Inducted on November 12, 1998
A sensational amateur while fighting under the name “Jockey Lupo”, he was trained by Fred and Pat Saulino at Saulino’s Gym in Lodi. He became a two-time Diamond Glove champion, winning for the first time in 1948 at 112 pounds. He won for the second time in 1949 at 126 pounds and was voted “Outstanding Open Class Boxer” for the tournament. Joey also was a two-time
Golden Glove winner and, after defeating Ivory DeVore in 1949, became the 126 pound New Jersey State Champion.
In 1948, Joey knocked out “Baby Rocky” Graziano of Trenton for the right to represent New Jersey in Boston at the Olympic trials. Other noteworthy triumphs of his 54-4 amateur record were victories over Red Mosley and 126 pound National Champion Tony Roman.
After turning professional in 1950, Joe was managed by Vic Marsillo of Newark, where he became a stable mate of Charlie Fusari. Joe was one of Charlie’s main sparring partners while Fusari trained for his title shot against Sugar Ray Robinson.
In only his second professional fight, Joey fought at Madison Square Garden, where he defeated Joe Giacobbe. As a professional, he fought as a welterweight and compiled a record of 19-5-1. Other highlights included wins over Tippy Larkin, Joey Carkido and Joey Greco.
At the age of 20 and at the height of his career, Joey was stricken with spinal polio while
training for a fight with Vince Martinez. He was partially paralyzed for the rest of his life and never fought again. However, his accomplishments during his brief career make Joey a welcome addition to the Hall of Fame.
According to John Bush’s article in the August 11, 2005 Asbury Park Press, Joe Rulli took the last name “Lupo” from a neighborhood friend.
Lupo began his amateur boxing career under the name Jockey Lupo. Lupo joined Saulino’s Gym in Lodi, New Jersey, and his trainers were Fred and Pat Saulino. Fighting as an amateur, Lupo was a two-time Diamond Gloves Boxing Champion, winning the 112-pound division in 1948, and the 126-pound division in 1949. Lupo was voted “Outstanding Open Class Boxer” for the tournament. He was also a two-time New Jersey Golden Gloves boxing winner, and defeated Ivory DeVore in 1949 to become the 126 pound New Jersey State Amateur Champion. His best amateur wins were over Baby Rocky Graziano,Red Mosley, and 126 pound National Champion Tony Roman.Lupo ended his amateur career with a 54-4 record.
In 1950, Lupo turned pro as a welterweight. His manager was Vic Marsillo of Newark. Lupo became a stable mate of world-rated welterweight, Charlie Fusari. He was one of Fusari’s chief sparring partners while Fusari trained for his title shot against Sugar Ray Robinson.
In his second fight, fighting as Johnny Lupo,he defeated Joe Giacobbe in Madison Square Garden in New York. On March 5, 1952, Lupo scored the biggest win of his brief career by scoring a second-round technical knockout over former world junior welterweight champion Tippy Larkin.
At the age of 20, while training for a fight with Vince Martinez, Lupo was suddenly stricken with spinal polio, and his promising career ended. But due to his physical conditioning, Lupo was able to recover enough to walk with a cane.
Though his professional ring career was brief, he still became a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.
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