Josie Basilio, Carmen Basilio’s wife for 26 years mourns the departure of her beloved husband at age 85, this Wednesday, in Rochester, N.Y. He was struggling from pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital for this reason. Mrs. Basilio, four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren are left behind.
The boxer was previously a welterweight and middle weight world champion and knocked out even Sugar Ray Robinson!
He had a heart surgery 15 years ago and needed a pacemaker for the last 12 years. His widow had to experience her husband’s near death when the first surgical operation took place. He was famous in his community and was always eager to support sports.
This is what people who were fondled to him said about his death:
Carmen was the people’s champion. He never turned down an autograph. He had a tough beginning in boxing, but he persevered and he captured a part of the American dream. It was bigger back then to become a world boxing champion. It was huge in our society.
He was a great man whether he was an athlete or not.” “He was just so personable and he loved everyone, he loved people.
His boxing performance record was 56-16-7 with 27 knockouts, and dominated, going 17-2-1 including 5-2 in world title fights. He was also nominated as Fighter of the Year. He was part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He is part of the best list of boxers in history: Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Jake LaMotta.
He was from Canastota, N.Y. He got his nickname after his hometown: “Canastota Clouter.” His family came from Italy and were 10 kids. He had 5 older sisters and quit boxing in 1961. The 5-foot-6½ boxer was famous for having a strong chin. He was a P.E. teacher at Le Moyne College in Syracuse for 25 years. He won the world welterweight title between 1955 and 1956.
His famous quotes are:
You learn how to fight with five older sisters.
I was working in a factory and getting a week’s pay but I’d still go to the gym and train. I’d tell (my boss), ‘I’m going to be champion of the world some day,’ and he’d tell me I was out of my mind. But I said ‘I’m not giving up. Quitters never win.