|01-01-2014, 10:57 AM||#1|
broadcasting from a shed
East Side Guru
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sligo, ireland
quite a story this, printed in the telegraph newspaper in 2001...fought for a world title..became a star...lived the rich life...ended up begging on the streets...and a tragic death...
have a look at the video too, its looks like a good documentary on him if i could find the full version
"Tiberio Mitri was born in Trieste on July 12 1926, the son of a fishmonger. His love and talent for boxing were evident at an early age, and after turning professional in 1946 he won his first 50 fights in a row and was European middleweight champion from 1949 to 1954, and subsequently enjoyed some success in the cinema; his latter years, however, illustrated the perils of fleeting fame in the ring.
Mitri was a fast and extremely skilful boxer, whose suave good looks did nothing to lessen his appeal. At the zenith of his popularity in 1949 he married Fulvia Franco, who had been voted Miss Italy in 1948
In 1950, still unbeaten, Mitri was offered the opportunity to fight Jake "Raging Bull" La Motta for the world middleweight championship. He would have been happy enough to stay in Italy, but Fulvia insisted on their going to America. Having carried her point, she made exploratory visits to Hollywood, while Mitri suffered the pangs of jealousy in his training camp.
Rumour had it that the Italo-American boxing mafia had decided Mitri would win the fight, and La Motta would triumph in the rematch. In the event Mitri's fast footwork did give him an advantage in the early rounds, but as the fight settled down, so La Motta began to find his range with heavy shots to the head. But though the champion won on points, he was unable to put Mitri on the canvas.
By 1954 he had fought Randy Turpin, who was in sharp decline. Mitri was a relatively light puncher, but when he caught Turpin on the chin with a left hook in the 28th second of the fight, the British boxer tumbled backwards and banged his head against the boards. Turpin managed to stagger up, only to collapse again before Mitri could land another blow.
Not until 1956, two years after losing his European title, did Mitri retire from the ring. By then he had formed an ambition to go into films. The director Luchino Visconti was a fan of his. He secured a minor part alongside Charlton Heston in Ben Hur (1959), and appeared with David Niven in The Best of Enemies (1961). He was also in the all-star cast of Anzio (196.
Besides all this, Mitri sold his paintings and wrote two books, an autobiography Una botta in testa (A Blow to the Head) and Una faccia piena di pugni (A Face Full of Punches). "In life you should keep your guard up," he said.
But both Mitri's children died young, Alessandro from a drugs overdose and Tiberia from Aids.
Mitri retained both his interest in and his attraction for women, and in his mid-fifties married Marinella Caiazzo, who at 33 left her rich husband to become Mitri's third wife. Within three years she had left him. Mitri, once famed for his mild manners outside the ring, was now liable to become violent when under the influence of drink. Drugs also took their toll.
Though he managed a poignant final screen appearance as an old boxer in Lino Capolicchio's Pugili (1995), his last years were sad. Suffering from both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, he would wander around the Trastevere district of Rome, begging in bars and restaurants.
In the end he was no longer capable of hearing the approach of the train which hit him."