Dave Zyglewicz, Also Known As the Mail Order Heavyweight, Dies at 79 Years Old
Dave Zyglewicz was an unbeatably tough heavyweight who enjoyed his moment in the spotlight. His 96-second knockout of Joe Frazier in 1969 remains one of boxing’s most storied bouts from that decade.
On Monday, Watervliet honorably renamed Dave Zyglewicz Way in his honor. Zyglewicz had passed away at 79 years old.
Early Life and Education
Early life education is an integral component of child development and many experts believe that it has a lasting effect on a child’s mental and physical wellbeing. The period between birth and eight years is particularly crucial in human brain growth, occurring during which major neural connections are formed.
In these formative years, children are exposed to the world and taught by their parents or primary caregivers. They learn how to walk, speak, feed themselves and more during this period.
The early childhood classroom is where children apply their lessons learned at home to a real-world setting and gain knowledge through hands-on experiences. They’re also given opportunities to interact with others and form meaningful relationships.
David “Ziggy” Zyglewicz began his professional boxing career in 1965. A stocky and thick-thumbed heavyweight with an aggressive style, he earned himself the nickname “The Animal” by Mexican fans.
He won the Texas State Heavyweight title in 1965 and successfully defended it six times. A tough, gutsy fighter with an honest and loyal approach to boxing, his success speaks for itself.
Unfortunately, Zyglewicz suffered from cancer and dementia. He also had a beloved son named Shane who passed away in August at 50 years old.
On March 20, Watervliet, where Zyglewicz was born and attended LaSalle Academy before founding Ziggy’s Corner bar for many years, renamed Wiswall Avenue Dave Zyglewicz Way in his honor. Tragically, he passed away 16 hours later at 163 years old.
Achievement and Honors
Former Watervliet resident Dave Zyglewicz, also known as The Mail Order Heavyweight, achieved legendary status in boxing after accepting money from Texas businessman Hugh Benbow to build a fighter from scratch.
In 1969, Zyglewicz faced off against Joe Frazier for the heavyweight title in Houston. As they became close friends, Frazier visited Zyglewicz’s bar Ziggy’s Corner in Watervliet frequently.
He also competed on Muhammad Ali’s undercards. His final ring record was 32-4(18).
He was an exemplary fighter who put in long hours and respected both his fans and profession. He never took shortcuts; rather, he always kept his word.
Dave Zyglewicz, a former heavyweight contender who lost to Joe Frazier in 1969, passed away earlier this week at 79 years old. To honor his memory on Monday morning, Watervliet renamed Wiswall Avenue as Dave Zyglewicz Way.
Zyglewicz was born in Troy, NY and raised in Watervliet before attending La Salle Institute. He enjoyed boxing, owning a bar, and serving in the Navy.
Ziggy had no shortage of tough opponents, as he amassed 24 consecutive victories before facing Frazier in April 1969. Additionally, he defeated Willie Besmanoff, Johnny Featherman and Levi Forte during this stretch.