Horacio Accavallo’s death: what his life was like after boxing and why he’s considered the smartest of all

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Horacio Accavallo's death: what his life was like after boxing and why he's considered the smartest of all

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Horacio Accavallo in one of the sporting goods stores he ran after retirement.

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He was one of the best, one of the best world champions in Argentine boxing history. But Orazio Accavallo, who died this Wednesday at the age of 87, was also a man who broke some of the stigmas and prejudices that accompany boxers. Because he was able to leave the sport in time and after that thoughtful farewell he lived for more than half a century surrounded by the affection and recognition that he had collected during his years of professional activity and also wisely managing the money earned in the ring.

Rochino He decided to hang up his gloves when he was still world flyweight champion (he had won the title from Japan’s Katsuyoshi Takayama in March 1966 and defended it three times) and still looked in the height of his career. He announced his farewell on October 2, 1968, 12 days before his 34th birthday, in a press conference in the central hall of Lomas Sud, in Lomas de Zamora, together with his manager Héctor Vaccari.

“I’m saturated. I no longer have the enthusiasm for training as before. To defend the prestige of the country, you need to be very sure you can make the sacrifice that requires in-depth training, ”she explained. And he added: “I’m sorry to leave the title, but I must admit that I feel a hidden joy because now that I have more time, I will be more useful to society”.

He said goodbye with the belt in his possession, as Carlos Monzón would have done nine years later (they were the only two Argentine boxers to do so). And he has never succumbed to the temptation to return to a ring. He only once did he do it with gloves, although it was for an exhibition with Nicolino Locche and Miguel Ángel Campanino at the Luna Park on December 13, 1980. He was then 46 and had been inactive for more than a decade.

Although he never fought again, his name and body continued to be inseparably associated with the universe of Argentine boxing, which made him one of its heroes. An ovation bathed him every time he gave his gift at a boxing event, such as the night he carried the Argentine flag in the ceremony before Sergio Víctor Palma’s first defense of the WBA supergallo title, against Panamanian Ulises Morales in the Moon.

Also in the Colosseum Corrientes and Bouchard received the greatest manifestation of affection, together with the one received by Locche, on 13 July 2002, when the temple reopened its doors to boxing and, as part of the party that preceded the fight between Omar Narváez and the Nicaraguan Adonis Rivas, an award given to 16 former world champions. “I was pinching myself just because I couldn’t believe it. A packed Luna Park … It seems like one of the great evenings. I’m excited, tears are falling “, he recognized him that day in the stadium where he had fought more than a dozen times.

His connection with sport was not limited to boxing. Racing enthusiast, he was a frequent visitor to the Presidente Perón stadium and was also seen in numerous celebrations organized by the club, which repaid his affection by baptizing with his name the boxing gym opened in May 2009 at the sports center by Avellaneda.

Accavallo also integrated, in the last years of the last century and in the first years of this one, the Jury of Notables in charge of defining the winners of the consecration awards that Clarín assigned. Along with other Argentine sports glories such as Roberto De Vicenzo, José Froilán González, Amadeo Carrizo, Noemí Simonetto, Juan Carlos Harriott and Carlos Raffaelli, he visited the newspaper office and discussed with his colleagues the names of the winners. He also attended the award parties. From his hands they received statuettes of such champions as Narváez, Jorge Locomotive Castro or Jorge Rodrigo Barrios.

By that time, his reputation as a prosperous businessman had already been established for several decades. The boy who in childhood and adolescence had earned his living by performing surgery and also working as a bottle holder, shoe shine, street cleaner and multiple circus performer (he was trapeze artist, juggler, contortionist, tightrope walker and fakir) had grown the money earned from boxing. .

His first commercial venture, a metal warehouse, began when he was 17. At 20 he had tried his luck with a corralón of materials that he managed together with his brother Nicolás. At 27, when he was Argentine and South American flyweight champion, he created the Horacio Accavallo Gallery in Osorio and Warnes, in Villa Diamante, the neighborhood where he has lived since the age of five (he was born in Parque Patricios) and where he managed also a pizzeria. In that grocery store you could buy everything from clothes and shoes to refrigerators and pots, passing by wicker tables or garden chairs.

