Nicholas J. Basciano, 89, a retired garment worker who had been known as Nick Bass since he used the name as a professional boxer, died Saturday of a respiratory illness at his home on Baltimore Avenue in Catonsville.
A mass of Christian burial was being offered today at St. William of York Roman Catholic Church, Edmondson Avenue and Cooks Lane.
Mr. Basciano retired about 24 years ago after working for many years in clothing factories and was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
During the 1920s, he was a middleweight who won 25 fights and lost five. One of his losses was to then-champion Vince Dundee and one of his victories came in a fight with Gene Buffalo, then a leading contender for the championship.
In Washington during the mid-1920s, he had two knockouts in one night. When his scheduled opponent failed to appear on time, a heavyweight was substituted, and Mr. Basciano knocked him out. By that time, the scheduled opponent had arrived. The fans insisted that the originally scheduled fight take place, and Mr. Basciano scored knockout No. 2.
In 1930, his last year in the ring, he won the Middleweight Championship of the South.
Named to the Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame in 1976, he served since 1974 as second vice president of Ring 101 of the International Veteran Boxers Association. He also served as third vice president of the parent organization.
He arranged for a son, Richard Basciano of Glen Burnie, to finance the Ring 101 display of boxing memorabilia at Martin's West.
A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Basciano came to Baltimore as a youth with his family.
His wife, the former Margaret Ranzino, died in 1985.
Besides his son Richard, survivors include another son, John Basciano of Millersville; two daughters, Lola Marsiglia of Catonsville and Marietta Restivo of Satellite Beach, Fla.; three brothers, Edward Basciano of San Francisco and Ralph Basciano and Herman Basciano, both of Philadelphia; a sister, Mamie Direnzo of Philadelphia, 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.