The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia
Frank "Blinky" Palermo
Fight Manager 1940s-1960

By Robert Ecksel

   Blinky Palermo was one of boxing's certifiable bad guys. Although this Philly hustler was only five feet tall, he was a giant at assault and battery, big at bootlegging, jobbing and racketeering. Numbers runner, petty thief, shakedown artist, wiseguy - Blinky was a man of many talents. Through the good graces of Frankie Carbo, a.k.a. Mr. Grey (the Don King of his day, only worse) Palermo weaseled his way into boxing's inner circle. In 1949, Blinky, Carbo and scion James Norris, a "legitimate" businessman, formed the IBC, the first of many - too many - boxing organizations. In other words: The fix was in. This trio arranged Jake LaMotta's dive against Billy Fox in 1946 (as Jake so eloquently put it to the Kefauver Commission investigating boxing in 1960: "Win some, throw some.") and eventually owned a piece of Sonny Liston, Carmen Basilio, Ike Williams, Kid Gavilan, Don Jordan, Tony DeMarco and Johnny Bratton. In 1961, the Feds zeroed in. The three stooges were charged, tried and convicted of only committing a dozen crimes. Blinky Palermo was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

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