Louis Joseph Transparenti, 87, boxer

August 29, 2005|By Anica Butler | Anica Butler,SUN STAFF

Louis Joseph Transparenti, a former bantamweight and featherweight boxer who is a member of the Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame, died of natural causes Aug. 21 at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The Baltimore native, who worked for Esskay Meat Co. for about 30 years, was 87.

Raised in Little Italy, he grew up in a home on Stiles Street and attended public school. His two older brothers, Nicholas and Joseph Transparenti, also were boxers, but Mr. Transparenti's wife, Mary, of Joppatowne, said that for him, boxing was simply something to do.

"He just became interested in hanging around at the gymnasium," she said. "Most boys in Little Italy were involved in boxing in those years."

Mr. Transparenti had three amateur bouts before becoming a professional boxer in 1937. His career spanned 10 years, to 1947, which was an unusually long career at the time, said Ray H. Leonard Jr., former president of the local chapter of the Veteran Boxers Association Inc., International Ring 101.

"Most burn out in three, four, five years," Mr. Leonard said. "In those days it was very hard. ... You had fights two or three days a week. There was a lot of pressure in those days."

Mr. Transparenti's career was interrupted for three years while he was in the Army during World War II, his wife said.

During his career, Mr. Transparenti fought eight world champions in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Four of them - Sixto Escobar, Manuel Ortiz, Willie Pep and Chalky Wright - have been inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Mr. Leonard said.

"He was very skilled in boxing," Mr. Leonard said, adding that Mr. Transparenti's opponents "were all credible fighters. They were all great fighters."

Mr. Transparenti won about half his bouts, Mr. Leonard said. Though he never won a title, members of the local Veteran Boxers Association were impressed with his skills.

"He fought all these guys who were champions. It's like a who's who of the fight game," said Buddy Ey, one of the association's founders.

Mr. Transparenti, a longtime member of the Veteran Boxers Association, was among the first to be inducted into the Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame in 1973.

"He was an icon in Baltimore," Mr. Ey said.

Mr. Transparenti married Mary Pulaski in 1938, and the two lived in Baltimore until Mr. Transparenti became ill seven years ago and moved to Stella Maris.

After his boxing career ended, he worked at several jobs before Esskay, where he delivered meat, his wife said. Mr. Ey said Mr. Transparenti also worked weekends at the Broadway Market, cutting meat.

He was a sports fan and especially liked baseball and football. The Colts were his favorite team, his wife said.

Once his career was over, he didn't talk about boxing very much, Mrs. Transparenti said.

"He was a very quiet, private person that lived for his family," she said.

And he didn't look much like a boxer, either, Mr. Ey said. "His nose was straighter than mine," he said. "He didn't have a mark on him."

A private service was held Aug. 22.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by four daughters, Paula Terzigni and Susan Spann, both of Joppatowne, Antoinete Transparenti of Gaithersburg and Mary Lou Carroll; three sisters, Antoinete Cossentino and Mary Bentz, both of Glen Burnie, and Margaret Calvo of Harford County; a brother, Phillip Transparenti of Baltimore; nine grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

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