Ralph Tribuani

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Name: Ralph Tribuani
Alias: Tribbi
Birth Name: Raffaele Guy Tribuiani
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Birthplace: San Marino, San Marino
Died: 1975-09-25 (Age:63)
Stance: Orthodox
Promoter: Record
Pro Boxer: Record

Raffaele Tribuiani was born in the Republic of San Marino and emigrated to the United States in his youth. In 1931, as a teenager, he was selected to box in a preliminary to a Primo Carnera boxing match in Wilmington, Delaware. His bout was scratched, but as he spoke fluent Italian, he acted as an interpreter for Carnera at the event, which began a life-long friendship.

As a colourful and charismatic American boxing promoter from Wilmington, Delaware, Ralph Tribuani promoted numerous events from the 1930s’ into the 1970s’ in the Delmarva Peninsula region of the United States.

“He was something of a national figure inside the fight game. Rocky Graziano, Rocky Marciano loved the guy. He brought Graziano, Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson here to fight.” “Not even Runyon would have found him for real.” Wilmington News Journal

Tribuani began promoting amateur shows at the Auditorium in Wilmington in the 1930s’, afterwards he initiated a renown drawing base with his brother Al Tribuani and Lou Brooks. As the original matchmaker of the T & C Arena in Wilmington Delaware, from 1940 to 1941, he guided several of his boxers, from the T & C Athletic Association, to win the New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions. His tenure in 1941, at the T & C Athletic Association, enabled multiple boxers to represent the New York team at the Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament in Chicago. Several of his fighters won the Diamond Belt. In the same era, he was well known for his hospitality and invitations to bring fighters from a distant region, for the time, like Savior Canadeo, to fight in Wilmington.

During difficult times, he assisted funding for boxing events in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was known as a good sport. Tribuani was well received in the minority communities. It has been said Tribuani was influential in having the ban lifted on inter-racial boxing in Delaware.

Tribuani veered away from the undesirable elements of the boxing world. In 1941 he organised the Wilmington Sportsmen’s Club, with his friend Bob Carpenter and promoted shows and exhibitions that included Bummy Davis, Rocky Graziano, Lew Jenkins, Joe Louis, Joey Maxim and Sugar Ray Robinson. Herman Taylor, Baron Dougherty and Jersey Joe Walcott amongst others frequented his shows.

His creditable influence redeemed a boxing license at a crucial time for Rocky Graziano.

He periodically provided positions as referees or hosts for former boxers that included Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard, Joe Louis, Tony Canzoneri and Jersey Joe Walcott.

In the 1960s’ and 1970s’ his amateur and pro-am shows were some of the most successful in the region, they included Bobby Watts, Willie Monroe and Cyclone Hart.

Over the years many celebrities frequented his restaurants, night-clubs and speak-easys which included, Whitey Bimstein, Red Smith [1], Mickey Vernon [2], Mickey Walker, Billy Graham, Barney Ross, Robin Roberts [3] and Tony Canzoneri. Mae West, Jimmy Caras [4], Edward G. Robinson and Tony Galento are among his friends.

Besides boxing Tribuani promoted musical events, in the 1930s’, they included Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra [5] and in the 1950s’ with Patti Page and Bill Haley and the Comets, the later in association with Lord Jim Ferguson whom he fought for in the 1920s’.

In the 1950s’ he also promoted wrestling events, some with a friend, Ray Fabiani [6], featuring Haystack Calhoun, "Argentina" Rocca and Johnny Valentine.

In 1970 he presented newly crowned world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier with a 500 pound championship cake at a testimonial, in Philadelphia.

Tribuani served in the Delaware National Guard as a recruiter and as a tank commander in the US Army. He participated in the invasion of Okinawa during World War Two.

He was befriended by many insiders of the boxing world from Chris Dundee in the 1930s' to Yank Durham in the 1970s'.

Ralph Tribuani / Rocky Graziano
Al Tribuani / Ralph Tribuani / Jack Johnson