-- Photo by Larry Smith
Israel "Pito" Cardona - Cardona, 36 wins and 10 losses -- says he is getting ready for war again.
Cardona, a very popular and respected Hartford boxer, graduated from Bulkeley High School in 1993. He gained a fearsome reputation by winning his first 24 professional fights in a row, 18 by knockout.
Pito is now the Boxing Director for Bare Bones Boxing Gym in East Hartford.
A 1999 op-ed piece in The Hartford Courant described Pito as "Frog Hollow's Hero." The author, car dealer Glenn Holley, said Cardona stood up to the mores of certain elements in his gritty neighborhood by refusing to beat up another youngster who had stolen his jacket.
Pito also served as a cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 49.
He said he expects to be back in the ring for about soon, perhaps in March. Now 34 years old, Pito once held the USBA lightweight title.
Pito, Mike Mike Machine Gun Oliver and Chip Perez will be sparring and working out as part of the professional boxing exhibition organized by Iceman John Scully and Sammy Vega at the Hartford Club on Jan. 15.