Name: Lou Filippo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: 2009-11-02 (Age:83)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5′ 6″ / 168cm
Boxing Record: click
Judging Record: click
Refereeing Record: click
Manager and Trainer: Jackie McCoy
Officiating Record: Judge
Officiating Record: Referee
Photo: circa 1954
Lou Filippo attended John C. Fremont High School in south Los Angeles, and began boxing at the 97th Street Arena to become one of California's top amateur boxers of the 1940s. He joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, became a Pharmacist Mate, 2nd Class (medic), serving aboard the USS South Dakota. He won the South Pacific All-Services 125-pound title in 1944 at Guadacanal, South Pacific; as well as the 1945 Naval Base 125-pound Championship (where his team-mate was Joey DeJohn). After his discharge from the Navy, Filippo won the US Diamond Belt (in the lightweight division). He had more than 250 amateur bouts before embarking on a professional career.
Filippo fought professionally from 1947-1957, compiling a record of 28-9-3 (8), and was named Action Fighter of the Year in Los Angeles (1957). During his career he fought former lightweight champions Carlos Ortiz and Lauro Salas. Filippo was known to cut easily, and once quipped that he would start bleeding while the referee was still giving opening instructions.
He later became a boxing manager and trainer (he trained World Champion Don Jordan for a couple of fights). Filippo went into refereeing and judging in the early 1970s at the suggestion of Olympic Auditorium promoter Aileen Eaton, and eventually officiated over 85 championship bouts. He was the judge who favored Hagler 115-113 in the controversial Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard middleweight championship fight in Las Vegas. Filippo also handled the first Shane Mosley-Oscar De La Hoya welterweight championship fight in 2000 in Los Angeles.
Filippo appeared as either a referee or announcer in five of the six "Rocky" boxing movies. (He was not in the sixth installment, "Rocky Balboa.") Filippo's reputation as a "loyal, straight-up guy" helped him win Sylvester Stallone's attention. (In "Rocky II" Filippo tells Stallone's bloodied character Rocky Balboa before the epic 15th round: "Hey, Rock, you get in trouble one more time...," to which Balboa answers: "Don't stop nothing!" When both fighters fall to the canvas on a Balboa punch and opponent Apollo Creed slumps in a corner, Filippo tells Rocky: "You're out!")(Filippo's movie credits are here.)
He also spent 43 years working for Thermo-Electron, Cal Duran Division. And, from 1983 to about 2005, Filippo served as an executive with the World Boxing Hall of Fame--serving two terms as its President from 1993.
He was the husband of Pat (who died in 2007), and father of Debbye and Patti.
Lou Filippo passed away Nov. 2, 2009, in Los Angeles, of a stroke--having judged his final bout only two weeks earlier. His funeral was held Nov. 6 at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 10727 Downey Ave, Downey, CA, USA.
- Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, "Expanded Category" (Referees & Judges & Timekeepers)
- Inducted into the John C. Fremont Hall of Fame
- 2005 Inductee into the California Boxing Hall of Fame
Sources: The Ring magazine, Holiday 1999 issue, pp. 55-57; WBHOF Year 2000 Souvenir Program; www.fightworld.us