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Boxing Hall Of Famer Carmen Basilio Of Canastota Dies At 85

CANASTOTA, NY - JUNE 11: Boxer, Carmen Basilio, Former World Middleweight champion and two time Welterweight champion poses for a portrait on June 11, 2005 at The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. He fought from 1948-1961. He is 78 years old at the time of this photo. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Canastota, NY (WIBX) – The boxing world lost one of its toughest fighters on Wednesday morning as Carmen Basilio passed this morning at Rochester General Hospital, according to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Basilio, who was born in Canastota – home of the IBHOF – was a a two-time world welterweight champion and won the world middleweight title, as well. Nicknamed ‘The Upstate Onion Farmer’, Basilio slugged it out with some of the best boxers in the 1950’s and was involved in five consecutive fights of the year (1955-59), an incredible feat that is unheard of today.

His accomplishments and career record of 56-16-7 (27 KO’s) earned him induction into the IBHOF in 1990.

“Carmen put Canastota on the worldwide boxing map and gave the village’s residents a sense of pride that couldn’t be matched anywhere in the world”, said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy.

Flags at the IBHOF are flying a half-staff in his honor, Brophy said.

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