Torniamo per un momento in Massachussets, a Brookline, dove abita l’amica Rose Pender, nipote di Leonardo Anzivino che da Montaguto si spostò in America (» LEGGI LA STORIA). Rose è stata sposata con Paul Pender, pugile professionista campione del mondo dei pesi medi negli anni ’60. Paul riuscì a battere per ben due volte il campione Sugar Ray Robinson.
Purtroppo Paul è scomparso nel 2003, lasciando un grosso vuoto nei cuori di chi lo ha conosciuto e amato.
PAUL PENDER STORY
Paul Pender was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of William and Anna (Leicester) Pender. He was our montagutese friend Rose Pender’s husband.
A 1949 graduate of Brookline High School, Pender was recruited as an all American football player at Michigan State University and Penn State, but instead, chose to enter professional boxing, while attending Staley College. Although a champion, he regarded boxing as his second job and being a Brookline fire fighter his first. As an amateur, he won the New England welterweight championship. Pender was a member of the United States Marine Corps.
In 1959, the National Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Sugar Ray Robinson as middleweight champion. Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio fought for the vacant NBA title, and Fullmer won. Pender beat Robinson, one of the greatest fighters of all time, for the disputed middleweight championship title. He won by split decision in 15 rounds. Pender fought Robinson once again to defend his title and went on to beat him by split decision.
He fought a set of three matches against English boxer Terry Downes, of which only the third (on April 7, 1962) went the full distance. He won the first and the third bout, but the last would prove to be the only fight of that year for Pender and the last of his career. The New York Boxing Commission stripped Pender of his title for not defending it against Dick Tiger. Pender sued and won on appeal. His career was hampered by his brittle hands. He retired May 7, 1963 as the current world middleweight champion.
His career record was 40 wins (20 by KO), 6 losses, and 2 draws.
He died in Bedford, Massachusetts on January 12, 2003, at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital.
» IL VIDEO DELL’INCONTRO – 1960