The Onion Picker: Carmen Basilio & Boxing in the 1950s

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Campbell Road Press, North, 2007 - Sports & Recreation - 214 pages
Boxing grew to be one of the most popular sports in America in the early 1950s. Thanks to television, fans tuned in each week, rooting for their favorites, watching the best fighters in the world battle on Gillette's Friday Night Fights. These were the Golden Years of boxing - the ring echoed with the names of all-time legendary champions: Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Kid Galivan, Jake LaMotta, Gene Fullmer, and a tough guy from Canastota, New York, Carmen Basilio. middleweight championship of the world. His remarkable career is a story of survival and perseverance during a fascinating time in boxing history. Basilio's story celebrates the power of the human spirit to triumph over pain and self-doubt. A man of great integrity and drive, Carmen Basilio deliberately moved up in weight class for the opportunity to challenge the great Ray Robinson for his title. His belief in himself and his insistence on being treated fairly is a testament to his core value of living an honorable life, one in which he refused to compromise his principles. His story is a compelling look back at one of the most magical periods in sports history.

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The Onion Picker
Joseph Basilio in Italian military uniform
A young Carmen Basilio circa 1935

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About the author (2007)

Gary Youmans is a sports marketing consultant and has owned a minor league basketball team. He was a member of the Syracuse University football team in 1959. He went on to play defensive end for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, retiring in 1965. The Youmans coauthored '59: The Story of the 1959 Syracuse National Championship Football Team.

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