Al Migliorato

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Al Migliorato
Statistics
Nickname(s)The White Ali, Wampum
Weight(s)Heavyweight
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Reach67 in (170 cm)
NationalityItalian American
Born(1949-07-14)July 14, 1949
Wampum, Pennsylvania
DiedNovember 3, 1989
Zephyrhills, Florida
StanceSouthpaw
Boxing record
Total fights47
Wins41
Wins by KO37
Losses4
Draws2
No contests0

Al Migliorato was a highly touted heavyweight boxing prospect in the 1970s who ran up an impressive streak of twenty-three straight knockout victories.

Early life[edit]

Al Migliorato was born and raised in Wampum, PA. Migliorato achieved his first taste of fame as a child. In 1960, he received a write-up in the local Wampum newspapers when he won an award for the best stamp and baseball card collection. Four years later, he represented Wampum Playground in the annual Checker Tournament.

Migliorato's childhood idol was undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. Migliorato dreamed of reproducing Marciao's undefeated career and winning the world's heavyweight boxing championship.

Amateur boxing[edit]

In his teens, Migliorato started to box as an amateur. After compiling an undefeated ring record of 28-0-0 with all 28 wins by knockout, Migliorato was chosen to box former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in an exhibition.

According to an article published on May 9, 1973 in the Miami News, Migliorato faced Muhammad Ali in a four-round exhibition on February 18, 1972 in Pittsburgh. Migliorato said that fans called him "The White Ali", and that the local commission told him that he had to turn professional after the Ali exhibition. Migliorato also claimed that Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee was so impressed by his performance, that he signed to manage and train him.

In an article in The Evening Independent on May 14, 1982, Migliorato claimed to have beaten Duane Bobick as an amateur. However, this match is unconfirmed.

Professional boxing career[edit]

Migliorato's pro debut shows different results. Some reports have Migliorato turing pro in 1971,and one newspaper article had him scheduled to turn pro on April 5, 1972 in Canton Ohio.

After compiling a pro record of 5-0-1 in his local community, Migliorato relocated to Miami Beach, Florida to fight for Angelo Dundee.

In 1973, Migliorato fought 22 times in Florida and Georgia. He won 21 fights, 19 by knockout and fought a draw with Holly Williams.

Migliorato quickly earned the reputation as a "Giant Killer", defeating 6′ 9″ James Youngblood aka James Clatman three times and 6′ 8″ John Russell, by knockout in 18 seconds.

Migliorato's most difficult fight was with Miami club-fighter John Connors. Connors stunned Migliorato with a left hook which sent him to the canvas for a nine-count in the opening seconds of their fight. Just when it seemed that an upset was in the making, Migliorato caught Connors with a lightning fast combination, sending him crashing to the canvas, out cold.

In 1974,The Ring Magazine profiled Migliorato as an upcoming prospect, following an upset fourth-round knockout over the highly regarded Dave Matthews on January 22, 1974 in Hollywood, Florida. Migliorato stretched his knockout streak to 23 straight with a one-round knockout over Jim Owens on December 12, 1974 in Louisville.

However, Migliorato's dream of reproducing Rocky Marciano's undefeated record came to a stunning halt when he was knocked out in two rounds by club-fighter Lou Rogan on January 21, 1975.

Following this defeat, Migliorato's attempted a comeback, but the loss of his undefeated record had taken something out of him. Even though he fought for a few more years, he never again achieved the fame of his earlier career. Knockout losses to obscure Eugene Idolette and Clyde Fussell ended MIgliorato's dream of a world heavyweight title.

Migliorato's last fight took place on October 26, 1982. According to a November 1982 article written by Bob Chick, Sports Editor of the Evening Independent, Migliorato knocked out Tommy Bonds in five rounds in a fight promoted by Ted Murray on October 26, 1982 at the Bayfront Concourse Ballroom in St.Petersburg, Florida. Referee Tony Mellott gave Migliorato a standing 8-count in round 2. According to the Youngstown Vindicator Newspaper in Ohio, The Migliorato fight was for the Southern Lightheavyweight Championship[1]

Al Miglioratow retired after the Bonds match. His career record was 41-4-2 with 37 knockouts.

