View Full Version : Inquiry: Mario Spampinato

01-30-2008, 02:38 PM

I would very much appreciate any info on him, I believe he was a California promoter/matchmaker/trainer? Like I said any info would be most appreciated.



Mike DeLisa
05-22-2008, 07:31 PM
Bucket -- don't you love me anymore?

In any event, here is what I have, although this is one where I really miss hank, as he would have a whole file on the guy!

Mario Spampinato

Born in SF around 1920, Spampinato claimed to have "played ball as a kid" with Joe & Dom Dimaggio. He may have had a tryout with the Oakland Oaks. My research shows he won the Northern California Golden Gloves (3 cities including SF) as a middleweight in 1936 although he never turned pro. (He beat Johnny Baker by decision dec 12, 1936 for the 160-lb title. Fought in Portland, OR in Jan 1937, results needed.).

He then became a boxing trainer, being mentored by Young Corbett's trainer, Johnny Burdick. Mario became known as a great old-style cutman.

Some fighters he worked with were bobo Olson, eddie machen, pat Valentino, flash elorde, rex Layne & and many others. He was in the corner with Valentino against ezzard Charles, 1949, Mario's first title bout. He was with Don Cockell for his bout with Marciano at Kezar stad.

Mario jumped in the ring to stop the Basilio Fullmer bout in Sep 1959, an uncommon occurrence in those days. Mario was working the corner because Joe Netro and Johnny DeJohn had been denied licenses by CA for "knowing" Frankie Carbo.

He served as matchmaker for the cow palace and in mid-60s the Kezar pavilion (ie the National Boxing Club). His best fighter at that point was Jimmy Lester.

He signed Ali and thad Spencer to a title bout for 1967 -- Ali's wound up fighting the US government instead and Spamp was through as a promoter. One quote from 1974 has him saying, pre eBay of course, "I still have those
signed contracts (ALi-Spencer) at home. Worth nothing."

As far as his work as a cutman, here is mario talking:
"All trainers keep their stuff a secret. . . . I'll go so far to say that it is not a liquid but remains moist. I can carry it around for months and it stays good. And you can buy it."

He was still making matches as of 1969, but by 1974 he was out of the fight racket and working as a distributor of the Daily Racing Form.

Mike DeLisa
04-14-2009, 02:20 PM
Just found a note in my archives -- Mario died in 1985 at age 69.