag, Istria
Retained WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Loss 80–4–1 United States Tom Bethea TKO 8 (10) 1970–03–13 Australia Olympic Velodrome,
Melbourne, Victoria
Non-title fight
Win 80–3–1 Cuba Luis Manuel Rodríguez KO 11 (15)
1:08
1969–11–22 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Retained WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 79–3–1 United States Fraser Scott DQ 7 (15)
1:40
1969–10–04 Italy Stadio San Paolo,
Naples, Campania
Retained WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Loss 78–3–1 Nigeria Dick Tiger UD 10 1969–05–26 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Non-title fight.
Win 78–2–1 United States Don Fullmer UD 15 1968–12–14 Italy Teatro Ariston,
Sanremo, Liguria
Retained WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Draw 77–2–1 United States Doyle Baird PTS 10 1968–10–14 United States Rubber Bowl,
Akron, Ohio
Non-title fight.
Win 77–2 United States Art Hernandez UD 10 1968–09–17 Canada Maple Leaf Gardens,
Toronto, Ontario
Non-title fight.
Win 76–2 United States Jimmy Ramos RTD 4 (10)
0:30
1968–07–05 Italy Turin, Piedmont Non-title fight.
Win 75–2 Japan Yoshiaki Akasaka KO 2 (10) 1968–06–07 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Non-title fight.
Win 74–2 United States Virgin Islands Emile Griffith UD 15 1968–03–04 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Won WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 73–2 United States Charley Austin PTS 10 1968–01–19 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Loss 72–2 United States Virgin Islands Emile Griffith MD 15 1967–09–29 United States Shea Stadium,
New York City, New York
Lost WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 72–1 United States Virgin Islands Emile Griffith UD 15 1967–04–17 United States Madison Square Garden,
New York City, New York
Won WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
The Ring Fight of the Year.
Win 71–1 Jamaica Milo Calhoun PTS 10 1967–03–03 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 70–1 Germany Manfred Graus KO 2 (10)
2:40
1967–01–19 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 69–1 Brazil Renato Moraes KO 9 (10) 1966–12–23 Italy Rome, Lazio
Win 68–1 United States Ferd Hernandez PTS 10 1966–12–02 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 67–1 France Pascal Di Benedetto RTD 11 (15) 1966–10–21 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Retained EBU Middleweight title.
Win 66–1 England Harry Scott PTS 10 1966–09–23 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Loss 65–1 South Korea Kim Ki-Soo SD 15 1966–06–25 South Korea Jangchung Gymnasium, Seoul Lost WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 65–0 Germany Jupp Elze TKO 14 (15)
1:27
1966–05–14 Germany Deutschlandhalle, Berlin Retained EBU Middleweight title.
Win 64–0 United States Clarence James PTS 10 1966–03–11 Italy Turin, Piedmont Non-title fight.
Win 63–0 United States Don Fullmer PTS 12 1966–02–04 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Non-title fight.
Win 62–0 Italy Sandro Mazzinghi UD 15 1965–12–17 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Retained WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 61–0 United States James Shelton PTS 10 1965–11–15 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna Non-title fight.
Win 60–0 United States Johnny Torres DQ 7 (10) 1965–11–05 Italy Turin, Piedmont Non-title fight.
Win 59–0 Spain Luis Folledo KO 6 (15) 1965–10–15 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Won vacant EBU Middleweight title.
Win 58–0 France Daniel Leullier TKO 7 (10) 1965–08–16 Italy Senigallia, Marche Non-title fight.
Win 57–0 Italy Sandro Mazzinghi KO 6 (15)
2:40
1965–06–18 Italy San Siro,
Milan, Lombardy
Won WBA and WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 56–0 Jamaica Milo Calhoun PTS 10 1965–04–30 Italy Genoa, Liguria
Win 55–0 United States Rip Randall PTS 10 1965–04–02 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 54–0 United States Dick Knight KO 6 (10) 1965–03–19 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 53–0 England Mick Leahy PTS 10 1965–02–27 Italy Palazzo dello Sport,
Milan, Lombardy
Win 52–0 Italy Tommaso Truppi RTD 5 (12) 1965–02–12 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna Retained Italian Middleweight title.
Win 51–0 United States Art Hernandez TKO 3 (10)
2:20
1965–01–22 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 50–0 Argentina Juan Carlos Durán PTS 10 1964–12–19 Italy Palazzo dello Sport,
Milan, Lombardy
Win 49–0 Mexico Aristeo Chavarin KO 4 (10) 1964–11–27 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 48–0 Brazil Abrao De Souza DQ 7 (10) 1964–10–09 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 47–0 United States Denny Moyer PTS 10 1964–09–18 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 46–0 France Fabio Bettini PTS 12 1964–07–30 Italy Sanremo, Liguria Retained Italian Middleweight title.
