Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On This Day: Petey Scalzo The Greek With the Golden Gloves

By Peter Silkov

Petey Scalzo, was a skillful and fast boxer, with a good punch, who was born Peter Donato Scalzo in New York, New York, on June 15, 1917.  Petey came from a rough childhood in Hell’s Kitchen and would win the New York Golden Gloves, New York Metropolitan AAU championship, and International Golden Gloves. He turned professional in 1936, at a time when the featherweight division was hot with great talent, at the age of 15 years old.

Scalzo rose steadily to title contention, winning 71 of 77 contests, (against 3 defeats and 3 draws) in 4 years and he became known as “The Greek.” On May 15, 1940, Scalzo won the NBA world featherweight title when he stopped Frankie Covelli in the 6th round.  It was a fast rise to the championship. He would go on to defend his title 3 times.

Scalzo lost his NBA world featherweight title in his 3rd defence on July 1, 1941, when he was knocked out in the 5th round by Richie Lemos.  Scalzo continued to fight for another 2 years, but his best days were past as he went 10-9 in his last 19 fights.  In his last contest, on October 25, 1943, and by now fighting as a lightweight, Bob Montgomery stopped Scalzo in the 6th round.  After this fight, Scalzo retired with a final record of 90(48koes)-15-6.

After retirement, Scalzo would go on to referee boxing matches, work for the New York State Athletic Commission, and also work in the entertainment industry.  Peter Scalzo died on June 15, on 1993, aged 75, from Alzheimer’s, after spending years in a Veteran’s Hospital, unaware of his former life or those that were a part of it.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to

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