Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy 75th Birthday Nino Benvenuti

Giovanni Benvenuti was born on April 26, 1938 in Isola d´Istria, Italy, today it is Izola, Slovenia. Better known to us as Nino Benvenuti, he is a former Italian boxer who is considered by many, to be the greatest boxer to ever come out of 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.

On 20 January 1961, he made his professional boxing debut, beating Ben Ali Allala by decision in six rounds. He went on to win 29 fights in a row before challenging for the Italian Middleweight title, on March 1, 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 September 18, 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 June 18 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. On March 13, 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, Benvenuti avenged the defeat with an eighth-round knockout of Bethea himself, Benvenuti soon lost his title, being beaten by young Carlos Monzón by a knockout in round twelve in Rome on November 7, 1970.

Benvenuti then retired and became a successful businessman, show host and city counselor in Trieste, where he opened a high-class restaurant.

In a brief acting career, he appeared in such films as “Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid” (1969) billed as Robert Neuman in the U.S.A.

Nino became a member of International Boxing Hall of Fame [1992] and the World Boxing Hall of Fame [1993].

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.

Today we celebrate Nino Benvenuti’s 75th birthday.


  1. My Hero is Nino Benvenuti

  2. Nice to see Nino recalled, but this doesn't take us past the wikipedia entry. What has happened since the Mother Teresa work? When did he return? What is he up to now?