Leone Jacovacci was a Congo-born African-Italian boxer who shook up the sport after his 1928 European middleweight title win over the heavily favored (by fascist leaders) white Italian boxer, Mario Bosisio. Enraged by Jacovacci’s achievement, Mussolini ordered his win—which signified the delegitimization of racist claims of inferiority held by the Fascists—to be erased from the record books. But a new documentary, “The Duce’s Boxer”, produced by Istituto Luce recently brought Jacovacci’s forgotten history to the surface last Tuesday when the film premiered in 25 Italian cities for U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Luce is in talks to bring the film to an international audience.
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contirbutor