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International Boxing Hall of Fame   1 Hall of Fame Drive   Canastota, NY 13032  P: 315.697.7095 F: 315.697.5356

    CANASTOTA, NY - MARCH 18, 2010 - - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today former ring rivals Carmen Basilio and Tony DeMarco will celebrate the 55th Anniversary of 1955’s “Fight of the Year” at the Banquet of Champions on Saturday, June 12th at the Syracuse OnCenter. The banquet is part of festivities planned for the 21st Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend set for June 10- 13th.

On June 10, 1955, Basilio and DeMarco waged a welterweight title war that saw Basilio score a dramatic 12th round TKO to capture the belt. It was instantly the leading contender for “Fight of the Year.” But lighting struck twice as the two warriors fought another epic contest in the November 30th rematch. Basilio again scored a 12th round TKO to retain his title.  The rematch was named “Fight of the Year.”

“The two Basilio and DeMarco fights are truly legendary battles in boxing history,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “Boxing fans will surely enjoying recalling these two battles – including their ‘Fight of the Year’ - with them at the Banquet of Champions.”

Basilio, nicknamed  “The Upstate Onion Farmer,” was born in Canastota, NY. He twice won the world welterweight title, first from Tony DeMarco in 1955 and then from Johnny Saxton in 1956 before defeating Robinson for the middleweight crown in 1957. With an aggressive, charging style and a powerful left hook, Basilio scored wins over Lew Jenkins, Ike Williams and Billy Graham among others during his career. His pro record reads 56-16-7 (27 KOs).  In 1990, he was elected into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

The fighting pride of Boston, MA, DeMarco captured the welterweight title from Johnny Saxton in 1955.  During his career, he fought eight world champion and registered wins over Paddy DeMarco, Wallace “Bud” Smith, Kid Gavilan and Don Jordan. He also defeated top contenders Chico Vejar and Gaspar Ortega. His pro record reads 58-12-1 (33 KOs).

The banquet is a one-of-a-kind event with over 40 boxing celebrities under one roof. Other boxing stars joining Basilio and DeMarco will be Ken Norton, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith, Angelo Dundee, Leon Spinks, James “Buster” Douglas, Gerry Cooney, Lou Duva and many others.

The evening will consist of cocktails, dinner, celebrity comments, video highlights, a commemorative program and much more. Tickets are priced at $135 and corporate tables of 10 are available at $1350.

In addition to the banquet, the June 10-13th Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will feature over 20 exciting events including a parade, golf tournament, cocktail party and the official induction ceremony honoring the Class of 2010. Living inductees to be honored at the Official Induction Ceremony on Sunday, June 13th are light flyweight champion Jung-Koo Chang (South Korea), featherweight champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez (USA), manager Shelly Finkel (USA), referee / commissioner Larry Hazzard (USA), promoter Wilfried Sauerland (Germany), matchmaker Bruce Trampler (USA) and journalist Ed Schuyler (USA). Posthumous inductees will also be honored.

For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 21st Annual Induction Weekend please call (315) 697-7095.
Pair to celebrate 55th Anniversary of 1955’s “Fight of the Year”