John Budinich was born in Chile and had the rare distinction of being a boxing pioneer in both Chile and Cuba. Budinich was Chile's first professional boxer and a pioneer boxing coach. He also lived in Cuba from 1910-1915 where he opened the nation's first boxing academy, becoming Havana's first promoter. He was also a main event fighter in his own shows. In the 1940s he was awarded a special retirement pension by the Chilean government.