In sad news, it’s been reported how Italian ring warrior, former European champion and former two-time world title challenger Luigi Minchillo passed away this week at the age of 68. Minchillo, who compiled a 55-5(31) record during a fine career, suffered a heart attack.
A tough, very exciting fighter who regularly threw a whole lot of punches in his fights, Minchillo met a number of greats during his long career. Minchillo, a two-time world title challenger at 154 pounds, also ruled as European champ. In his two cracks at winning a world title, Minchillo had to face a pair of modern greats in Thomas Hearns, who decisioned him in February of 1984, and Mike McCallum, who stopped him in December of the same year.
Minchillo, who fought for his country in the 1976 Olympics, went pro in January of 1977 and he went on to win the Italian super welterweight title and then the European. Becoming known to US promoters due to his high punch output and his toughness, Minchillo got some big opportunities.
In September of 1981, in what was his US debut, Minchillo went in with Roberto Duran in Las Vegas, Duran winning a ten round decision. In March of 1982, in what was his biggest win, Minchillo scored a split decision victory over Maurice Hope in London, England, the win seeing him retain his European title.
Minchillo was never fussy about having to fight a big name in their backyard, as he again proved with his challenge of a peak Hearns, the fight taking place in Detroit. Minchillo did get to fight McCallum in Italy, but “The Body Snatcher” was too good for him. In all, however, Minchillo was stopped just three times, with two of these inside the distance losses coming due to injury. Minchillo retired after a TKO loss to Rene Jacquot, this in January of 1988.
Our condolences go out to Luigi’s family and friends at this sad time. Known as “The Ring Warrior” during his career, Luigi Minchillo was very much a fighting man who lived up to his nickname.