Name: Al Migliorato
Hometown: Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Birthplace: Wampum, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: 1989-11-03 (Age:40)
Pro Boxer: Record
- Manager: Stan Tomassello
Heavyweight prospect Al Migliorato was born and raised in Wampum, PA. In 1960, he won an award for the best stamp and baseball card collection, his first taste of fame. In 1964, he represented Wampum Playground in the annual Checker Tournament.
As a youngster he dreamed of following in the footsteps of Rocky Marciano. However, his ring idol was Muhammad Ali. Migliorato copied Ali's style of dancing around the ring, shuffling his feet, jabbing, and striking his opponents with lightning-fast combinations. He also used Ali's antics of yelling and screaming, "I'm the Greatest!"
According to an article on May 9, 1973 in the Miami News, Migliorato was an undefeated amateur boxer with a record of 28-0 (28 KOs) when he faced Muhammad Ali in a four-round exhibition on February 18, 1972 in Pittsburgh. Migliorato said that fans called him "The White Ali", and that the local commission told him that he had to turn pro after the Ali exhibition. Migliorato also claimed that Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee was so impressed by his performance, that he signed to manage and train him. In an article in The Evening Independent on May 14, 1982, Migliorato claimed to have beaten Duane Bobick as an amateur.
Some reports have Migliorato turing pro in 1971. One article had him scheduled to turn pro on April 5, 1972 in Canton Ohio.
Migliorato posted a record of 4-0-1 (another report has him at 3-0-1), before signing with Angelo Dundee (Migliorato claimed in a 1973 Miami News story that Dundee signed him after the Ali exhibition.) and moving to Florida where he fought on several of Chris Dundee's Tuesday night boxing shows in the old Miami Beach Auditorium.
In 1973, Migliorato fought 22 times, winning 21, 19 by KO, and fighting a draw with Holly Williams on March 13, 1973 in Miami Beach.
Migliorato quickly earned the reputation as a "Giant Killer", defeating 6′ 9″ James Youngblood aka James Clatman three times and 6′ 8″ John Russell, by KO in 18 seconds.
Migliorato had a difficult fight with John Connors. Connors stunned Migliorato with a left hook which sent him to the canvas for a nine-count in the opening seconds of their fight. Just when it seemed that an upset was in the making, Migliorato caught Connors with a lightning fast combination, sending him crashing to the canvas, out cold.
In 1974, Migliorato achieved national attention and was featured in the The Ring magazine as an upcoming prospect, following an upset fourth-round knockout over the highly regarded Dave Matthews on January 22, 1974 in Hollywood, Florida. Migliorato stretched his knockout streak to 20 straight with a one-round knockout over Jim Owens on December 12, 1974 in Louisville.
However, Migliorato's undefeated record came to a stunning halt when he was bombed out in two rounds by club-fighter Lou Rogan on January 21, 1975. Migliorato claimed that he defeated Rogan in a rematch, but as of yet, this fight has not been confirmed. Regardless, following this defeat, Migliorato's career took a nose dive and he suffered KO losses at the hands of Eugene Idolette in one round and Clyde Fussell in four. He retired in 1980 following a decision win over Charlie "Emperor" Harris. His career record was 37-4-2 with 33 knockouts.
In "The Evening Independent" article of May 14, 1982, Migliorato was credited with a 52-3 boxing record, and was reported to be the "Southern Lightheavyweight Champion". Migliorato also claimed in the article to have beaten former heavyweight contender Ron Stander and #1 cruiserweight contender Randy Stephens. He also claimed he was currently 17-0 (16 KOs) as a light heavyweight. He told reporter Tim McDonald that if World 175-pound champion Dwight Braxton wouldn't fight him that he would retire and focus on his career as a baseball umpire.
According to a November 1982 article written by Bob Chick, Sports Editor of the Evening Independent, Migliorato knocked out Tommy Bonds in five rounds in a fight promoted by Ted Murray on October 26, 1982 at the Bayfront Concourse Ballroom in Orlando, Florida.
With his fistic career over, Migliorato became a minor league baseball umpire with the Florida State League. On June 27, 1983, Migliorato was umpiring a charity softball game between the Miami Dolphins Football Team and the Florida Highway Patrol, when he got into an on-field argument with Dolphins linebacker A.J. Duhe. Migliorato sued Duhe for $500,000.00, claiming he was pushed, spat upon, and humiliated. On June 7, 1984, a jury deliberated for over 2 hours, and concluded that Migliorato was not entitled to any damages.
On Friday, November 3, 1989 in Zephyrhills, Florida, Al Migliorato died in a freak evening skydiving accident. He jumped out of a plane before his son's high school football game at Lake Mary High School Stadium. Migliorato was carrying the game ball and planned to land on the football field to deliver it to the team. For some unknown reason, Migliorato failed to pull his rip-cord and landed in the street outside of the playing field. Migliorato died shortly after 7 p.m. when he fell 3,500 feet into a neighborhood four blocks from the stadium. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died. Police said Migliorato died of injuries from the impact. The unused emergency chute, packed by a licensed rigger at Skydive DeLand Inc., opened properly when later tested on the ground by police. Police said Migliorato had never jumped at night before, a skill requiring a special license.Some time before his fatal jump, Migliorato asked Skydive DeLand instructor Bob Hallett to teach him to jump at night, but Hallett refused, saying Migliorato did not have enough experience. Hallett declined to comment to the press following Migliorato's death.
Lake Mary High School Principal Don Reynolds and the school's assistant principals had approved the jump in a staff meeting because we agreed it would be nice, said assistant principal Bill Moore.He (Migliorato) said he was experienced and had done numerous night jumps, Moore said. He was a very respected parent and we didn't have any reason to question him.
Services were held at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Goldenrod.
- Minor League Basball.com, August 6, 2008: FSL Ump got blitzed by All-Pro linebacker: Migliorato sued Dolphins Star followed heated exchange at home plate, by Kevin T. Czcrwinski.
- Miami Herald, November 6, 1989, page 4B, Front: 2 MEN FALL TO THEIR DEATHS IN SEPERATE SKYDIVING ACCIDENTS.
- Miami Herald, June 8, 1984, 2C Local.
- Miami Herald, June 28, 1983, 1C Sports: MARLINS PRE-GAME SHOW IRKS DUHE.
- Glove (Boxing Newspaper), Publisher J. Lawrence Bradley, Editor Mark W. Moore,
February 1975, page 7: MAMA MIA! MIGLIORATO!
- The Evening Independent, November ?, 1982: A BLACK EYE FOR BOXING, by Bob Chick, Sports Editor.
- The Evening Independent, May 14, 1982: THIS UMP IS GIVING BOXING THE COUNT by Tim McDonald.
- Miami News, May 9, 1973: Migliorato Makes Charley Clark is 12th KO victim by Jonathan Rand.