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Nino Benvenuti

Nino Benvenuti

  • Sport: Boxing
  • Decade Inducted: 2010s

A former champion, Nino Benvenuti is considered by many, including noted boxing writer Brian Doogan, to be the greatest boxer ever to come from Italy.

As an amateur welterweight boxer, he won the Italian title in 1956-60, the European title in 1957 and 1959. During the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Benvenuti earned the Welterweight division’s gold medal and the Val Barker trophy as the Games’ best boxer. His winning streak reached 46 wins in a row when he met former world Junior Middleweight Champion Denny Moyer on September 18, 1964, beating Moyer on points in ten rounds.

On April 17, 1967, Benvenuti beat Emile Griffith by decision in fifteen rounds at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, in what was the beginning of their trilogy of fights to win the world middleweight title. On a rematch at Shea Stadium on September 29, 1967, he lost by a decision in fifteen rounds. The following March, Benvenuti and Griffith completed their trilogy, once again at Madison Square Garden, with Benvenuti knocking Griffith down in round nine and winning a fifteen-round decision to regain the world Middleweight title.

In May of 1971, Benvenuti announced his retirement in Monte Carlo. He had an amazing record of 82 wins, 7 losses and 1 draw in 90 professional boxing bouts, with 35 wins by knockout. His incredible boxing career was recognized by International Boxing Hall of Fame through his induction in 1992.

After retiring from boxing, Benvenuti became a successful businessman, show host and city counselor in Trieste where he resides with his wife Nadia Bertorello. He has four sons (Stefano, Macri, Giuliano and Francesco) and one daughter (Soraya).

He was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.