Some historians have called the 1950s the greatest period of peace and prosperity in America: The 1950s represented a golden era of achievement, undergirded by an affirming age of simplicity, when homespun, working values and patriotism were at an all-time high for the multitudes of multicultural, multiethnic makeup of its citizenry. America was a...

Thwacks and thumps echo through the hallway of the 17th century church in a neglected Naples neighborhood as 21-year-old Nico Rodrigues and 20 other youngsters go through their paces in the boxing ring. Rodrigues is one of 60 young people who have found an escape from the local area’s harsh streets in the boxing project founded a year ago by Father...

A public ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, August 30, in Newton, to honor the memory of legendary world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, who died in a plane crash here 50 years ago.  A large information sign will be dedicated, with a large rock sitting next to it stating Rocky’s record of 49-0, with 43 knockouts. Iowa Governor Ki...

Sonny Conto, a genuine and upbeat 23-year-old boxer from S. 9th Street, is setting himself apart in a sport too often defined by flashy promotions and over-the-top personalities. An Italian-American who picked up boxing gloves at age 10, Conto is beloved in his South Philly neighborhood and humbled by the family and fans who roar from beside the ri...

Fifty years ago, the city of Brockton was dealt a sucker punch. Hank Tartaglia remembers that horrible night in the summer of '69 like it was yesterday, as he was closing down his little Italian restaurant called Enrico's on Legion Parkway, and the phone rang with a call from a buddy working the graveyard shift at the Brockton Police Department. Th...

The 25-year-old from the great city of Rome may not be a household name yet, but big things are expected from him. Vianello has continued his stay in America for further professional boxing development by joining Joseph Parker coach Kevin Barry in Las Vegas. The Italian had previously been coached in California by Abel Sanchez. Currently 4-0 having...

Years before he decided to make boxing his everything, South Philadelphia’s Sonny Conto had visions of one day pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies. The rising heavyweight prospect gets to merge those two worlds, even if only for a night. Conto will serve as the guest of honor for the Phillies’ 12th annual Italian-American Heritage Celebration ga...

When most young boys are shooting hoops or playing catch with their fathers, Ray Boom Boom Mancini stepped into a boxing gym and promised his dad, “One day I’m going to be champion.” As a child, Ray routinely perused his father Lenny Mancini’s scrap book of newspaper articles about his bouts in the 1930s and 1940s and carefully read and reread the...

Long before Sonny Conto made his professional heavyweight boxing debut at 2300 Arena by pounding Jimmie Levins until the ref stopped the fight in the first round, “Sonny from S. 9th Street” was just a well-known guy from the neighborhood. Like a hyped rap act with posters announcing its first mixtape or a young punk band hustling DIY stickers, the...

“Mancino” in Italian translates as left-handed or, in boxing circles, “southpaw.” However, Raymond Michael Mancino, born in Youngstown, Ohio, on March 4, 1961, was neither a southpaw nor Mancino to the boxing fraternity. The orthodox pressure fighter soon became known as Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini in the professional ranks. Years ago, many Italian Ame...