In "The Evening Independent" article of May 14, 1982, Migliorato was credited with a 52-3 boxing record, and was reported to be the "Southern Lightheavyweight Champion". Migliorato also claimed in the article to have beaten former heavyweight contender Ron Stander and #1 cruiserweight contender Randy Stephens. He also claimed he was currently 17-0 (16 KOs) as a light heavyweight. He told reporter Tim McDonald that if World 175-pound champion Dwight Braxton wouldn't fight him that he would retire and focus on his career as a baseball umpire.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional Boxing Record
Result Record Opponent Method Date Round Time Event Location Notes
Win 41-4-2 United StatesTommy Bonds KO 1982 Oct 26 5 St.Petersburg, Florida Migliorato:standing 8-count in round 2.
Win 40-4-2 United StatesCharlie Harris PTS 1980 Mar 18 8 Orlando, Florida
Win 39-4-2 United StatesCharlie Grimmett KO 1980 Jan 18 3 Orlando, Florida
Loss 38-4-2 United StatesClyde Fussell KO 1978 May 13 3 Orlando, Florida
Won 38-3-2 United StatesCarl Hubbard KO 1978 May 3 2 Miami Beach, Florida
Loss 37-3-2 United StatesGene Idelette KO 1978 Mar 14 1 Orlando, Florida
Loss 37-2-2 United StatesGene Idelette PTS 1977 Feb 25 6 Orlando, Florida Split Decision
Win 37-1-2 United States Charlie Roberts TKO 1976 Sep 14 2 Orlando, Florida
Win 36-1-2 United StatesBlip Jackson KO 1976 Aug 31 1 Orlando, Florida
Win 35-1-2 United StatesAl Monday PTS 1975 Aug 20 10 Erie, Pennsylvania
Won 34-1-2 United StatesEddie Mitchell KO 1975 May 18 2 Canton, Ohio
Loss 33-1-2 United StatesLou Rogan KO 1975 Jan 21 2 0:37 Capital Centre, Largo, Maryland Migliorato hits the canvas and is unable to get up.
Win 33-0-2 United StatesJim Owens KO 1974 Dec 12 1 Louisville, Kentucky
Won 32-0-2 United States John L. Johnson KO 1974 Aug 13 2 Detroit, Michigan
Win 31-0-2 United StatesKen Davis KO 1974 Mar 06 1 Erie, Pennsylvania
Win 30-0-2 United StatesTed Murphy KO 1974 Feb 13 3 Erie, Pennsylvania
Win 29-0-2 United States Dave Matthews KO 1974 Jan 22 3 Hollywood, Florida Migliorato scores upset.
Win 28-0-2 United StatesJohn Connors KO 1973 Dec 11 1 Miami Beach, Florida Migliorato takes a nine count; climbs off canvas to win.
Win 27-0-2 United StatesJames Youngblood KO 1973 Nov 12 3 Miami Beach, Florida
Won 26-0-2 United States Ron Casey KO 1973 Oct 30 4 Miami Beach, Florida Casey fought as "Johnny Wilson".
Win 25-0-2 United StatesRandy Jackson KO 1973 Oct 23 3 Atlanta, Georgia
Win 24-0-2 United StatesJohnny Wilson KO 1973 Oct 13 1 0:18 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 23-0-2 United States John Rodgers KO 1973 Sep 27 2 Atlanta, Georgia
Win 22-0-2 United States Larry Robinson KO 1973 Jul 4 1 0:17 College Park, Georgia
Win 21-0-2 United StatesRon Casey KO 1973 May 30 2 Macon, Georgia
Win 20-0-2 United StatesRon Casey KO 1973 May 29 3 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 19-0-2 United StatesRon Casey KO 1973 May 22 2 Atlanta, Georgia
Won 18-0-2 United States Ron Casey KO 1973 May 15 2 Atlanta, Georgia
Win 17-0-2 United StatesCharles Cyril Clark KO 1973 May 8 2 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 16-0-2 United StatesJohn Russell KO 1973 May 1 1 0:18 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 15-0-2 United States Leonard Robinson KO 1973 Apr 24 3 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 14-0-2 United StatesRon Casey KO 1973 Apr 10 3 Miami Beach, Florida Casey fought as "Kid Ried"
Win 13-0-2 United States Larry Daniels KO 1973 Apr 04 3 Orlando, Florida
Win 12-0-2 United StatesJames Younblood KO 1973 Apr 03 3 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 11-0-2 United States Jeff Harris KO 1973 Mar 27 1 Miami Beach, Florida
Draw 10-0-2 United States Holly Williams Draw 1973 Mar 13 4 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 10-0-1 United StatesJimmy Wright KO 1973 Feb 27 1 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 9-0-1 United StatesJimmy White KO 1973 Feb 20 2 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 8-0-1 United StatesJimmy White KO 1973 Fe 06 2 Scranton, Pennsylvania
Win 7-0-1 United StatesJames Youngblood PTS 1973 Feb 05 4 Miami, Florida
Win 6-0-1 United StatesJames Youngblood PTS 1973 Jan 09 4 Miami Beach, Florida
Win 5-0-1 United StatesBill Frazier KO 1972 Sep 30 2 Erie, Pennsylvania
Win 4-0-1 United StatesLeroy Johnson KO 1972 Sep 22 4 Scranton, Pennsylvania
Win 3-0-1 United StatesWillie Buck KO 1972 Aug 09 2 Scranton, Pennsylvania
Exch 2-0-1 United StatesMuhammad Ali EXCH 1972 Feb 18 4 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Draw 2-0-1 United StatesMike Rodgers Draw 1972 Feb 12 4 Canton, Ohio
Win 2-0-0 United StatesWillie Burks KO 1972 Feb 05 2 Akron, Ohio
Win 1-0-0 United States John Lang KO 1971 Apr 21 3 Sharon, Pennsylvania

