Kid Dynamite; Luigi Camputaro will be inducted into the CT Boxing Hall of Fame

In 1989, he lost a flyweight title fight against Ray Mede in Colorodo but returned to Italy four months later for a bantamweight title fight against Vincenzo Belcasto. In 1990, he returned to the USA to fight for a WBA Inter-Continental Bantamweight title against Sugar Baby Rojas and earned a shot at the USBA Super Flyweight title against Johnny Tapia at the end of the year.

“A few weeks before the fight, I got cut on my right eye. It was the same spot [as the 42 stitches],” he said. “I was worried that they wouldn’t give me the fight again. We tried to put make-up on. We tried everything. I was lucky. We went 12 rounds, and it never opened up. When it didn’t open up after two or three rounds, I knew I was good.”

Pundits predicted that Tapia would score a knock out, but Camputaro wouldn’t budge. He lost the decision, but never got a second chance. Perhaps Tapia realized how tough Kid Dynamite was.

In 1992, Camputaro and Cecilio Torito Espino set a CompuBox record with 637 total punches in an all-out slugfest for the NABF Bantamweight title. That was typical for the hard-hitting Camputaro. He would meet anybody toe-to-toe.

Camputaro went on to claim the European Boxing Union’s Flyweight title with a win over Salvatore Fanni. He won it again in 1994 against Mickey Cantwell in the United Kindgdom and defended it successfully against Darren Fifield a few months later. 1n 1995, he tied Fanni in another title bout but won the next fight a few months later. Camputaro would go on to fight three more times, but retired in 1997 with a 29-10-1 record.

“A lot of things happened. I got married. I had to get a job. We just bought a house, and I thought I had to start working,” he said. “Now, it was a lot of young guys. I was 35 or 36 years old, and for a little guy, it’s all about reflexes. It was very hard for me to get out of boxing, but it had to stop.”

That’s why Camputaro was so surprised at Mohegan Sun when he was approached by a friend. It had been a long time since he was in the ring, but boxing enthusiasts haven’t forgotten him.

A few days later, Camputaro received the letter. The CT Boxing Hall of Fame will induct him at the 9th annual event on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Mohegan Sun. Tickets cost $90 and are available through Kim Baker at the Mohegan Sun, (860) 862-7377).

“I’m proud of what I did,” said Camputaro. “I could have done a lot better, but you need the right people in back of you. It’s a lot of politics. There were two or three championships that were supposed to be mine, but they changed my fight just two or three weeks before the fight. They’d give me another guy. That’s just the way it is. That’s boxing, but I think every sport is like that.”

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.

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