We have received word from Mickey Finn, President of Ring 4, that Tony DeMarco passed away at Mass General Hospital in Boston.
May he Rest in Peace!
Born Leonardo Liotta on January 14, 1932 in Boston, MA. DeMarco began boxing at 12 and showed exceptional promise early on. A converted southpaw, he turned pro in 1948 at 16, borrowing the name of a friend, Tony DeMarco, to circumvent the legal fighting age of 18.
He was soon fighting the top lightweights and welterweights of the era including Paddy DeMarco (W 10), Teddy Davis (W 10), Chris Christensen (TKO 6), Pat Manzi (TKO 1) and Jimmy Carter (D 10). On April 1, 1955 he dethroned Johnny Saxton via 14th round TKO to become welterweight king at Boston Garden.
Tony defended his belt against Carmen Basilio in Syracuse, NY and was stopped in the 12th round of a pitched battle that forever endeared both battlers to fight fans. DeMarco rebounded with a first round TKO over Chico Vejar to earn a rematch with Basilio in Boston. In a near replica of their first battle, Basilio again stopped DeMarco in the 12th round of an epic war, that desdervedly earned the two of them “Fight of the Year” honors.
DeMarco resumed his winning ways with wins over Wallace “Bud” Smith (TKO 9), Vince Martinez (W 10), Kid Gavilan (W 10), Gaspar Ortega (W 10) and Don Jordan (KO 2) before retiring in 1962 with a record of 58-12-1 (33 KOs).
Honored with a street and statue in his hometown, he is revered as one of the most popular figures in Boston boxing history.
We will NEVER forget you!