A banner will be raised in honor of one of Canastota's legendary boxers, Carmen Basilio at the Onondaga County War Memorial. Prior to the Syracuse Crunch hockey game on Saturday Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. a banner bearing Basilio's name, his titles and the years he held those titles will take its place among other sporting greats.
Canastota resident and Boxing Hall of Fame committee chairman Ross Stagnitti was instrumental in getting the banner for Basilio.
"I was looking up at the rafters and said, gee, they don't have any boxers here," Stagnitti said, referring to an evening spent at the War Memorial. "Carmen made as big a name as anyone [there]."
Stagnitti wrote a letter to Syracuse Crunch President Howard Dolgon asking if he would consider banners for two boxing champs: Basilio and Bill Backus.
"Both were raised in Canastota, trained extensively in Syracuse and won their disputed world welterweight championships at the War Memorial," Stagnitti wrote in his letter. "While Rochester honors Basilio on its Frontier Field Walk of Fame, there is no such recognition in Syracuse's downtown area. I would appreciate your thoughts about boxing banners for Basilio and Backus."
"The Crunch decided to raise the Basilio banner this year and consider one for Backus in the near future," Stagnitti said.
Basilio won the undisputed world welterweight boxing championship from Tony DeMarco in 1955 and regained the title from Johnny Saxton in 1956. The following year he won the undisputed world middleweight crown from Sugar Ray Robinson at Yankee Stadium.
Basilio's trunks and robe were maroon and white, which he wore in honor of Canastota's school colors. The banner will be maroon and white.
Individual, group and VIP tickets to the game can be reserved by calling 473-4444.