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Fan Buys Tombstone For Philly Boxing Great

by Jade McCarthy
NBC10 - January 31, 2006

In May 1977, one of Philadelphia's greatest athletes was killed in a domestic dispute, just months after losing a controversial title fight.

Today, there is finally a headstone on Tyrone Everett's grave, thanks to a local boxing fan who wants to honor more forgotten local sports heroes.

John DiSanto grew up watching Philadelphia fighters ringside. But when he tried to learn more about the history of local boxing, he couldn't find it.

"Itís a mission," DiSanto told NBC 10.

So the Web designer, now living in Mantua, N.J., built a place for it on the Internet at

DiSanto found, in some cases, honoring the past meant adding to it, especially when he tried to find Everett's grave at Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, Pa.

Discovering the grave was unmarked, DiSanto spent $1,500 of his own money to get a tombstone for Everett.

He also befriended that late boxer's family in the process.

Tyrone's brother, boxer Mike Everett, went with DiSanto to put a placard next to the new tombstone.

"My mother came out to see him and she didn't know where to find him, so she cried," said Mike Everett. "For a fan to give back to someone, I want to cry."

Mike Everett now considers DiSanto part of his family.

Tyrone Everett was just 24 years old when he died in May 1977. The boxer was shot to death by his wife, who was later convicted of his murder.

His death shocked the local sports community, since Everett was considered the world's best pro boxer at 130 pounds.

By all accounts, Everett dominated champion Alfredo Escalera in a 15-round title fight at the Spectrum just six months before his death.

When the judges gave Escalera the decision, police had to control the irate crowd. Everett was negotiating a rematch with Escalera at the time of his death.

After this experience, DiSanto only hopes to further preserve Philadelphia's boxing history, both past and present.

Down the road, he hopes to bring memorabilia, collectibles, and photos together in a museum.

For More Information

If you are interested in helping DiSanto's efforts, you can contact him at


Jade McCarthy is a Sports reporter for NBC10. She reported this story on line and on TV in January 2006.


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