Friday, September 05, 2008

Rocky Castellani Has Died

In what can only be described as a difficult year for boxing, another boxing great has passed away. Rocky, born Attilio N. Castellani died Sunday August 21, 2008. Rest in peace Rocky.

The following is Courtesy of  Wikipedia

CASTELLANI, ATTILIO N., "ROCKY", 81, - of Atlantic City, passed away quietly, Sunday, August 31, 2008.

Born in Luzerne, PA., he later became known as "the pride of the coal regions."

Rocky served in the U.S. Marine Corps and fought in the battle for Iwo Jima. While overseas fighting in the war, he earned the boxing title "Champion of all China and Guam." After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Rocky embarked on a stupendous career as a professional middleweight prize fighter, being awarded Ring Magazine's honor of "Rookie of the Year." Rocky also earned the right to fight for the Middleweight Championship of the World as the number one middleweight contender in 1954. He fought for the Middleweight Title of the World against Carl "Bobo" Olsen. Rocky lost a highly coned split decision, knocking Olsen down in the 3rd round, gaining the respect of the entire international boxing community. Rocky's career as a professional fighter also included notable battles against Sugar "Ray" Robinson, landing Robinson on the canvas for a controversial 8 count. Many scholars of the sport believed Rocky won by the knockout. This bout, as well as his fight with boxing great Gene Fullmer, are constantly featured on ESPN- Classic Fights of the Century.

Rocky was inducted into both the NJ and PA Boxing Halls of Fame and was most recently inducted into the PA Sports Hall of Fame. He retired with a record of 65-13-4 with 16 knockouts.

Rocky continued to give back to the AC Community and the boxing world by volunteering his time to the AC & Pleasantville PAL, teaching local youth the basics of his sport, known as the "sweet science" and sponsoring local softball, baseball and basketball teams.

In his retirement, he served as a judge for the NJ Boxing Commission and enjoyed the time he spent with his loving wife and 10 grandchildren. Rocky Castellani was truly a living legend, loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to all who came in contact with him. He will truly be missed!

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Rocky's name may be made to: The Alzheimer's Association, 25 Dolphin Avenue, Building D-ground floor, Northfield, NJ, 08225.

Attilio N. "Rocky" Castellani (born May 26, 1926), is a former American boxer.] He was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, to Attilio Castellani (1889-1974) and Concetta Castellani (1901-1985), who later moved to Margate City, formerly South Atlantic City, in Atlantic County in eastern New Jersey.
The highlight of Castellani's career was probably his 1955 bout with Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Robinson. Castellani lost a close split decision and knocked Robinson down in the sixth round. A year earlier, he had lost a fight to Carl "Bobo" Olson. He also lost to Gene Fullmer, Kid Gavilan, and Joey Giambra, but defeated Tony DeMarco, Joey Giardello, Johnny Bratton, and Ralph 'Tiger' Jones
He finished his career with a 65–14–4 record.
Castellani has long operated "Rocky's," a bar in Atlantic City.
A biography of Castellani is entitled Young Rocky: A True Story of Attilio "Rocky" Castellani by Joe Kinney.


Mike Duffau said...

i wasnt aware of his passing. thanks for posting!


Unknown said...

i was never more comfortable or ever felt safer than when I was 21 years old sitting at Rocky's bar with Dean and/or Mike behind the bar. We were young attractive women and Rocky and his boys protected us like we were family.
He was a wonderful host-him and his polaroid camera! a warm and caring man and as far as I saw a loving and sweet father. Rest in Peace Rocky and love to Mike and Dean from Karen Weiler (Karen and Wendy-early 80's)

Titanic Jack said...

I was surprised and saddened to hear about Rocky's passing. As a young musician it was in 1964 or 65that I first met Rocky Castellani on NYE. We were playing at the Adriatic Club in AC and he stopped in with Rocky Marciano to our delight. He invited us to his bar when we finished up because he had just purchased a Hammond B3 organ and he wanted me try it out. Although not a boxing fan at the time I recognized all the murals of the famous and great fighters he had fought. Rocky was one super nice man and we never missed stopping to see him when in AC. A good man married 58 years to the same woman. Rest in Peace Rocky. God will be good to you.

grezelda said...

Dean and Mike, I am so sorry for your loss. I bar tended for him in the late 70's and spent many a day hanging around with you two!

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