Al Rogers


Al Rogers was a middleight who fought out of Buffalo, New York. He had an alias of Angelo Christiano. Al Rogers fought Harry Greb three times in his career. The first time was in August 1915. The fight was a newspaper decision from the Pittsburgh Post. "They didn't fight like humans, but more like two bulls.." It was constant action. Greb was fouled three times, twice in the fourth round. He was given five minutes rest and then the fight continued. "Ickie Greb's sporting nature was never more evident. He could easily have had the fight on a foul, since Rogers' low blows in the 4th were evident to all, but he asked to let the fight continue." Harry won nearly every round but he had terrific competition all the way.

Al and Harry met again around a month later at the same place, the Duquesne Garden in Pittsburgh. Greb won the newspaper decision as reported in the Pittsburgh Post. This wasn't nearly so good a fight as the previous one between Greb and Rogers. Harry could get only an even hreak in the first two rounds but won the last four clearly.

The third and final time Al Rogers and Harry Greb battled was two years later in 1917 in Charleroi, PA. Greb won the newspaper decision according to the Pittsburgh Post. The Post characterized the fight as "one-sided." Greb won every round. Rogers got a cauliflower ear, a split lip, badly swollen eyes, an finished smeared with blood. Greb tried to score a knockout but Rogers lived up to iron-man reputation.



The following is taken from the "Buffalo Veteran Boxers Association" website.

Al Rogers: Welter/Middleweight 1905-21: Al was born in 1888 as Angelo Christiano, one of 14 children, whose parents Vincenzo and Serafina emigrated from the village of San Fele in the province of Potenza in Italy. Al and his younger brother Augustine "Bud" became professional fighters.

Buffalo's Italian community has produced many top notch boxers over the years, such as Rocky Kansas, Lou Scozza, Joey Giambra, Tommy Paul, Joe & Phil Muscato, Bud Christiano, and Bobby Tracey, to name a few. None of the aforementioned fighters were tougher than Al Rogers.

After winning an amateur tournament in Fort Erie he turned pro in 1905, fighting in "smokers" held by various athletic clubs in Western New York. Rogers, a lightweight, usually represented the Busti Athletic Club, and was managed by Charlie Palmer. During Al's first few years he was described as having "a good punch and the ability to withstand a lot of punishment."

In the Spring of 1909, Al [and Palmer] traveled to California with the idea of joining the fighting camp of some of the champions and making a name for himself. He stayed there for a year and defeated a number of "tough customers" earning the nickname of "Fighting Al." Returning to Buffalo in 1910 he fought bouts in upstate New York, and after losing a 10 round bout in Cleveland, Ohio in 1911 to Tommy Gavigan, he again left for San Francisco where he had another series of bouts, including one with future welterweight champion and Hall of Fame member, Jack Britton.

Rogers returned to Buffalo in early 1912 to fight K.O. Brennan, and other main events. In his first bout with Young Kid Broad of Philadelphia, one newspaper said that "there was enough power turned loose to move the Ellicott square." In their second bout, the same writer declared that Broad and Rogers "unloosed enough punches to stop an army of white hopes."

After the second Broad bout, Al had fights in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, meeting top contenders such as Buck Crouse, Leo Houck, and Jack Dillon [who out weighed Rogers about 20 lbs and a year later became light heavyweight champion.] After a third trip to the West coast Rogers again returned to Buffalo for another bout with K.O. Brennan in early 1915. Thereafter, finding it difficult to obtain matches in his home town, Rogers fought all over the Eastern United States during the years 1915-17, going against future champions Harry Greb [three times], Johnny Wilson [twice], Mike McTigue, and former champion George Chip. Many historians consider Hall of Fame member Harry Greb to be the greatest of all middleweights.

After retiring from the ring in 1921, Al became a trainer and manager of boxers, and during WWII worked in the defense industry.