Boxing wasn’t always quite like how we know it to be now, with some of the best boxers including Anthony Joshua and Floyd Mayweather. In fact, while boxing fights seem to be plastered all over social media, with boxers celebrating their wins with greased up selfies and additional tattoos to add to their collection, it wasn’t always like this in the 1900s. Born in 1910, Tony Galento was soon given the nickname ‘Two Ton Tony’ thanks to his heavy build and determined attitude. There was nothing Tony wouldn’t do for press recognition, including fighting an actual octopus (more on that later). Who really was Two Ton Tony, though?
Two Ton Tony
Galento was known for his typically-masculine grandeur, drinking gallons of beer in the pub and fighting with actual animals simply for a bit of promotion. Tony was never at a loss for words, and would always have an interesting news story for the press to write about. Galento loved scandal, and would often chat back to the press with remarks such as “Shakespeare? Never heard of him. Is he one of those foreign heavies?” and all in the name of stories that would make the general public gasp and laugh. Moreover, one of Galento’s favourite words was “moider”, often using it to describe how he’d deal with opponents in the boxing ring. Needless to say, Two Ton Tony really was a one of a kind.
Previous Animal Fighting
As you may have picked up earlier, Galento was prone to fighting with animals other than Oily the octopus for pre-fight publicity, including bears and kangaroos. Essentially, if there was a pay cheque at the end of it, Galento would be all ears. He boxed the kangaroo in order to gain publicity before his fight, and boxed the bear as a stage attraction simply for more attention.
The Fight With Oily The Octopus
After a long successful career, winning a respectable 80 fights out of 112, Tony eventually retired, but still returned to the ring every now and then if there was a hefty wage associated with it. However, Tony wasn’t completely finished with publicity, and instead declared to wrestle a real life octopus at the New York Aquarium, probably to “moider the bum”. Many were concerned for Tony’s safety during this wrestling proposal; however the event took a turn the night before it was set to commence – Oily died from natural causes.
Regardless of this, Tony kept his word and simply flailed around the corpse moving a tentacle every now and then to make the wrestle look legitimate. Once the wrestle was over, it was obviously announced by Galento that the octopus had died due to the beating of his hands. I wonder how many people would have won their boxing sports bet on that match!
The End Of The Road
It’s certainly safe to say that Galento lived an exciting, fulfilling life, but it finally came to an end in 1979, just short of his 70th birthday. Considering being an ex-fighter, living until 70 was quite impressive, especially as he suffered from diabetes and had to have both legs removed. It’s claimed that a heart-attack was his downfall in the end, closing the curtains on his unforgettable life.
There isn’t a single boxer today that has achieved the things that Galento has, no matter how ridiculous and extravagant they were. Do you have some favourite Two Ton Tony moments? Share them with us today!