Young Corbett III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Young Corbett III
Young Corbet III.jpg
Statistics
Real nameRalph Giordano
Nickname(s)"Young Corbett III"
Weight(s)Welterweight
Middleweight
Height5 ft 7 12 in (171 cm)
NationalityAmerican
BornMay 27, 1905
Rionero in Vulture, Basilicata, Italy
DiedJuly 15, 1993 (aged 88)
Auberry, California, United States
StanceSouthpaw
Boxing record
Total fights151
Wins123
Wins by KO33
Losses11
Draws17

Ralph Giordano (born Raffaele Giordano, May 27, 1905 – July 15, 1993), better known as Young Corbett III, was an Italian-born American boxer. He was the World Welterweight Champion in 1933 and the NYSAC Middleweight champion in 1938.[1] A tough southpaw, he did not have strong punching power but was known for his great speed and determination.[2] Corbett is considered one of the greatest southpaws of all time[3][4] and one of the all-time great counterpunchers.[5] He was inducted into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame in 1959,[6] the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1982,[7] and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.[8]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Rionero in Vulture, in the Italian region of Basilicata,[9] from Vito Giordano and Gelsomina Capobianco, he moved with his family to the United States when he was still an infant and was erroneously registered as Raffaele Capabianca Giordano. After four years of living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he moved to Fresno, California, and began boxing in 1919 while still a 14-year-old "newsboy."[10] One day Corbett and a friend hopped a freight train headed for Sacramento searching for a match there but they arrived in Marysville by mistake, where they attended a boxing show that night. After convincing the promoter that he was a fighter, Corbett faced a more experienced boxer named Eddie Morris, who knocked him out in the third round. Corbett, however, earned $7.50 for his performance.[2]

After graduating from Edison High School in 1920, Corbett began to practice more seriously. He got his stage name when a ring announcer told him he would not present him as Ralph Giordano and dubbed him "Young Corbett III" because his fighting style reminded him of William J. Rothwell, known as Young Corbett II,[11] or, according to other sources, for his haircut similar to that of heavyweight champion James J. Corbett.[12]

Boxing career[edit]

Corbett (facing camera) battles Jackie Fields at San Francisco's Seals Stadium,1933

Corbett fought many great fighters of his era, suffering only 5 defeats in his first 75 recorded bouts.[2] He engaged in a four-fight series with future welterweight champion Young Jack Thompson, winning three and drawing once. He also scored wins over Jack Zivic, Sgt. Sammy Baker, welterweight champion Jackie Fields and future middleweight king Ceferino Garcia.

Before a crowd of 16,000 on February 22, 1933, Corbett captured the welterweight championship of the world by decisioning Jackie Fields over 10 rounds at San Francisco's Seals Stadium. He competed with a broken hand received from a sparring session three days before the fight,[12] and hurt his left thumb in the fifth round but continued to fight undaunted. Referee Jack Kennedy remembered Corbett as "vicious in those first five rounds. He ripped him like a tiger. Fields could not protect himself".[13]

Three months later, he was dethroned by Hall of Famer Jimmy McLarnin in a first round knockout.[14] Corbett then moved up to the middleweight division. He scored wins over future light heavy champ Gus Lesnevich (TKO 5), as well as Hall of Famers Mickey Walker, and Billy Conn. On February 22, 1938 he beat Fred Apostoli, winning the middleweight championship. On November 18 of that year, he challenged Apostoli again, but was stopped in 8 rounds.

Retirement and death[edit]

Corbett boxed until August 20, 1940, winning his last fight against Richard "Sheik" Rangel. He retired with a 123-11-17 (33 KOs) record.[15][16] He later operated a bar in Fresno. On October 2, 1945 Corbett survived a serious car accident on Highway 99 near Delano, suffering a fractured skull and other injuries. He died in Auberry, California at the age of 88, after about 20 years afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.[17] A statue of him, posed in a fighting stance and boxing gloves, was erected in Fresno. The sculpture was realized by Clement Renzi.

