Once 48-0 Lee Sala of Donora, PA, Inducted Into PA BHOF!
By: Ken Hissner
Donora, PA, home of one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game was Stan “The Man” Musial who played from 1941 to 1963. He would overshadow another Donora resident who would become a professional boxer in 1946.
In 1944 Donora’s Lee Sala served two years in the US Navy on the battleship Iowa during World War II and would turn professional in the sport of boxing in 1946. He won his first 48 fights taking a 48-0 record into the ring in February of 1949 against Tony DeMicco, 46-24-5, of Schenectady, NY, in Buffalo, whom he defeated in October of 1948, losing this time for the first time by majority decision. Just 13 days later they had a rematch in Pittsburgh, PA, and Sala took a 10 round decision win in the rubber match.
Sala was 61-1, in August of 1950 when he took on deaf mute Gene “Silent” Hairston, 36-6-2, in Scranton, PA, losing a 10 round decision. He won 6 in a row after this then facing Joey DeJohn whom he knocked out in August of 1950 and was 67-2 when in September of 1951 he lost to DeJohn, 67-8-2, of Syracuse by knockout in 2 in Syracuse. Then 4 wins later at 71-3 he would lose in 10 rounds to Billy Kilgore, 21-11-3, of Delan, FL, in May of 1952 in Miami, FL. He would go onto win 3 more when at 74-4 facingthe future middleweight champion in November of 1952 Carl“BoBo” Olson, 53-6, in San Francisco, CA, getting knocked out in 2 rounds. A pair of wins later he would end his career with a pair of losses in September of 1953 and retire with a record of 76-7 with 48 knockouts at the age of 26. Some of his highlight wins had been over Sonny Horne 71-16, Georgie Small 35-4 and in their first meeting Joey DeJohn 61-4-2.
After retiring from boxing Sala and his wife Adeline would move to Tampa, FL. He would become a referee. In December of 2012 at the age of 85 Sala would pass away.