Name: Dick Topinko
Birthplace: Lackawanna, New York, USA
Hometown: Lackawanna, New York, USA
Boxing Record: click
Dick Topinko, born and raised in Lackawanna's tough First Ward, started fighting at an early age out of necessity. Hardly a day went by where he didn’t get into a fight going to or from school. He was small and was constantly being picked on, having to fight to survive.
Topinko’s boxing career began in the fall of 1964 when a friend took him to Singer’s Gym. Topinko was originally trained by Tony Pinto, and subsequently by Johnny Sudac. His manager was Sam Cardinale.
Topinko always enjoyed a good scrap, so boxing was a natural for him and he soon learned to love it. He became very dedicated to the sport, trained hard and was always in excellent shape.
With only three months training he entered the Golden Gloves tournament and won all four of his fights to win the novice Lightweight championship in 1965.
He continued boxing and was undefeated in 10 fights before being drafted into the Army. He spent sixteen months in Viet Nam and in 1967 was runner-up in the U. S. Army All Command boxing tournament.
Upon his return home from the Army in 1967 he resumed his boxing career. In 1968 he fought and beat National A. A. U. champion Johnny Harp and was a finalist in the 1968 Golden Gloves tournament. He also competed in the nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah for the Olympic try-outs. Topinko turned pro in 1968 as a welterweight and was undefeated in his first fourteen fights.
In 1970, Dick Topinko was picked as ‘Prospect of the Month’ by The Ring Magazine, and again later that year picked four of five ‘Best Prospects in the World’ by The Ring. But unfortunately a year later he was forced to quit boxing due to a shoulder injury.
Topinko had a few words of advice for young men with pugilistic aspirations;
- Fighting is easy when your in shape.
- Give considerable consideration in choosing your trainer. Your career depends on it.
- Once you’ve chosen the right trainer, listen to him. Remember, he has your best interest at heart.
- Be honest with yourself, and true to your trainer.
- Always do your best and make no excuses for losing (unless it’s a hometown decision).
- The most important element in boxing is defense. There’s no reason to take punishment and no future in it either.
- Good luck and always keep punching.