By Jim Amato

He was one of the better middleweights of the 1970’s. The smooth boxing Licata turned professional in 1969 and was undefeated in his first 52 fights. ( 49-0-3 ). During that streak he defeated the likes of Mike Pusateri, Luis Vinales, Jose Chirino, Art Hernandez, Denny Moyer, Emile Griffith, Cubby ” Top Cat ” Jackson, Mike Baker and Vinnie Curto. He suffered his first loss in 1975 on an upset decision to Argentina’s Ramon Mendez. Tony came right back to outscore Mendez in a rematch. On June 30, 1975 Licata met another native of Argentina, the great Carlos Monzon. This was for the middleweight title and they fought at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It would be Monzon’s only appearance in the United States. Licata fought gamely but was overpowered by King Carlos in round ten.

Licata would go on to lose five more times in his career to Jean Mateo, Mike Colbert, Alan Minter, Fred Johnson and Tony Chiaverini. After the loss to Monzon he did defeat Mike Rossman, Mike Nixon and Mel Dennis. Tony retired in 1980 after 72 fights. His overall record was an outstanding 61-7-4 with 27 knockouts. He was halted on four occasions. He met four world champions. Tony Licata passed away in 2008. He was a world class contender in every sense of the word. May he rest in peace.

Jim Amato

Filed under: Boxing

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