Baseball umpire career[edit]

With his boxing career over, Migliorato became a minor league baseball umpire with the Florida State League.[2] He broke into the national spotlight on June 27, 1983.[3] Migliorato was umpiring a charity softball game between the Miami Dolphins Football Team and the Florida Highway Patrol, when he got into an on-field argument with Dolphins linebacker A.J. Duhe. Migliorato sued Duhe for $500,000.00, claiming he was pushed, spat upon, and humiliated. On June 7, 1984, a jury deliberated for over 2 hours, and concluded that Migliorato was not entitled to any damages.

Death[edit]

Al Migliorato died in a freak evening skydiving accident on November 3, 1989 in Lake Mary, Florida.

He jumped out of a plane before his son's high school football game at Lake Mary High School Stadium. Migliorato was carrying the game football and planned to land on the football field to deliver it to the team. For some unknown reason, Migliorato failed to pull his rip-cord and landed in the street outside of the playing field.

The unused emergency chute, packed by a licensed rigger at Skydive DeLand Inc., opened properly when later tested on the ground by police. Police said Migliorato had never jumped at night before;a skill requiring a special license. Prior to his fatal jump, Migliorato had asked Skydive DeLand instructor Bob Hallett to teach him to jump at night, but Hallett refused, saying Migliorato did not have enough experience. Hallett declined to comment to the press following Migliorato's death.[4]

Principal Don Reynolds of Lake Mary High School and the school's assistant principals had approved the jump in a staff meeting. " Because we agreed it would be nice", said assistant principal Bill Moore. "He (Migliorato) said he was experienced and had done numerous night jumps", Moore said. "He was a very respected parent and we didn't have any reason to question him."

Al Migliorato died shortly after 7 p.m. when he fell 3,500 feet into a neighborhood four blocks from the stadium. Local police said Migliorato died of injuries from the impact.

Services were held at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Goldenrod.

Sources[edit]

  • Minor League Baseball.com, August 6, 2008: FSL Ump got blitzed by All-Pro linebacker: Migliorato sued Dolphins Star followed heated exchange at home plate, by Kevin T. Czcrwinski.
  • Miami Herald, November 6, 1989, page 4B, Front: 2 MEN FALL TO THEIR DEATHS IN SEPARATE SKYDIVING ACCIDENTS.
  • Miami Herald, June 8, 1984, 2C Local.
  • Miami Herald, June 28, 1983, 1C Sports: MARLINS PRE-GAME SHOW IRKS DUHE.
  • Glove (Boxing Newspaper), Publisher J. Lawrence Bradley, Editor Mark W. Moore,

February 1975, page 7: MAMA MIA! MIGLIORATO!

  • The Evening Independent, November ?, 1982: A BLACK EYE FOR BOXING, by Bob Chick, Sports Editor.
  • The Evening Independent, May 14, 1982: THIS UMP IS GIVING BOXING THE COUNT by Tim McDonald.
  • Miami News, May 9, 1973: Migliorato Makes Charley Clark his 12th KO victim by Jonathan Rand.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. "Youngstown Vindicator - Google News Archive Search".
  2. "The Evening Independent - Google News Archive Search".
  3. "Article - MiLB.com News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com.
  4. "Trainer: Chutist Was Not Prepared For Night Jump". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel.

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