Tony "TWO TON" Galento the most colourful fighter in the history of boxing SIGNED & INSCRIBED "To My Friend Harvey Best Wishes" black & white 5 1/2" x 3 1/4" photo.
Condition very good (slight wear & tear)
Dominic Anthony Galento (March 12, 1910—July 22, 1979) was an Italian American heavyweight. Nicknamed "Two Ton" for his reasoning to his manager for being nearly late to one of his fights: "I had two tons of ice to deliver on my way here".
Galento was one of the most colorful fighters in the history of the sport. He wrestled an octopus, and boxed a kangaroo as publicity stunts for his fights. He also attempted to make some money by boxing a 550 lb. (250 kg) bear, as a stage attraction.
Galento was a "no holds barred" brawler, with a wicked left hook, who never let such niceties as the ring rules, or sportsmanship, interfere with his goal to knock out the other fighter. During his prime years as a boxer, Galento owned and operated a bar named "The Nut Club" in Orange, New Jersey.
He was reputed to do his roadwork (training) after he closed the bar at 2:00 a.m.. When asked why he trained at night, Galento replied, "Cuz I fight at night."
Galento, who claimed to be 5'9 (177 cm) tall, liked to weigh in at about 235 lb (107 kg) for his matches. He achieved this level of fitness by eating whatever, whenever he wanted. A typical meal for Galento consisted of six chickens, a side of spaghetti, all washed down with a half gallon of red wine, or beer, or both at one sitting. When he did go to training camp, he foiled his trainers attempts to modify his diet and terrorized his sparring partners by eating their meals in addition to his.
He was reputed to train on beer, and allegedly ate 52 hot dogs on a bet before facing heavyweight Arthur DeKuh. Galento was supposedly so bloated before the fight that the waist line of his trunks had to be slit for him to fit into them. Galento claimed that he was sluggish from the effects of eating all those hot dogs, and that he could not move for three rounds.
Nevertheless, Galento knocked out the 6'3" (192 cm) DeKuh with one punch, a left hook, in the fourth round.
On 28 June 1939 Galento fought for the heavyweight championship of the world against the redoubtable, all time great heavyweight champion, Joe Louis. At this time Louis was a virtual fighting machine and heavily favored (8 to 1) to stop Galento. Galento was not impressed. In a pre-fight interview, Galento summed up his perspective on the fight as follows:
Reporter: "Tony, what do you think your chances are against Joe Louis?"
Galento: "Joe who?"
Reporter: "Joe Louis."
Galento: "I never hoid of da bum."
He also predicted that he would "moida da bum", and would telephone Louis to personally inform him that he was a bum and that Galento would "moida him". To show that he was serious and properly prepared for the Louis fight, Galento stated that he had not taken alcohol for two days before the bout.
The two fought in Yankee Stadium in New York. The short, balding Galento stunned the crowd, and his opponent, by staggering and hurting Louis with a powerful left hook in the first round. In the second round, Louis began hitting Galento with vicious combinations, opened a cut in Galento's mouth and floored the challenger with a powerful left hook that actually lifted Galento off his feet. This was the first time Galento had ever been knocked down in his professional career. In the third round, Louis again was hitting Galento with beautiful, precise combinations, when Galento caught him with a wild left hook. This time Louis went down. Louis, however, got up quickly, but took no chances for the remainder of the round. The fourth round was brutal for Galento, who really had no defense and was wide open for Louis' assault. Louis hit him with murderous combinations which forced the referee to finally stop the bout.
After the fight, Galento blamed his corner for the loss. He contended that his trainers convinced him to change his style, and fight cleanly. Galento always regretted that he did not fight "his" fight and foul Louis.
Galento's other two famous fights were with former champion Max Baer, and contender Lou Nova. The Nova fight is reputed to be one of the dirtiest and bloodiest fights ever fought. Nova was knocked down five times. Both fighters, kneed, gouged, hit below the belt, and on at least two knockdowns, Galento "fell" with his 230 lb (104 kg) on Nova, knees first.
Galento finally knocked Nova out in the 14th round.
Galento's fight with Max Baer ended when the referee stopped the bout in the eighth round. On the day of the Baer fight, Galento decided to first stop off at his bar. There he had a big bowl of spaghetti, with meat balls, washed down with half a case of beer. After his meal, Galento became embroiled in an argument with his brother. The dispute ended when his brother threw his beer glass in Galento's face, severely cutting his lip.
Galento was forced to get the cut stitched up, hours before the fight. Baer re-opened the cut in the first round, forcing Galento to swallow blood for the remainder of the fight. After the fight, Galento blamed his inability to "hook him around the head and butt him" for the loss. His record was 80-26-5 with 57 knockouts.
Galento retired from boxing in 1943, and applied his talents to the world of professional wrestling. He also turned to acting, and was given roles in Wind Across The Everglades (1958), The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956), Guys and Dolls (1955) and On the Waterfront (1954).
The entertainer Jackie Gleason used to tell this story from his stand-up comedy days. It seems he was playing a joint in New Jersey where he was being unmercifully heckled by a fat, beer guzzling, middle aged, bald jerk smoking a cigar. Finally, Gleason had had enough. He invited the obnoxious patron to step outside. Gleason swore he never saw anyone move so fast to take him up on his offer. The two went out into the street and Gleason next remembered coming to in his dressing room. Gleason had two questions: "What happened?", and "Who was that guy?". What happened was that he was knocked out cold. The guy that did it was Tony Galento.
Galento was interred in St. Johns Catholic Cemetery in Orange, New Jersey.