Al Tribuani

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Al Tribuani

Name: Al Tribuani
Alias: Tribby
Birth Name: Alfred D. Tribuiani
Born: 1921-02-15
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: 1995-11-16 (Age:74)
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 8½″   /   174cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainers: Bob Carpenter, Whitey Bimstein, Al Silvani & Frankie Garcia.
Managers: Ralph Tribuani & Babe Griffin (West Coast)

Pre-Professional Era

As a perennial high school football player Al Tribuani posted 48 AAU victories by the end of his junior year, thirty by knockout, of whom five were district Golden Gloves champions. At times he performed in football games during the day and fought at night, notably in the finals of the 1939 Philadelphia Daily News Golden Gloves Tournament. In 1940 as a senior in high school, he won the Diamond Belt in Philadelphia and the New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions at Madison Square Garden, in the welterweight divisions. In the same year he split four fights with Savey Canadeo winning the second and fourth, reportedly only having marginal differences in the first [1], second and third bouts. He was offered scholarships to Duke University and Villanova University. Soon after high school his National Guard unit was activated as a prelim to World War II. He has conflicting birth dates. It appears he joined the guard at sixteen, two years under the required age. In 1941 being selected by team coaches Spike Webb and Sugar Ray Robinson and obtaining a leave from the military, he won the Intercity Golden Gloves in the middleweight division, by knocking out Bob Satterfield in two minutes and forty-nine seconds of the first round. "I'm happy to say I got him before he got me" 1953. He fought out of the T & C Athletic Association, Delaware's first inter-racial boxing club. Along with his brother Ralph Tribuani, Al was a proponent for the repeal of Delaware's ban on inter-racial boxing.

Fighting Style

He emulated his mentor Tony Canzoneri's style of fighting, having the ability to take a great punch, he was known to fight back gamely. He has a 4-1 record with boxers on the 2003 Ring Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time.

Armstrong & Davis Bouts


Some felt he was weakened in making the weight for the Armstrong bout, others felt the bout contributed to Armstrong's loss to Bo Jack. Regardless it was a great fight, with the crowd being so loud the fighters could not hear the bell at the end of the rounds. His bouts with Bummy Davis were classics. The second bout left Tribuani with a cheekbone fractured in three places. "Even now all I have to do to recall my toughest fight is rub my hand across the left side of my face. The pain and memory of that June night and a great fight against a real game guy flashes quickly to mind" 1953. In reference to Armstrong and Davis being dirty fighters his response was "No they were just rough tough fighters and they fought that way" 1976.

World War II

The war and his military service often had interfered in his career, he embellished what opportunities he was permitted. He had pending offers to fight Charley Burley on the west coast and Jose Basora on the east coast when his service obligations interrupted his career. In the1930s he was a member of the Delaware National Guard [1], he may have been 16 years old at the time of his enlistment. Many of his regiment were activated into the United States Army at Jamaica, New York, where he was sworn in on the 26th of September 1940. He was sworn into the United States Army again on the 19th of August 1943 at Camden, New Jersey. Afterwards he was transferred to Fort Ord at Monterey, California, where he trained for deployment and was a boxing instructor. Babe Griffin became his west coast manager. He had difficulty at times to obtain leave from the military to train, fortunately his colonel was a fight enthusiast. Although he wasn't known to be avid at training, he still managed to post seven victories and one disputed draw. He always expressed respect and fondness for Griffin. He and his representatives attempted to secure a fight with Bruce Woodcock. "Heck, I would have taken a shot at him, going overseas anyway" 1976.

He was deployed to Europe as a soldier in General Patton's [2] Third Army's 90th Infantry Division known as the "Tough 'Ombres" [3], serving in the 358th Regiment [4], a distinguished unit referred to as “Peragimus". Initially he was a chaplain's assistant, he participated in five major battles and the liberation of the Flossenbuerg Concentration Camp, being decorated for valor. He was wounded in action by the Nazis in Czechoslovakia, the wounds would lead to his retirement from the ring.


Al tribuani 2.jpg
  • Protege of Benny Leonard.
  • Known to sleep in the locker room before his fights.
  • In 1949 he fought an exhibition with his former Golden Gloves teammate Sugar Ray Robinson, whom he sparred with on many occasions in his Golden Gloves era.
  • Well known for his debonair appearance and mannerism and his love of sports and music. Billy Eckstein [5] is among his favorites.
  • His last name is spelled Tribuiani, as in his son's family and his authentic relatives.
  • Did not suffer with dementia pugilistica.
  • As a long time friend, Delaware Governor David P. Buckson spoke Tribuani's eulogy upon his passing.

Quotes on Triby

  • "He's a great fighter, greater fighter than I had the least idea he was" Whitey Bimstein 1943
  • "Only a great fighter could have come back after that" (reference on the first Davis fight) Barney Ross 1956

Additional Photo & Triva

Preceded by:
Corky Dulgarian
New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Welterweight Champion

Succeeded by:
Charley (Deacon) Burley
Preceded by:
Johnny Najunas
Intercity Golden Gloves
Middleweight Title

Succeeded by:
Reggie Osborne

Sources: included and not limited to

  • [1] Chicago Daily Tribune March 19, 1940
  • Several US news sources
  • Archived US Military Records