Local boxing lost another past legend.
Ring 44 Buffalo Veterans Boxers Association Hall of Famer Tony LaBarbara passed away Monday at age 79, according to an email from Bob Caico – the association's president.
LaBarbara won his first 14 professional fights following a runner-up finish in the 1956 Buffalo Golden Gloves Tournament. Twice he fought in bouts whose winner was promised a shot at the junior lightweight championship. The first time came in 1962, when he battled his foe, Ike Chestnut, to a draw at Memorial Auditorium. Neither boxer received a shot at the title. Two years later at Madison Square Garden, he suffered the second and final loss of his career against Frankie Narvaez in which the winner was promised a shot at the title.
That wasn't the end of his career, although he did take time off to train fighters, operate a health club and work a civil service job. He went 4-0-1 in his final five fights to end 21-2-3 with 7 KOs.
He was inducted into the Ring 44 Hall in 2003.