History | Apr 26 2018

On This Day: Italian great Nino Benvenuti was born

Paul Wheeler profiles Italy's suave boxing idol, Nino Benvenuti
nino benvenuti
nino benvenuti

A BONAFIDE hero to the admiring Italian public, Giovanni Benvenuti had it all. With film star good looks and an all-round athleticism, the Trieste man rose to prominence at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where he picked up a gold medal in the welterweight tournament. Before shooting to fame at the Games, Benvenuti had already secured multiple national amateur titles, as well as two European amateur crowns at light-middleweight. Prior to turning professional, he reportedly compiled a record of 120-0.

After storming to 29 wins in as many fights as a pro (including a points victory over travelling Cuban Isaac Logart), Nino earned a crack at the vacant Italian middleweight belt. He duly knocked out Tommaso Truppi in the 11th round.

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