Win 45–0 United States Jimmy Beecham TKO 2 (10) 1964–05–28 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 44–0 Aruba Sugar Boy Nando PTS 10 1964–04–10 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 43–0 France Michel Diouf PTS 10 1964–03–18 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 42–0 Mexico Memo Ayon KO 5 (10)
0:28
1964–02–28 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 41–0 United States Ted Wright PTS 10 1963–12–13 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 40–0 Nicaragua Luis Gutierrez TKO 7 (10) 1963–11–15 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 39–0 France Jackie Cailleau PTS 10 1963–11–07 Italy Prato, Tuscany
Win 38–0 Mexico Gaspar Ortega PTS 10 1963–10–18 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 37–0 Argentina Víctor Zalazar TKO 2 (10) 1963–09–27 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 36–0 Germany Wilhelm Niederau TKO 6 (10) 1963–09–16 Italy Prato, Tuscany
Win 35–0 Italy Francesco Fiori TKO 3 (12) 1963–08–31 Italy Priverno, Lazio Retained Italian Middleweight title.
Win 34–0 United States Tony Montano PTS 10 1963–06–07 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 33–0 United States Jimmy Beecham PTS 10 1963–05–23 Italy Stadio Flaminio,
Rome, Lazio
Win 32–0 France Jean Ruellet PTS 10 1963–04–24 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Alessandria, Piedmont
Win 31–0 France Georges Estatoff KO 6 (10)
0:33
1963–04–05 Italy Palazzo dello Sport,
Turin, Piedmont
Win 30–0 Italy Tommaso Truppi KO 11 (12) 1963–03–01 Italy Rome, Lazio Won vacant Italian Middleweight title.
Win 29–0 Italy Giampaolo Melis KO 2 (10) 1962–12–26 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 28–0 Cuba Isaac Logart PTS 10 1962–11–30 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 27–0 France Daniel Leullier PTS 10 1962–10–18 Italy Padua, Veneto
Win 26–0 Spain Diego Infantes PTS 8 1962–09–28 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 25–0 Italy Giuseppe Gentiletti KO 2 (10) 1962–08–30 Italy Senigallia, Marche
Win 24–0 Tunisia Mahmout le Noir PTS 8 1962–08–02 Italy Lignano, Emilia-Romagna
Win 23–0 Italy Gino Rossi PTS 10 1962–07–12 Italy Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Win 22–0 Germany Heinz Freytag PTS 8 1962–06–22 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 21–0 France Jean Ruellet PTS 8 1962–06–02 Italy Stadio Amsicora,
Cagliari, Sardinia
Win 20–0 Trinidad and Tobago Hector Constance PTS 10 1962–05–01 Italy Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Win 19–0 United States Jim Hegerle KO 4 (11) 1962–04–13 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 18–0 Italy Gianni Lommi KO 5 (10) 1962–03–17 Italy Milan, Lombardy
Win 17–0 Germany Manfred Haas PTS 8 1962–03–08 Italy Turin, Piedmont
Win 16–0 Spain José Riquelme PTS 8 1962–02–19 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 15–0 England George Aldridge KO 6 (10) 1962–01–19 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 14–0 Italy Giuseppe Catalano PTS 8 1961–12–20 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 13–0 United States Jesse Jones DQ 6 (8) 1961–11–09 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 12–0 Italy Angelo Brisci KO 1 (8) 1961–11–01 Italy Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Win 11–0 France Retmia Mahrez TKO 3 (8) 1961–10–02 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 10–0 France Marc Desforneaux PTS 6 1961–06–17 Italy Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Win 9–0 France Henri Cabelduc PTS 6 1961–06–07 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 8–0 France Michel Francois KO 4 (8) 1961–05–16 Italy Turin, Piedmont
Win 7–0 France Daniel Brunet DQ 3 (8) 1961–05–03 Italy Naples, Campania
Win 6–0 France Pierre Mondino PTS 6 1961–04–21 Italy Florence, Tuscany
Win 5–0 Croatia Nic Maric PTS 6 1961–04–07 Italy PalaLido,
Milan, Lombardy
Win 4–0 Sahib Mosri KO 3 (6) 1961–03–14 Italy Bologna, Emilia-Romagna
Win 3–0 Tunisia Ben Ali Allala KO 1 (6) 1961–02–27 Italy Naples, Campania
Win 2–0 Italy Nicola Sammartino KO 3 (6) 1961–02–10 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport,
Rome, Lazio
Win 1–0 Tunisia Ben Ali Allala PTS 6 1961–01–20 Italy Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scott, Fraser (1974). Weigh-in. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. p. 217. ISBN 0-690-00157-6. 
  2. ^ "Nino Benvenuti boxing record". BoxRec.com. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sandro Mazzinghi
World Light Middleweight Champion
18 June 1965 – 25 June 1966
Succeeded by
Ki-Soo Kim
Preceded by
Emile Griffith
World Middleweight Champion
17 April 1967 – 29 June 1967
Succeeded by
Emile Griffith
World Middleweight Champion
4 March 1968 – 7 November 1970
Succeeded by
Carlos Monzón
Preceded by
Joe Frazier
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1968
Succeeded by
Jose Napoles