Hall of Fame referee Lou Filippo died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 83.
He began boxing at the 97th Street Arena and became one of California’s top amateur boxers of the 1940s. He joined the U.S. Navy during World War II, became a Pharmacist Mate, 2nd Class (medic), and served aboard the USS South Dakota. He won the South Pacific All-Services 125-pound title in 1944 at Guadacanal, South Pacific; as well as the 1945 Naval Base 125-pound Championship (his team-mate was Joey DeJohn). After his discharge from the Navy, he won the US Diamond Belt (lightweight division). Fillippo had more than 250 amateur bouts before embarking on a professional career.
Filippo fought professionally from 1947-1957, compiling a record of 28-9-3 (8). During his career he fought former lightweight champions Carlos Ortiz and Lauro Salas. He was named Action Fighter of the Year in Los Angeles (1957). He went into refereeing in 1973 at the suggestion of Olympic Auditorium promoter Aileen Eaton and officiated in over 85 championship bouts. He retired from refereeing in 2005.
Filippo also appeared as either a referee or announcer in every “Rocky” movie, starring Sylvester Stallone. He spent 43 years with Thermo-Electron, Cal Duran. He served two terms as President of the WBHOF. He was inducted into the World and California Boxing Hall of Fames.