Tony Galento

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"Two-Ton" Tony Galento

Name: Tony Galento
Alias: Two Ton Tony
Birth Name: Dominick Anthony Galento
Hometown: Orange, New Jersey, USA
Birthplace: Orange, New Jersey, USA
Died: 1979-07-22 (Age:69)
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 175cm
Reach: 183cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Division: Heavyweight
Trainers: Jimmy Frain and Johnny Burke
Managers: Elmer Flynn (1928) Harry Kinney (1928-1929), Johnny Scavone (1929-1931) Max Waxman (1931-1932), Pete Dodd (1932-1933), Jack Dempsey (1933-1934), Joe Jacobs and Harry Mendel (1935-1941), Willie Gilzenberg (1943)

Tony Galento Gallery


Galento floored Joe Louis during their 1939 title fight.
  • "Two-Ton" Tony Galento was one of the most colorful characters in the history of boxing. Standing 5'9" and weighing 230-plus pounds, Galento claimed that he trained on beer, hamburgers and spaghetti. He was a rough-and-tough brawler, but he was not without skill. Galento fought out of a very low crouch and would feint his way into a position to launch his left hook, which many consider to be one of the hardest of all time. Galento could also use a decent double jab when he wanted to.
  • Galento had an amateur record of 28-3.
  • The nickname "Two-Ton" came not from Galento's sizable girth, but from his job delivering ice. As the story goes, Galento arrived late for one of his fights, and his manager, Harry Kinney, yelled, "Where the hell have you been? Don't you know you're supposed to fight tonight?" Galento replied, "Take it easy. I had two tons of ice to deliver on my way here."
  • The powerful Galento was also called the "New Jersey Night Stick."
  • On May 1, 1931, Galento fought three times and won all three fights. He reportedly drank beer between rounds.
  • Galento knocked out Arthur De Kuh in four rounds on April 11, 1932. Early that day, Galento had won a $10 bet by eating 52 hot dogs.
  • Billed as "New Jersey's Heavyweight Hope," Galento was featured on the cover of the August 1938 issue of The Ring. He was featured again, along with World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis, on the cover of the July 1939 issue, which previewed his upcoming title fight against Louis.
  • The Ring ranked Galento as the No. 1 heavyweight contender in 1939.
  • On June 28, 1939, Galento challenged Joe Louis for the World Heavyweight Championship. Both were floored by left hooks, Galento in the second round and Louis in the third. Louis battered Galento in the fourth, and the referee stopped the fight at the 2:29 mark.
  • On September 15, 1939, Galento knocked out Lou Nova in 14 rounds. It was named the third dirtiest fight of all-time in the December 1997 issue of The Ring.
  • Galento was named the fourth dirtiest fighter of all-time in the 2003 book Boxing's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Champs, Chumps, and Punch-Drunk Palookas.
  • In 1940 and 1941, Galento had back-to-back fights against the Baer brothers, Max and Buddy. Galento was stopped in both fights.
  • Galento went on exhibition tour in 1943, which included a 10-round bout against pro wrestler Mike "Red" Ryan on November 5 in Omaha, Nebraska. Galento, weighing 225 pounds, knocked out the 185-pound Ryan in four rounds.
  • After he retired as a boxer, Galento became a professional wrestler and a wrestling referee.
  • Galento wrestled an octopus named Oscar in 1946. The match was a publicity stunt staged by Ivar Haglund, who established Seattle's first aquarium in 1938 and opened the renowned "Ivar's Acres of Clams" restaurant in 1946. The press ate it up, especially when it was reported that Oscar died shortly after the bout. However, the octopus actually died of natural causes before the fight. Galento wrestled Oscar's corpse, surreptitiously animated by Haglund.
  • Galento owned and operated a bar named "The Nut Club" in Orange, New Jersey.
  • Galento acted in the Marlon Brando film On The Waterfront, which won the Best Picture Oscar for 1954.
  • Galento was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 1970.
  • Suffering from diabetes, Galento underwent surgery in June 1977 to remove his left leg at mid-calf, and his right leg was amputated in July 1979. Galento died from a heart attack at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey, on July 22, 1979.

Galento and Dempsey

When Jack Dempsey became Galento's manager in 1933, the former champion asked Ray Arcel to train the young heavyweight. "I told Jack it was a waste of time and money," Arcel recalled years later, "but he was convinced that Galento could be a world beater and so, since we were friends, I agreed."

One day, Dempsey quietly strolled into Stillman's Gym and walked up to the balcony while Galento went through the motions of working out. Arcel recalled that Galento "was fatter than ever, hopelessly out of condition, and quite obviously doing nothing about it. . . . He didn't see Dempsey and continued waddling around the ring, clowning and wisecracking as he fooled with his sparring partners. After watching for a couple of rounds, Dempsey came down to ringside. He was wearing a beautifully cut light gray suit, tan and white shoes, and white silk shirt. When Tony caught sight of him, he gave him a big hello. 'You look like a million bucks dis afternoon,' he says to him. 'Never mind how I look, you big bum,' Dempsey answers. 'Let's see you do some work.' "

When Galento continued to loaf, Dempsey asked Arcel for some boxing gloves. "He took off his coat and stripped right down to his white silk monogrammed underpants and vaulted into the ring," Arcel said. "Now, Tony," Dempsey told Galento, "I’ll show you how we used to do it."

"What he did to Galento in those three minutes was nobody's business," Arcel remembered. "He ripped punches into the pudgy torso from all angles, split his lips with a terrific left, and sent the blood squirting from his nose with a right."

Even when Galento threw his arms up for Dempsey to stop, Arcel said, the former heavyweight champion kept going. "He chased after him, throwing punches until I called time. Still breathing easily, Dempsey ducked under the ropes and began to dress while Galento stood shaking his head in a semi-daze and trying to wipe the blood from his face with the back of his boxing gloves. When dressed, Dempsey gave him one contemptuous look. 'That's how we used to fight, Galento,' he said. 'Now I'm through with you. You can find yourself another manager.' Then he turned to me and said, 'You were right, Ray. It's a waste of time trying to make a champ out of this chump.' "


  • Galento: "I don't see anything wrong in sticking your thumb into a guy's eye. Just a little."
  • Galento, quoted in a mangled New Jersey accent, before his fight against Joe Louis in 1939: "I'll moider da bum."
  • Joe Louis: "Tony berated me something terrible before the fight. He got to me, and I hated him for it. I never hated anybody before. I decided to punish him before I knocked him out."
  • Galento's personal physician, Dr. Joseph E. Higi, in 1939: "Tony is a throwback. He is the thick-boned, hyposensitive type which does not readily register pain. I doubt if any of the thousands of blows he has stopped really has ever hurt him. He has no nerve or brain injury because he has never been stunned."
  • Boxing historian Bert Sugar: "Galento had the body of a butcher's block and the vocabulary of a barroom burgher."
  • Trainer Ray Arcel, who briefly trained Galento: "He was as strong as an ox, and his powers of endurance and his ability to soak up punishment and absorb pain bordered on the freakish. . . . But outside the ring he was nothing but a comic, noisy man whose circus tent antics and crazy eccentricities certainly brought no credit to the game. Trying to get Galento fit was a farce. The New Jersey Fat Boy dragged his training down to a comic strip level."
  • Cutman Whitey Bimstein after Galento's fight against Joe Louis: "I still think Tony Galento would have licked him if he obeyed orders."

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