Private life[edit]

Beside the boxing career, Corbett was a physical education instructor for the California Highway Patrol and a grape grower.[18] His cousin Al Manfredo (1912-1990) also was a boxer and later a boxing manager. Corbett is the great-grandfather of former American football safety Matt Giordano.

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[19]
Loss United States Fred Apostoli TKO 8 (15) 1938-11-18 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Lost NYSAC World Middleweight Title.
Win United States Fred Apostoli PTS 10 1938-02-22 United States Seals Stadium, San Francisco, California
Loss United States Billy Conn UD 10 1937-11-08 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win United States Billy Conn PTS 10 1937-08-13 United States Dreamland Auditorium, San Francisco, California
Win United States Gus Lesnevich TKO 5 (10) 1937-03-12 United States Dreamland Auditorium, San Francisco, California
Loss Canada Lou Brouillard PTS 10 1935-07-04 United States Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California
Win Netherlands Bep van Klaveren PTS 10 1935-02-22 United States Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California
Win Netherlands Bep van Klaveren PTS 10 1935-01-28 United States Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California
Win United States Mickey Walker PTS 10 1934-08-14 United States Seals Stadium, San Francisco, California
Loss Canada Jimmy McLarnin TKO 1 (10) 1933-05-29 United States Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California Lost World Welterweight Title.
Win United States Jackie Fields PTS 10 1933-02-22 United States Seals Stadium, San Francisco, California Won World Welterweight Title.
Win Philippines Ceferino Garcia PTS 10 1932-10-25 United States Civic Auditorium, Fresno, California
Win Philippines Ceferino Garcia PTS 10 1932-04-12 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win United States Jack Thompson PTS 10 1930-07-04 United States Ewing Field, San Francisco, California
Win United States Jackie Fields PTS 10 1930-02-22 United States Recreation Park, San Francisco, California
Win United States Jack Thompson PTS 10 1928-02-13 United States State Armory, San Francisco, California
Draw United States Jack Thompson PTS 10 1927-06-24 United States Dreamland Rink, San Francisco, California
Win United States Jack Thompson PTS 6 1926-05-18 United States Civic Auditorium, Fresno, California

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Lineal Welterweight Champs". Cyber Boxing Zone.
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, Skutt, p.90
  3. ^ Top 12 All-Time Best Southpaws, thefightcity.com, Retrieved on 6-21-16
  4. ^ Ranking the 10 Greatest Southpaws in Boxing History, bleacherreport.com, Retrieved on 6-21-16
  5. ^ Ken Blady, The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame, SP Books, 1988, p.205
  6. ^ "Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame | Home". Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame | Home. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  7. ^ Young Corbett III/NIASHF, NIASHF.com, Retrieved on 7-10-14
  8. ^ Young Corbett III/IBHOF, IBHOF.com, Retrieved on 3-28-08
  9. ^ "Article about Young Corbett III" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  10. ^ "Young Corbett III - Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  11. ^ Hudson Jr., p.70
  12. ^ a b "Young Corbett's lounge was a place the Champ welcomed friends and strangers alike". fresnobee.com. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  13. ^ Roberts, Skutt, p.91
  14. ^ "McLarnin Spotted Flaw, Stunned Young Corbett - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1999-03-29. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  15. ^ "Young Corbett III". Ibhof.com. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  16. ^ "Young Corbett III, Boxer, 88". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  17. ^ "Fifty years ago Young Corbett III was welterweight champion..." upi.com. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  18. ^ Young Corbett III - Non c'era solo Rocco Mazzola (Italian)
  19. ^ Young Corbett's Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

Bibliography[edit]

  • James B. Roberts, Alexander G. Skutt, The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book, McBooks Press, 2006
  • David L. Hudson Jr., Combat Sports: An Encyclopedia of Wrestling, Fighting, and Mixed Martial Arts, ABC-CLIO, 2009

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jackie Fields
World Welterweight Champion
February 22, 1933 – May 29, 1933
Succeeded by
Jimmy McLarnin