Comments Off on Nino Benvenuti Returns “Home” For WBF Convention In Slovenia

Middleweight great and Hall-Of-Famer Nino Benvenuti (82-7-1, 35 Kos) has confirmed his attendance as a special guest at the 2016 World Boxing Federation (WBF) convention to be held in Maribor, Slovenia between September 22 and September 25 at the luxurious Hotel Habakuk. Besides former WBF and IBF world champion Jan Zaveck, Benvenuti (78) is the only boxer born in what is today known as Slovenia to become a professional world champion, and he did so no less than three times between 1965 and 1968, losing his WBC and WBA titles in his third reign to Carlos Monzon in 1970.

Born in fishing-town Izola, which was Italian at the time but incorporated into Slovenia, then a part of Yugoslavia, in 1954, Benvenuti turned professional in 1961 after an amazing amateur career. Various reports list his amateur record as 120-0, 120-1 and 119-1, but it is a fact that he won Italian, European and Olympic gold (1960 in Rome).

In the paid ranks he won the Italian national title in 1963, and became WBC and WBA world Middleweight champion in 1965 when he knocked out Sandro Mazzinghi in six rounds in Milan. He lost those titles to Ki-Soo Kim in Sourh Korea a year later (SD15), but regained them in 1967 when he beat Emile Griffith (UD15) at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Griffith won the rematch (MD15) the following September, but Benvenuti became a three-time champion when he prevailed in the rubber-match, again at Madison Square Garden, in March 1968. After losing his crown to Monzon in Rome in 1970 (TKO 12), he was awarded a shot at redemption the following year, but Monzon stopped him in three rounds.

In addition to Griffith and Monzon, and many top contenders, Benvenuti shared the ring with legendary fighters such as Don Fulmer (W UD12 & W UD15), and Dick Tiger (L UD10) in a very accomplished and active career that included ninety pro fights in ten years.

After retiring following the second Monzon defeat, Benvenuti became a successful businessman and TV host in Italy, interviewing Carlos Monzon, whom he had befriended after their ring wars, several times. Twice married, he has five children, one of which has a famous godfather by the name of Emile Griffith.

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