Name: Lenny Mancini
Alias: Boom Boom
Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio, USA
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, USA
Died: 2003-11-29 (Age:84)
Pro Boxer: Record
Lenny Mancini was an outstanding amateur in Youngstown, Ohio during the depression era decade of the 1930s. He went to New York City in the late 1930s to fight for manager Frankie Jacobs, and local ring standouts Tony Janiro, Tommy Bell, George (Sonny) Horne, Joey Carkido, Frank Lentine and Joe (Red) D'Amato ultimately followed. It was this group of local fighters that became part of boxing history at a time considered by many to be the greatest era of the sport.
A muscular 5'2" lightweight, Mancini became the little guy's hero. He earned the moniker of "Boom Boom" early in his professional career from the avid New York boxing fans who loved his relentless attacking style. Most of Mancini's fights took place in New York. He fought in such legendary arenas as Broadway Arena, St. Nicholas Arena, Ridgewood Grove, and Madison Square Garden.
Mancini was a very busy fighter. He fought twelve times in 1939, thirteen in 1940, and thirteen in 1941. In his first fight at Madison Square Garden, he fought a six-round draw with future World Welterweight Champion Marty Servo. After back-to-back ten-round decision wins over Billy Marquart, Mancini fought NBA World Lightweight Champion Sammy Angott in a ten-round non-title fight at Cleveland's Public Hall on May 19, 1941. Angott was awarded a split decision victory, with the referee scoring for Mancini and the two judges scoring for Angott. The Associated Press scored 5-3-2 for Angott. The verdict was unpopular with the crowd, who booed the decision.
On November 11, 1941, Mancini defeated Canadian Lightweight Champion Dave Castilloux in Montreal by a ten-round split decision. "Mancini was the perpetual motion kid himself," one newspaper reported. Always popular with the fans, Mancini was given a standing ovation when the decision was announced. The win established him as the No. 1 contender for Angott's crown.
Negotiations for a title fight were under way when, on January 15, 1942, Mancini was drafted into the Army. His manager told him to request a 30-day furlough so he could get his long-awaited shot at the title. Mancini even offered his entire purse to the Army. Selective Service's answer: We want you, not your money.
He became an infantryman, and on November 11, 1944, he was hit by mortar shrapnel in Metz, France. Shrapnel, six fragments in all, tore through his back, arm and leg. Physicians were able to remove only four. He spent six months recuperating. At the end of June 1945, he was discharged from the Army with a Purple Heart.
Mancini returned to professional boxing as a welterweight in October 1945, but he wasn't the same fighter. He retired in 1947 at the age of 28.
His dream of a world title happened for his son, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, who knocked out Arturo Frias in the first round to win the WBA World Lightweight Championship on May 8, 1982. Lenny Mancini was ringside to see his son's accomplishment.