On this day in Alabama history: Izzy Jannazzo went the distance  

On this day in Alabama history: Izzy Jannazzo went the distance  
Portrait of Izzy Jannazzo in boxing attire. (Boxrec.com, Wikipedia)

Nov. 27, 1936

From almost from the beginning, Isadoro Anthony “Izzy” Jannazzo was a fighter. Born in the Ensley community near Birmingham in 1915, he took up prizefighting at age 14 to help support his family after his mother died in childbirth. That same year, he took home the state amateur title as a bantamweight. Three years later the family moved to New York, where Jannazzo worked at a shipyard between bouts. In 1932, he made his professional debut and on this day in 1936 went the distance against Barney Ross at Madison Square Garden but lost the bout, which gave Ross the welterweight championship of the world. In 1940, Jannazzo won the Maryland welterweight title in a decision over Cocoa Kid. That fight, in Baltimore, was refereed by Jack Dempsey. Jannazzo’s last professional fight was in 1947, which he lost by technical knockout to Steve Belloise. Married to another former Ensley resident, Francesca “Frances” Tombrello, Jannazzo worked at a New York City garbage incinerator after he retired from the ring. He died in 1995 and is buried in Columbus, Ohio.

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For more on Alabama’s bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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