Christian Carto hopes to continue his rise through the bantamweight ranks when he headlines an eight-fight card Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
Michelle Rosado, whose Raging Babe company makes its promotional debut in the Philadelphia market that night, has dubbed the Feb. 8 event the “Philly Special.” If Carto keeps winning, Philly and more importantly South Philly will have something special on its hands.
Hall-of-Fame bantamweight Joltin’ Jeff Chandler was the last world champion from South Philadelphia. He won the WBA world title in 1980 and held it until 1984 after nine successful title defenses.
The 22-year-old Carto enjoys a huge following from his South Philly backyard. He brings back memories of another Hall-of-Famer, Joey Giardello, who was the last great Italian fighter from South Philadelphia. Giardello boxed from 1948 to 1967, compiled a record of 98-26-8 with 31 knockouts and was the undisputed middleweight champion from 1963 to 1965.
Carto has a record of 17-0, 11 KOs, since turning pro midway through 2016. He comes from a family rich in boxing tradition. His grandfather and two uncles were pros: Nunzio Carto, Frankie Carto, Joe Carto. All three fought in the lighter weight divisions in the 1930s and 1940s and Frankie was world-rated at once time at 126 pounds.
“This is going to be a special night for me,” Carto said. “It’s only my second time fighting at the 2300 Arena as pro and I enjoy the atmosphere even when I’m just there to support other fighters. A big ‘Thank You’ to Michelle Rosado for including me on her first card in Philly.”
Once he gets into the world rankings, Carto could remind South Philly fans of some of their best Italian boxers of days gone by: heavyweights Joe Grim (Saverio Giannone), Gus Dorazio and Dan Bucceroni; light-heavyweight Mike Rossman (Michael DePiano); welterweight Eddie Giosa; junior welterweight Tony Falco; featherweights Lew Massey (Louis Massucci) and Eddie Lenny (Edward Setaro); bantamweights Tommy Forte and Bobby Wolgast (Anthony Giordano); Hall-of-Fame flyweight champion Midget Wolgast (Joseph Robert Loscalzo).
“I look to forward to having a strong start to 2019 and continue building my career,” Carto said. ” My sponsors and my fans show unwavering support every fight and I am indebted to them. A lot of people are behind me and I want to make them proud not only of me, but also of South Philly boxing. There’s been a lot of great fighters from South Philly and I hope to uphold that tradition.”
Growing up in South Philly, Carto played hockey. He was small compared to the other kids his age, but it was on the ice that he began to exhibit the tenacity that would carry him through tough fights as a boxer. He never allowed his size to slow him down. In high school, Carto missed class trips, dances and social activities to pursue his boxing career, and the sacrifices paid off when he won the 2014 National Golden Gloves at 108 pounds in Las Vegas, NV.
In subsequent years. Carto moved up to 114 pounds and finished third in the 2015 National Golden Gloves and won a bronze at the U.S. Olympic Trials at that weight that same year.
“This show is for South Philly,” said Michelle Rosado. “The 2300 Arena is in South Philly and it’s headlined by Christian Carto, the hottest fighter to come out of South Philly in years. I look forward to getting him the recognition he deserves locally and nationally through this “Philly Special” card. He is the Philly Special!”
Tickets to “Philly Special” are priced $50, $75 and $125. They can be purchased online at www.2300arena.com or by calling 215-765-0922. Doors open at 6:30 pm and first bout is at 7:30 pm.