Sonny O'Day

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Name: Sonny O'Day
Alias: Charles Augustus George
Birth Name: Carlo Giorgi
Born: 1913-03-08
Birthplace: Lucca, Toscana, Italy
Died: 2001-01-31 (Age:87)
Hometown: Butte, Montana, USA
Boxing Record: click

Other nicknames: The Kid from Meaderville, The Meaderville Phantom and Butte's Boxing Star

Sonny immigrated to the US in 1920 with his mother, brother and sister, relocating to the minning community of Meaderville in Butte, MT. In passing through Ellis Island, the family name Giorgi was americanized to George. He started boxing at age 10 at Butte's Pat Sullivan Boxing Club, representing the club in amateur fights throughout the US. Sonny was also active in football, swimming and diving. After his mother passed away, Sonny took his sister and ailing stepfather back to the family villa in Italy. After his stepfather passed away, he immediately returned to the US to avoid being drafted into Mussolini's army. He returned to the US to New York in the early 1930s and spent time sleeping in an Eastside gym and in Central Park to wait for his big boxing break. Sonny lied about his age to get amateur bouts. An agent saw him, changed his name to Sonny O'Day because the Irish controlled the fight game and changed his birth date to March 17th. It is reported by some that over the next 17 years, he fought 529 fights, lost 32 and had some draws in Madison Square Garden, Sunset Garden and other major venues throughout the US. Jack Dempsey refereed one of Sonny's early fights. After his fight career ended, Sonny took his earnings and opened two famous Butte nightclubs in the late 1930s - the Savoy and Melody Lane. In the 1940s, he also opened a bar and tavern in Laurel. When Golden Gloves came to Montana in 1952, Sonny became involved training many young fighters and refereeing the very first fight along with many others over the years. When Montana's boxing turned professional, he served on the state Athletic Commission for 26 years. He was instrumental in bringing 77 professional bouts to Montana, including three world championship fights. As chairman of the Commission, he promoted the Gene Fullmer-Joey Giardello Middleweight Championship title match on April 29, 1960 in Bozeman. His civic service included serving as Lieutenant Governor and a gounding member of the Montana Gambling Commission. He served in the US Army during World War II.

Sonny was buried with military honors in Laurel Cemetery.