Lou Ambers

A Biography of the World Lightweight Champion and Hall of Famer

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About the Book

Born Luigi d’Ambrosio, Lou Ambers grew up in Herkimer, New York, during the Great Depression. He and his nine siblings watched their father lose his business. Then they lost their father. Taking to the ring as a “bootleg” boxer to support his family, “The Herkimer Hurricane” soon became an undefeated contender, losing only one of more than fifty fights in his first three years as a professional. A keen judge of distance with prodigious hand speed, he worked just within punching range, busily slipping and feinting, then slashing in with hooks and uppercuts. In 1936, he faced his idol and mentor, Tony Canzoneri, and defeated him to capture the world lightweight championship. Ambers held the title for twenty-three months, losing it in a historic fight with the formidable Henry Armstrong (1938) but regaining it in a rematch the following year. As the 1930s ended, so did Amber’s impressive career. This book chronicles the life of one of the great 20th century lightweights, who retired with a Hall of Fame record of 90-8-6 with 30 KOs.

About the Author(s)

Mark Allen Baker, business executive and author of hundreds of articles and more than 25 books, is the only person to serve the International Boxing Hall of Fame as an author, historian, chairperson, sponsor, volunteer and biographer. He was accorded a Lifetime Award of Merit by the State University of New York in 2022, and inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame in 2023.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Allen Baker

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 241
Bibliographic Info: ca. 50 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8220-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4231-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction: Bootleg Boxing in New York State 3
One. Hometown History 13
Two. Luigi Giuseppe D’Ambrosio 25
Three. 1933—You’re Getting to Be a Habit 37
Four. 1934—Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled 50
Five. 1935—Lullaby of Broadway 65
Six. 1936—Tragedy and Triumph 85
Seven. 1937—Pennies from Heaven 112
Eight. 1938—Thanks for the Memory 134
Nine. 1939—Heaven Can Wait 152
Ten. 1940—I Want a Girl 168
Eleven. 1941—You Made Me Love You 182
Twelve. The Flight to Phoenix 190
Appendix A: Luigi Giuseppe D’Ambrosio—A Selected Boxing Record 205
Appendix B: Federation of Amateur Sports Clubs Directory of Selected Boxers (1931–1933) 213
Appendix C: Official Records of Associated Members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame 215
Chapter Notes 217
Bibliography 225
Index 227

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Meticulously researched…Baker is at his best describing the action of Lou’s most significant fights.”—Ringside Seat

• “We loved this book and walked away with a new found respect and awe for Lou Ambers.”—The USA Boxing News