Rocky Fumerelle

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Fumerelle Rocky.jpg
Name: Rocky Fumerelle
Alias: The Blonde Bomber
Birth Name: Richard R. Fumerelle
Born: 1937-10-11
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, USA
Died: 2013-10-30 (Age:76)
Hometown: Buffalo, New York, USA
Boxing Record: click

They called him the "Blonde Bomber." And one California boxing fan compared him to Jack Dempsey who had "that same exciting way of trying to annihilate an opponent quickly, explosively, and in any way he knows how." Richard Rocco Fumerelle was born in South Buffalo, and with the encouragement of his father, a former amateur lightweight, began boxing while attending South Park High School. In 1955 Rocky won the Buffalo Golden Gloves novice middleweight title, and the following year did the same in the Open division. In all, Fumerelle went undefeated in 19 amateur bouts, and rather than attempting to win any national titles, he decided to turn pro, under the management of Mike Scanlon. Boxing in Buffalo was at a low ebb, so Scanlon decided to take his stable of fighters to California where they rented a house in San Francisco with Joey Giambra, Bobby Scanlon and Richie Todaro. During this time Rocky appeared on the undercard of numerous Richmond, Oakland, and San Francisco promotions, and according to one Richmond writer, was "Northern California's most popular preliminary fighter." (It was customary then to award a prize watch to the most exciting figher of the evening, and Rocky almost always came away with the timepiece.) Still undefeated after 16 bouts, Rocky returned to Buffalo, had a couple of easy wins, made the decision to leave Mike Scanlon, and signed with two NYC managers, Carmine Graziano & Tony Ferrente, who he believed could further his career. Later in 1959 Rocky was matched against the tough veteran Joe Micili, who had fought all the best welterweights, and came away with a 10-round decision win to remain undefeated in 25 bouts. A few months later, still feeling the effects of a flu bug, Fumerelle dropped a decision to Tony Dupas, for his first loss. Rocky had only 4 more fights, the most notable of which was a victory over Ralph "Tiger" Jones, the veteran middleweight, who everyone had watched countless times on TV. After a few more fights, Fumerelle decided to retire from the ring, declaring that "it wasn't fun any more." After attending Canisius College for a few years, Rocky went into the communications and property management business, where he is still active. Married to the former Rita Cafarella, they have two children and two grandchildren. Inducted into Buffalo VBA Hall of Fame August 2002. The following biography is from the program book handed out at the 6th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner Banquet held the evening of Friday, August 9, 2002.