LEGENDS OF YOUNGSTOWN BOXING–FRANK LENTINE

Frank Lentine

Youngstown-In the late 1940s and early 1950s one of the hottest fighters on the boxing scene was Frank Lentine of Campbell, Ohio. a young Frankie Lentine began his amateur boxing career in Youngstown and in 1948  captured the Golden gloves championship as a lightweight. A year later in 1949, he won the Youngstown Golden Gloves title.

After taking his second Youngstown crown,Lentine went onto the Cleveland Golden gloves tournament in 1949 where he was crowned the (135pounds) champion. later in the year, he was runner up at the Chicago Golden gloves before advancing to the Boston AAU.   

Lentine was trained by Carmen Chicklo and is regarded to be one of the top amateur boxers from the Youngstown area. He won 90% of his amateur fights, battling the likes of Micky Mars,Bill Bradley, Jimmy Fittipalado, Sharky Lewis, Bill Underwood,and Carl Zoba in Youngstown,Niles, Lorain,Ferrell,Pa and New York. Lentine turned professional in 1949 and had his first professional fight on July 9thh at the legendary Idora Park vs Drexel Vickers of East Liverpool. Lentine won his debut bout in six-round decision.

Renowned New York boxing manager Frankie Jacobs took notice of the promising young welterweight fighter and soon the Youngstown fighter would be fighting in New York for three years . Lentine opened his career in late 1949 with a win over Al Fernandez at Eastern Parkway Arena in Brooklyn,New York. he followed with three more wins the same year over Carlin Scott at the famous St. Nicholas Arena in New York City. He won another victory over George Burroughs at Eastern Parkway and a fifth round TKO of Bobby Sinn at St Nickolas .

Lentine sporting a perfect 6-0 record continued with 6 more triumphs in 1950 upping his record to 12-0. He defeated Werner Enge in Brooklyn at Eastern Parkway Arena before taking center stage for the biggest fight of his young career at the world’s most famous boxing arena ,New York’s Madison Square Garden. Lentine defeated his opponent Tommy Warnock in a 6th round decision.

Unbeaten with a 12-0 record, Lentine would not fight again until later in 1951 at fort Hamilton Arena in Brooklyn . In that bout, a rematch with Suber, Lentine, lost for the  first time on a eight round decision. The sharp shooter with a strong left hook took 3 years off and resumed fighting  in 1954. He than joined forces with millionaire Cleveland businessman Alvin Naiman who made his fortune in the wrecking business. Naiman’s stable included standout boxers middleweight Rocky Castelani of Luzern Pa. and middleweight Tony Baldoni of Wilkes-Barre,Pa.

In his return to the ring Lentine  fought on August 24th 1954 at the Youngstown Arena, knocking out Wilbert Smith of Cleveland  in the forth round. The final fight of Lentine’s career would be on December 1st,1954 at the “29th Annual Cleveland News Christmas Boxing Show”  Lentine finished his boxing career with a 15-3 record including 3 knockouts.

Lentine was know as a tough competitor and a real hard puncher. He had been inducted into three boxing hall of fames for his success in the ring.He is honored in the Youngstown Boxing Hall of  fame , The Curbstone Coaches  Hall of fame and the Legends of Leather Hall of Fame.

“Frank Lentine ,My dear friend and cousin died on December 30th 2002 at the age of 71 .We had many great memories growing up together.  He is survived by his wife Clara ‘Dolly” and son Frank Jr. Two sons Domenic and Tony are deceased.

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