Archive for December, 2010


R.I.P. Danny Nardico – The only fighter to deck former world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta‏

Daniel R. “Danny” Nardico was awarded the Silver Star on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands on May 2, 1945, during World War II, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Silver Star is the third highest medal awarded by the Corps for bravery above and beyond the cDaniel R. “Danny” Nardico was awarded the Silver Star on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands on May 2, 1945, during World War II, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. The Silver Star is the third highest medal awarded by the Corps for bravery above and beyond the call of duty. His legs bore the scars of his war-time experience. Commenting on going into professional boxing, “After World War II, everything in life is a cakewalk.”

The only fighter to deck former world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, Nardico was furious when the movie, Raging Bull, failed to mention his knockdown of LaMotta.

Danny Nardico, former boxer from Tampa, dies at 85

By KEITH MORELLI | The Tampa Tribune In his 85 years, Daniel R. “Danny” Nardico had seen the horrors of war and stared down a raging bull in the boxing ring. The former U.S. Marine veteran who won the Silver Star for valor in Okinawa during World War II and professional fighter who boxed out of Tampa in the early 1950s, died on Nov. 22 in California.

He is credited with being the only fighter to legitimately knock out Jake LaMotta, the brash middleweight and light-heavyweight champion from the Bronx. The fight was in Coral Gables on New Year’s Eve 1952 and was the first professional boxing match fought in Florida televised to a national audience. At the time, Nardico was ranked fifth in the world in the light-heavyweight division.

The match was part of a 67-fight career for Nardico which included 50 wins, 35 by knockout, 13 losses and four draws over five years ending in 1954.

A career in pugilism was no big deal, Nardico said after moving to Tampa to launch his life in the ring.

“After World War II,” he was quoted as saying, “everything in life is a cakewalk.”

According to, an online boxing encyclopedia, Nardico used a right hook to deck LaMotta in the seventh round of the 10-round light-heavyweight bout. The bout is available on YouTube and shows Nardico pummeling LaMotta after the knockdown, as LaMotta held on to the ropes to keep his balance. LaMotta left his guard down for clear shots to the head. Still, he did not go down again before the bell.

LaMotta’s corner stopped the fight before the eighth round began.

LaMotta was the subject of a Martin Scorsese movie, “The Raging Bull”, but there was no mention of Nardico’s knockdown, which made Nardico furious, said.

Nardico’s daughter, Danella Plum, who lives in California, said her father died Nov. 22.

“I remember my father as being as strong as an ox, just strong but tenderhearted,” she said. “He also was a godly man with a strong faith. He had a hard exterior but inside, he was as soft as a marshmallow.

“Everybody loved him,” she said. “Through the years, he made a lot of friends. He was fortunate to be surrounded by so many people that loved him.”

She has fond memories growing up in Tampa with a father who was a professional fighter.

“As a little girl,” she said, “I recalled my dad faithfully working out to stay fit and sometimes when he had exhausted all the weights, he’d actually use me instead.

“I remember the neighborhood kids peering in under the garage door as my dad would lift me above his head over and over again.”

“I remember when he got his cauliflower ear from a hard fight and his manager bringing him home, laying him on the sofa,” she said, “and letting loose a whole jar full of colorful leeches to suck out some of the excessive fluids.”

Plum said that while his boxing career brought him some measure of fame, it was his actions in World War II and later Korea that defined his life.

“His bravery began much earlier when he entered the U.S. Marines and fought in the Korean War, winning two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star at the age of 18 for his, ‘brave actions while serving as a squad leader in a Marine rifle platoon on Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Islands on May 2, 1945.’ ”

She said Nardico moved his family from California to Tampa five years later and launched his boxing career under the management of Willie Pep, himself a former boxing champion.

During his boxing career, Nardico twice fought Charley Norkus, a top-ranked heavyweight who outweighed Nardico by nearly 20 pounds. Norkus won both fights, the first by a TKO in the ninth round. “The fight,” according to, “was a thriller with eight knockdowns.”

 The fight was so bloody, Plum said, that two months later, when the two boxed again, ringside spectators brought newspapers to protect themselves from being splattered by blood. Norkus won that bout by decision.

Plum said her father was honored in 1996 by the Veteran Boxers Association which called him a “great competitor, a dynamic puncher, a credit to the boxing game and yet a very mild-mannered gentleman.”

After his boxing career, he served as the recreational director of the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City for 13 years.

When Nardico retired, he and his wife Rachael of 42 years moved to Cool, Calif.

Plum said his last few years of his life, her father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, believed to have stemmed from the hard blows to the head accumulated throughout his short boxing career.

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World Class Referee and Good Guy, Benjy Esteves, Jr.

Hi Guys,
Hope all is well with you and your loved ones as well.
I am not sure if I ever mentioned that I have a God daughter named Carly Nieves who is currently battling  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and I was asked by her Mom and Dad (Lisa & my cousin Carlos) to see if I could get a few Boxing personalities to come an assist with a blood drive/bone marrow registry drive that is happening on Dec. 18th, 2010. See the address and details below.
I have never asked any of you for anything in the past but if I could get some of you guys to come by and spend a few hours with these kids maybe sign autographs or take photos with the donors and bone marrow registrants I think we could really do some good. I know this may be an inconvenience to some of you and I will respect you if you cannot make it to this event and most of all I will never, ever hold it against anyone that cannot attend. 
I know that there is a lot going on during this time of the year.
If any of you can attend please let me know so that we can do some advertising to get the public to come and see that Boxers and the Boxing community does care about these kids and are willing to help make a difference.
Please see the flyer on the previous email which has some information on this very important event.     
The Blood Drive and Bone Marrow registry is between the hours of 9am- 3pm at:
Christ the King Regional High School 
68-02 Metropolitan Avenue 
Middle Village,NY. 
Thank you and please feel free to forward this email to anyone you feel can assist.
Always in your corner,
Benjy Esteves, Jr.
732-238-7966 (H)
732-310-9878 (C)

Pacquiao is next to fight Juan Manuel Marquez

November 28, 2010 by Guest Post 
Filed under Boxing News


Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Juan Manuel Marquez retained his title with a ninth round TKO over interim champ Michael Katsidis on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Katsidis dropped Marquez in round three with a left hook to the chin. Marquez, however, recovered and for the most part was in control of an action packed bout before it was waved off at 2:14 of round nine by referee Kenny Bayless.

“I want to fight Pacquiao for the third fight.” said Marquez after the fight. “I know there’s other fighters out there that deserve to fight me but without a doubt, I deserve a third fight with Manny Pacquiao, but he keeps coming up with excuses.”

Rumors of Pacquaio not taking a fight with Marquez at a catch weight floating around, Marquez, soundly dismissed the idea that a third fight take place at 147 pounds as an excuse.

Do you want to see Pacquiao-Marquez 3?

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