Jonah, Bloomington, IL
Is it true that Dean Martin was a boxer before be became an entertainer?
That’s correct, Jonah. Dino was a high school dropout who turned to boxing at the age of 15 in order to make ends meet. Unfortunately Martin didn’t have much of a feel for the sweet science and, as he recalls, he "won all but 11 of 12 fights." His brief time in the ring also left him with a broken nose, a permanently split lip and several sets of broken knuckles. Although his tenure as a professional pugilist was short-lived, Martin returned to boxing several years later when he moved to New York. According to legend, he and his roommate, Sonny King, used to cobble together rent money by charging friends a dollar each to watch them box in their living room. Comedian Denis Leary remembers talking to Martin about his amateur face-offs. “It’s classic. He said they’d get like 15 or 20 people a night,” Leary recalls. “That’s how they’d pay the rent. That’s old school.”