Already retired, he was also encouraged with restaurants, furniture shops and ice cream shops, although his strong point was sporting goods shops: he became the owner of more than 30 in the city of Buenos Aires and in different points of Greater Buenos Aires, and was the largest distributor in the country of the German company Adidas.

“I have earned very well, but I have also invested well. I gained a weight and two months later I was ten. I also never dodged the lump to work. When I was world champion, I unloaded the goods from the delivery truck myself. The truth is that I knew how to use the money, I knew how to listen to good advice, ”he explained in an interview published in Goles magazine in 1975.

One of these places, called “El Campeón”, still operates in Caseros 2700, in the Parque Patricios. It is administered by Horacito, one of four sons who Rochino he had with Ana María, the love of his life, whom he married in 1968. In “El Campeón” there is a small museum where you can see trophies, clothes, gloves and photos of the former champion.

Despite that period of prosperity that followed his retirement, Accavallo never forgot his origins. In October 2001 he participated in the first multisectoral conference on recycling and recyclers which took place in the legislature of the city of Buenos Aires. There he was elected honorary president of the Coordination Table of waste collectors of the city of Buenos Aires and the suburbs.

“You have to find the little twist so that the surgeons can win the bracelet. I will do everything possible to make it happen, “he said later. A few months later, he made public his support for Néstor Kirchner ahead of the 2003 elections that would bring the then governor of Santa Cruz to the Presidency of the Nation.

In addition to boxing and business, Accavallo also had approaches to the arts. In 1968, a few months before retiring, he starred alongside Simonette in the film destiny for two, written and directed by Alberto Dubois. And in 1986 you took part in the documentary The era of rheaby Carlos Sorin.

However, its greatest impact on popular culture came when it was already past the 60-year curve. In 1995 she added her voice to her in the introduction of “Piñas van, piñas come”, one of the 12 songs that made up Joy is back, old lady !!!!the second album of the punk band 2 Minutes, successor of the lucky one Valentino Alsina, which had been released a year earlier and had sold over 50,000 copies. “Don’t put your arms on me, asshole. Let’s go again,” the former monarch harangued before the first guitar riff was heard.

“Accavallo is a beautiful character. When I was a boy and (Carlos) Monzón or (Víctor) Galíndez would can, we would have barbecued with my family and I would paint the wine, the beer, the cheers of encouragement. That fascination with boxers has stayed with me. That’s why I’m happy to have Acavallo on the album. He is a very humble guy, very simple, “said Walter To fly Velásquez, singer of the emblematic band of Valentín Alsina, in an interview published with Clarín on May 16, 1995.

Three years after that participation that made him a celebrity among young punks who had never seen a single round of a boxing match, Accavallo suffered the hardest blow of his life: the death of his daughter Silvana in a car accident. On Tuesday, June 9, 1998, at 1:30 pm, while crossing Caseros Avenue into Catamarca Street, the 25-year-old woman was hit by one of the rear-view mirrors of a Ford F100 truck that was turning and died in the act.

“You have to have children to know what it means, words are not enough. Every day that passes, the image of Silvana vanishes. For a father or mother, losing a daughter ruins the rest of their life. This completely destroyed me, ”she acknowledged a year later. And he said that his support, after the accident, was her wife, Ana María, and her other three children, Analía, Horacio and Gustavo.

They were also the support that accompanied him when the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s appeared just over a decade ago. Due to this pathology, Accavallo had to be admitted to a neurological rehabilitation center about two years ago. He stayed there until his death on Wednesday.

His family protected his privacy and committed to disseminating information relating to the disease. She was also participating in the organization of an event that will take place this Saturday from 6:30 pm at the Box Factory (Balcarce 2855, Valentín Alsina), where boxing matches, musical performances and an exhibition of objects of the former champion will be held. . And this will also serve to say goodbye to one of the heroes of Argentine boxing.

Source: Clarin

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