Rocky Gattellari: Legendary Australian Boxer’s Inspiring Journey

Rocky Gattellari was a true icon of Australian boxing, whose remarkable life story is a testament to perseverance, determination, and an unwavering spirit. Born in Italy in 1941, Gattellari’s family immigrated to Australia when he was a child, and it was here that his passion for boxing ignited.

Gattellari’s boxing career began with a bang when he represented Australia at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Despite losing to the eventual gold medalist, his performance caught the attention of the boxing world, and he turned professional the following year. Over the next seven years, Gattellari etched his name in the annals of Australian boxing history, capturing the Australian flyweight title in 1962 and defending it twice.

His most memorable bout came in 1967 when he faced off against the legendary Lionel Rose for the Australian bantamweight title. Although Gattellari ultimately lost the fight, it was a classic encounter that showcased his grit, determination, and never-say-die attitude. He retired in 1968 with an impressive record of 21 wins (12 by knockout), three losses, and one draw.

Gattellari’s life after boxing was equally remarkable. He ventured into the restaurant business, opening the renowned Berowra Waters Inn and Rocky’s at Edgecliff. His entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there; he even tried his hand at politics, running as a Liberal candidate in the 1995 New South Wales state election.

Throughout his life, Gattellari embodied the spirit of a true fighter, both inside and outside the ring. His infectious personality and zest for life earned him the moniker “the life of the party.” Even in his later years, when he battled dementia, Gattellari’s indomitable spirit shone through, as he faced his challenges with the same courage and resilience that defined his boxing career.

Rocky Gattellari’s legacy extends far beyond his achievements in the ring. He was a trailblazer, an inspiration, and a true ambassador for the sport of boxing in Australia. His story is a reminder that with hard work, dedication, and an unwavering belief in oneself, anything is possible.


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