"The Boxing Bell Hop." Born February 2, 1913 in San Francisco, CA. An aspiring fighter since his youth, Apostoli went from an orphanage to the world middleweight title. As an amateur Apostoli won the 1934 National AAU middleweight championship. He turned pro later that year and in only his seventh bout he held his own before being kayoed in 10 rounds by the more experienced, and future middleweight king, Freddie Steele. Apostoli reeled off victories over top fighters such as Swede Berglund, Babe Marino, Babe Risko, Solly Krieger and Lou Brouillard to become leading contender for the world's championship.
On September 23, 1937 he was matched with Marcel Thil for the world title on Mike Jacobs' "Carnival of Champions" card at New York's Polo Grounds. Although fought under championship conditions, when Apostoli stopped Thil via 10th round TKO, the New York Boxing Commission still recognized Freddie Steele as champion. Apostoli, now claiming the title, met Steele in early 1938 in a non-title rematch and avenged his earlier defeat with a 9th round KO. Although bouts with Glen Lee were recognized as championship bouts in some quarters, Apostoli's claim to the title was solidified when he TKO'd Young Corbett III on November 18,1938.
Apostoli next tested the light heavyweight waters, losing back to back contests to Hall of Famer Billy Conn before losing his middleweight title to Ceferino Garcia on October 2, 1939. Apostoli continued to box, including wins over Melio Bettina, Georgie Abrams and bouts with Tony Zale and Ken Overlin.
A sailor in the Navy during World War II, Apostoli retired from the ring in 1948 with a 61-10-1 (31KOs) record. He died November 29, 1973 in San Francisco.
Born: Feb. 2, 1913
Died: Nov. 29, 1973