Fred Apostoli : biography
Alfredo "Fred" Apostoli (February 2, 1913 – November 29, 1973) was a rugged, accomplished body punching middleweight, who was recognized as the world champion when he defeated Marcel Thil on September 23, 1937. He was elected to The Ring's Boxing Hall of Fame. During World War II Apostoli served aboard the light cruiser USS Columbia (CL-56) in the Pacific theater.
An orphan, Apostoli won the Pacific Coast Junior Welterweight championship, Golden Gloves Middleweight championship, and the National AAU middleweight championship in 1934, and turned pro later that year.
He quickly moved up the ladder and fought future middleweight champion Freddie Steele within his first seven months as a professional. Although, the more experienced Steele stopped him in 10 rounds, Apostoli went on to defeat top fighters such as Swede Berglund, Babe Marino, Babe Risko, Solly Krieger and Lou Brouillard to become the leading contender for the world championship.
Eventually, Apostoli was matched with title claimant Marcel Thil; he defeated the Frenchman via a 10th round TKO. The New York Boxing Commission, however, still recognized Freddie Steele as champion. In 1938, Apostoli fought Steele in a non-title rematch and avenged his earlier defeat with a 9th round KO. Apostoli also fought as a light heavyweight. Although he dropped two close decisions to Hall of Famer Billy Conn, Conn always credited Apostoli as a great fighter who hurt him in both matches. On October 2, 1939, Apostoli's title reign ended when he lost the middleweight crown to Ceferino Garcia.
Apostoli served in the United States Navy during World War II as a gunner. Wounded in battle, he received a Bronze Star and returned to San Francisco in 1946. He rehabilitated from injuries sustained in the Battle of Midway at Letterman Army Hospital located in the Presidio of San Francisco. He retired from the ring in 1948 with a 61–10–1 (31 KOs) record. He was also a member of the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
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