Alphonse Halimi 1932-2006
(by Marc @ Boxe Time)
On November 12, 2006, Alphonse Halimi, one of the greatest French boxers, died after a long illness. The one nicknamed “the little terror” was born on February 18, 1932 in the Jewish community of Constantine, Algeria. A follower of street fights, he carved out a solid reputation among the gangs of teenagers in Constantinois. Very early on, he identified with his model, the blackfoot champion Marcel Cerdan. A tailor by training and member of a family of ten children, Alphonse Halimi quickly distinguished himself by his sporting eclecticism: he was not only an excellent boxer but also a distinguished swimmer. His determination and boxing skills did not go unnoticed. Very quickly, he joined the metropolis where he successively won three titles of champion of France in the bantamweight: in 1953, 1954 and 1955.
He quickly turned professional and it was under the guidance of the one he called “Monsieur Filippi”, his trainer, that he would become a legend. On April 1, 1957, at the Vel ‘d’Hiv’ in Paris, he defeated the Italian Mario d’Agata on points, thus claiming the title of world champion in bantamweight. In the process, on November 6, 1957 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, it was the American Raul “el Ratón” Macias who paid the price for “the little terror”. In front of more than 20,000 hysterical spectators, Alphonse Halimi won the unified bantamweight title. France will wait 32 years to see a national boxer achieve such a feat again. At the end of the 1950s, when he was at the height of his career, Alphonse Halimi fell.
He was defeated in 1959, KO. in the 8th round, by the Mexican Jose Becerra.
During the 1960s, he alternated victories and defeats, while adding to his record with European titles in bantamweight. Alphonse Halimi is aware of this, the bulk of his career is behind him. And outside the ring, the multicultural European champion also knows how to vibrate the national fiber. Following his victory over Briton Freddie Gilroy in London in 1960, he declared: “Today I avenged Joan of Arc! “He remains as one of the most popular and talented French boxers in the history of“ noble art ”.
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