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Tony Demarco

Apr 26 2014 | 0 comments

Due to the minimum age of eighteen, in order to box professionally, Liotta used the birth certificate of Tony DeMarco so that he could compete. DeMarco had his first professional fight when he was sixteen years old. On October 21, 1948, he knocked out Mestor Jones in one round.

DeMarco fought the top fighters in his division during the 1950s and defeated top contenders and champions like Paddy DeMarco, Teddy "Red Top" Davis, Chico Vejar and Don Jordan. The highlight of his career came on April 1, 1955, when he scored a technical knock out (TKO) over Johnny Saxton in the 14th round of their title bout to capture the world’s welterweight title.

Despite winning many bouts to become champion, he is best remembered for his two championship matches with hall of famer Carmen Basilio in 1955. Both fights were toe to toe slugfests with several ebbs and flows that kept the fans at the edges of their seats. Both fights ended in the 12th round with DeMarco suffering a TKO. In their first bout, DeMarco was the defending champion. He risked his title by taking on Basilio, who was the top ranked contender. Although Basilio prevailed, the fight was so exciting that the pair were rematched. The second fight was almost a carbon copy of the first with Basilio wearing down DeMarco, but not before a wicked DeMarco left hook had Basilio out on his feet. DeMarco was unable to capitalize on this advantage and lost the match on a 12 round TKO.

Written in his own words, Tony DeMarco shares his life story with honesty and humor. He touches upon the triumphs and tragedies that shaped him as an individual, giving you a glimpse into the life of one of Boston’s most beloved sports figures.

From his humble beginning in the streets of the famous North End, to his amateur days and professional career as a world class boxer, to his days as a nightclub owner in Arizona and finally through some personal family issues, Tony’s life took a series of twists and turns. Ultimately he won the battles and, to this day, is an icon in not only Boston, but in the boxing world.

“Tony DeMarco inspired me to become a professional boxer.I tried to emulate this great fighter in every way possible.This book is a great read, and people will see more than just the boxer. They will see a man of integrity and courage.” - Joe DeNucci, Former Middleweight Contender, Former State Auditor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Two months later, he lost the title to future Hall of Famer Carmen Basilio by twelve round TKO in a fight. Then, in November of that same year, they had a rematch: one of the greatest fights ever held in Boston. It was named The Ring Magazine 1955 Fight of the Year.

DeMarco, a first generation American, grew up in Boston’s North End as Leonardo Liotta. He was just sixteen years old at the time he turned pro, so he had “borrowed” the name of an 18 year old named Tony DeMarco. In his first fight, he knocked out one Mestor Jones in the first round. He started boxing when he was about eleven and was a product of the Boy’s Clubs in Boston and of the Parks Department.

DeMarco, who turns age 80 next Jan. 14, is said to be hale and hearty and I'm hoping to shake the great man's fighting hands this evening.

DeMarco's name is tied to Basilio historically because they fought again, the rematch drawing an amazing 13,373 paying fans at the Boston Garden. Again, in a wicked war of attrition, DeMarco was stopped in the 12th round.

DeMarco turned pro in 1948, fighting someone with a great ring name of Meteor Jones in Boston and then in nearby Salem. Meteor was KO'd in one round and then in two, just three weeks apart.


Boston's North End never forgets: World champ Tony DeMarco .... (2014). Retrieved on April 27, 2014, from

Boxing Champion Tony DeMarco on Lemonade Stand. (2014). Retrieved on April 27, 2014, from

Tony DeMarco Biography | IBRO. (2014). Retrieved on April 27, 2014, from

Tony DeMarco. (2014). Retrieved on April 27, 2014, from

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