The great boxing man in Italy

Boxing according to Salvatore Churchi, from Sardinia to Don King

He managed thirteen world champions, organized dozens of world titles, often sitting inches away from Don King’s silly electric hair. He has been a member of the Italian Federal Board of Boxing for a few weeks. Salvatore ChurchyBorn in 1952, he is the great old man of National Boxing. Gavita with “Cardinal” Umberto Brancini, the first modern Italian director, Cherchi in 1982 opened Opi with Giovanni Brancini (Jr.), which remains to this day one of the most important in the organizational and managerial sector.

Boxing entered Salvatore’s life in Sardinia, where he was born. The father is a sports fan, and his brother Benno does boxing. Together they see Boroni, Skano and Manka fighting. Then the family moved to Milan and in 1965 he became a rookie boxer, meanwhile he was the youngest son of Cherchi to become a good player. Young Salvatore teaches Franco the first basics of noble art by using socks instead of gloves. When Franco first entered the gym, Maestro Corte asked him how many matches he had left. Zero, but he has a teacher at home like Salvatore. Franco will become European champion.

Salvatore ranks second between amateurs and professionals, but above all he works side by side with Branchini. “He sent me all over Europe with his boxers to carry Aquarius – he said in the sports newspaper – I never spoke but listened to everything. This is how I learned that Umberto was my role model. In 1982 I went alone.” This is how the adventure began as a hero, first with Giovanni, then in isolation when the partner focused on football, as well as taking care of Ronaldo’s apparent interests.

Over the years, Cherchi has organized many world championships, among which three are the ones that have remained in his heart. On February 22, 1984, Loris Stica won the World Boxing Association super-heavyweight title in Milan by defeating Dominican Leonardo Cruz. “It was the first world championship I organized entirely myself, outfitting the hall, paying the boxers, and everything. Brancini was in the US for the title between Luigi Minchello and Thomas Hearns a few days ago. I loved Lloris, an amazing boxer who could have done so much more than that.” Later I wanted to fight with Juan Maesa instead he wanted revenge on Victor Caljas, things went badly because Puerto Rico was a big hitter.The boxer is usually a proud man and Stica wanted revenge for the defeat he suffered at home in Italy. In practice, his career ended here. A few weeks ago we spoke on the phone, and he admitted he should have listened to me. Boxers have always tried to make them think, at that time with Lloris I didn’t succeed. “

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In 1989, Obi organized the heavyweight title between Francesco Damiani and Johnny de Blois. “Francesco was an amazing boxer. Up until that point, Branchini and I were criticized for not having him fight with the rivals at the top and he always seemed to win easily. Damiani was a good victory. The heavyweight title is … the best.”

The third world championship to be remembered is the championship of Giovanni Baresi, who in 1996 regained the WBO crown by defeating Sami Fuentes in Milan. “In my opinion, Giovanni was one of the best Italian boxers of all time.”

Cherchi has worked with colleagues like Don King. They did together a Parisian-Chávez and a couple of Michel Piccierello meetings in the United States. “You argue with Don, but we’re friends. He’s a great mind. Smart, he has fur on his stomach. No, I don’t have: My career fortune has always been underpinned by a great passion for the sport, which has given me the respect of boxers and professionals. I’ve always treated everyone equally, but … In the United States there is a lot more money than we do. “

Is there a lot of intrigue in boxing? “I never sat in the first row in the ring and I already know the match was rigged from the start. But it happens that during the match it is understood that the son of a prostitute umpire stood by one side but not the other. When I fight outside, I always tell my boxers to start to think In that I drop three shots. It’s the same in Italy as well, over time I came across judgments that I was ashamed of. In this case, I would immediately tell my friend in the locker room. When it happens to you, you feel terrible. Today through my experience it is difficult to deceive me. ” On February 27, with the elections that saw Flavio D’Ambrosi take office, Cherchi joined the Federal Council. You will take care of professional athletes. In the field that it has been operating in for decades, there is definitely no shortage of knowledge about the sector. However, there may be a conflict of interest given that Opi is the most important company in Italy at the organizational and management level. Opi is now managed by my sons Alessandro and Christian, who ask me the most for my opinion. The club is so entrenched that it does not need any favoritism from the federation and in any case I will not allow it. I am not that kind of person, I have always been naive in These things. I’m sure there won’t be any problems. ” Even if there was some controversy, within a movement that was no longer the gold of previous decades, it might be inevitable.

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Meanwhile, on Friday April 16th, Opi Since 82 and the English match return to Allianz Cloud in Milan for a boxing night titled Challenges between Fabio Turchi and Dylan Brigion, between Francesco Patera and Vladislav Melnik and between Ivan Zuko and Luca Capuano lives in Dazn.

“If I had to name a guy to focus on in Italy – Cherchi continues – I would say Mirko Natalezi. He has the knockout that he can turn over any match. It’s a hard-to-find quality. He’s a boy who is convinced of his means, a true boxer who is not afraid of anyone. He can reach A world title, but in boxing you also need luck on your side. Just as I had boxers, after a great match, they won the title, they seemed to give everything and they stumbled physically and mentally. ” Today the best pound for a boxer is the Mexican Canelo Alvarez. “I had a choice of taking him when he was 17. But he lived in Guadalajara and I was in Milan. It would have been a tremendous economic effort. I don’t know if I will continue to run it today, because there are companies abroad that are economically ruining you. But I know I was wrong. I was also very close to another great one like Chocolatito, but the investment in this case was also very high. I went to him in Nicaragua. But the little fly needs opponents that cannot be found here. To build his career I must have always had different boxers From Mexico and Latin countries, that would have been unsustainable. ”

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Queenie Bell

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