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Local boxing hall of famer LaBarbara passes away

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.

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