Feature | Mar 10 2015

The story of 98-year-old Steve Acunto and his magical life in boxing

Jack Hirsch talks to a wonderful man who has devoted his life to the noble art
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THE raspy voice on the other end of the phone asks me when I can come over to his home in Mount Vernon, New York, to discuss an important matter. The tone is one I am all too familiar with. A request will be made, one of which I can be of no help, but that doesn’t deter Steve Acunto from trying. When I arrive he wastes no time telling me what is on his mind. “MMA is ruining boxing,” he laments. “You have to use your influence to see that it is banned in New York State.”

Steve Acunto has devoted his life to boxing, and a long life it has been. Acunto age 98, is still striving to improve the sport he loves. For a man of his advanced years to retain the motivation and drive he has is nothing short of phenomenal.

Father time has slowed Acunto down physically. He stopped his daily routine of skipping rope at 93 and now spends most of his time sitting in a wheelchair when he is not taking an occasional stroll around the Victorian mansion he grew up in, one estimated to be around 200 years old. Father time has a tough adversary in Acunto. We agree that it won’t claim him until he at least reaches his 100th birthday on November 15, 2016.