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   CANASTOTA, NY - JANUARY 21, 2008 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of junior welterweight champion Duilio Loi. He passed away yesterday at Padre Pio Hospital in Treviso, Italy. He was 78.

Born in Trieste, Italy on April 19, 1929, Loi is one of the most popular fighters Italy has ever produced. He turned pro in 1948 and would only taste defeat three times in a 14-year career. He captured the Italian and European lightweight belts and the European welterweight title. In 1960, Loi engaged in the first of three bouts with Carlos Ortiz for the world junior welterweight championship. Ortiz won a hard-fought decision in the first bout on June 15, 1960 in San Francisco. Loi turned the tables in the September rematch before 65,000 fans in Milan when he took the title back. Loi successfully defended against Ortiz in the rubber match, again held in Milan. Loi also boxed a trilogy with the crafty Eddie Perkins. Their first bout, held in Milan with Loi's title on the line, ended in a draw. Loi next lost and regained the junior welterweight title in bouts with Perkins in 1962. After regaining the title Loi announced his retirement on January 23, 1963 with a 115-3-8 (26 KOs) record.

“Duilio Loi was a great junior welterweight champion of the 1960s and brought great pride to his native Italy,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “'We join the boxing community in mourning his passing.”

In 2005, Loi was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.