Tony Canzoneri: A Triple Crown Champion in the Boxing Ring

Born on November 6, 1908, in Slidell, Louisiana, Tony Canzoneri etched his name in boxing history as an American professional boxer, holding world championships in the featherweight, lightweight, and junior-welterweight divisions.

Weighing a mere 95 pounds (43 kg) at the start of his amateur boxing journey, Canzoneri transitioned to the professional arena in 1925. His initial success came with the National Boxing Association’s bantamweight title. Moving up the ranks, he secured the featherweight world title on February 10, 1928, defeating Benny Bass in a hard-fought 15-round decision.

Canzoneri faced setbacks but rebounded, winning the world lightweight title in 1930 with the fastest knockout in the division’s history—putting down Al Singer just 66 seconds into the first round. The triumph continued as he added the world junior-welterweight title by knocking out Jack (“Kid”) Berg in the third round on April 24, 1931.

From mid-July to late November of 1931, Canzoneri showcased his prowess by defending the junior-welterweight title three times and the lightweight title once. Despite facing defeats in 1932, he regained the lightweight title in a tournament, defeating Lou Ambers on May 10, 1935. However, his title defense later that year was followed by a rematch loss to Ambers in 1936.

Canzoneri’s resilience persisted, and he faced Ambers once more on May 7, 1937, in a 15-round decision loss. This marked his final title match, concluding a career where he faced 18 world champions. He retired in 1939 after experiencing his only knockout loss in the third round against Al Davis on November 1.

Post-retirement, Canzoneri diversified his career, becoming an actor and operating a renowned restaurant in Manhattan. His contributions to boxing were acknowledged when he was inducted into Ring magazine’s Boxing Hall of Fame in 1956, solidifying his legacy as a triple crown champion in the ring.