Friend of boxing Tony “Nap” Napoli died on Sunday morning, according to his pal, the NY-based boxing living legend Tommy Gallagher.
Last Sunday, Tony attended the NY State Boxing Hall of Fame gala at Russo's on the Bay.
He looked good, I sat at his table, with Tommy, and he was signing copies of his book, “My Father, My Don.” Tony was the son of James Napoli, who lived a colorful life in NY, and had a deep interest in the fight game. Tony's book talked about his father's lifestyle, which included imprisonment stints for helping run non-state sanctioned gambling. James was among those who helped start the RING 8 (NY) organization to salute and give aid to ex fighters.
“Tony helped so many guys, and he never took a quarter,” said Gallagher (above, pictured with Tony, from the NYSBHOF gala) the Queens based trainer-manager-movie producer.
His pal had valves inserted in his heart 5 to 7 years ago, and went in for a surgery to clean them out. “He was doing fine,” said a shaken Gallagher. “What a good human being this guy was. He helped so many guys, and he never took a quarter!”
Hundreds of area vets in the region concur; Tony Nap's legacy will include getting sober and writing about that, and also working to get veterans deserved benefits from the VA.
Tony Nap, an amateur fighter, and Air Force service man, was 84 years old.