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Fond memories of a pugilist

By Aaron Kinney
Thursday, August 21st, 2008 at 7:23 pm in Aaron Kinney, Colma.

Pat Valentino and Ezzard Charles before their 1949 title bout

Pat Valentino and Ezzard Charles before their 1949 title bout

There’s nothing political about this, but it sounded like a good time.

Molloy’s Tavern in Colma held a memorial get-together last Sunday for San Francisco boxer Pat Valentino — a distant relative of silent film legend Rudolph Valentino — who died last month at the reported age of 88.

Tavern co-owner Blanid Molloy said the reason for the memorial is the bar’s celebration of boxing history and the fact that Valentino used to train in Colma. Valentino’s son Ken was on hand, in addition to a contingent of Teamsters (Valentino was a member) and fighters.

Valentino had a colorful history and a pretty good career as a heavyweight fighter. In a 2004 interview with the Oakland Tribune, Valentino recalled both a 1949 fight he lost to heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles at the Cow Palace and his regrets about his manager.

“I wish I had someone to advise me,” said Valentino, sounding more than a little like Marlon Brando in “Along the Waterfront.”

“I had to pick a manager who was a used-car salesman. He didn’t care about me,” Valentino continued. “When I got in the ring with Charles, my manager said to take it easy. I said, ‘Take it easy?’ He must have had money on Charles.”

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