Tony Janiro

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Tony Janiro

Tony Janiro (born Anthony Gianiro; February 2, 1926 – February 21, 1985) was an Italian-American middleweight boxer from Youngstown, Ohio. Janiro never won a championship, although he faced many of the top fighters of his era. Despite his reputation as a playboy who avoided training, Janiro compiled a record of 83 wins (26 KOs), 11 losses, and two draws.[1]

Early life and boxing career[edit]

Janiro was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, but his family relocated to Youngstown when he was four years old.[1] He left Youngstown for New York at the age of 16 to pursue a career in boxing.[2] Janiro received advice and assistance from fellow Youngstown native Lenny "Boom Boom" Mancini (father of Ray Mancini), who introduced Janiro to his manager, Frankie Jacobs, and boxing trainer Ray Arcel.[2] In the 1940s, Janiro was ranked among the top 10 middleweights and fought Hall of Famers such as Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta, and Kid Gavilan.[1] During one bout at Madison Square Garden, the young boxer was introduced to ringside fan Harry S. Truman, then President of the United States.[2] Janiro had one draw with Graziano, who knocked him out in 1951.[3] He fought from 1943 to 1952.

Retirement and final years[edit]

After his retirement, he worked as a bartender at the Neutral Corner, a bar located near Stillman's Gym that was frequented by boxing managers and trainers.[1] (The bar is often referred to in journalist A.J. Liebling's boxing articles.) Several years before his death, Janiro returned to Youngstown, where he was employed at the Mahoning County Courthouse.[1] In 1984, he was inducted into the Youngstown Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame, and was honored at a testimonial banquet held in Boardman, Ohio.[1] Speakers at the event included former boxing champions Willie Pep, Jake LaMotta, Beau Jack, and Carmen Basilio.[2]

Tony Janiro died of kidney failure after suffering a heart attack in his home in the spring of 1985.[1] He was survived by his sister, Mrs. Amelia Marian; a brother, Frank of Youngstown, and granddaughter Tracy Janiro Zingaro.[1] Funeral services for Janiro were held at St. Christine's Roman Catholic Church, in Youngstown.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Janiro was portrayed by Kevin Mahon in Martin Scorsese's biopic of Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull (1980). In the film the comment of LaMotta's wife that Janiro looks handsome leads to a jealous rage, culminating in a brutal fight by LaMotta.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Anthony Janiro; ranked among top 10 middleweights". The Youngstown Vindicator. February 22, 1985. p. 24.
  2. ^ a b c d Perazich, Chuck (February 22, 1985). "Janiro's death saddens area sports community". The Youngstown Vindicator. p. 12.
  3. ^ "Graziano Knocks Out Janiro in 10th in Detroit". The New York Times. September 20, 1951. p. 40.

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