MERRILLVILLE - He was dubbed the "world's best lightweight boxer" in 1938
and earned the respect of his peers for his sparring skills in the ring.
Michael "Little Pal" Primich, 82, who died April 22 of throat cancer, was a
longtime area resident.
"My brother was in the Golden Gloves and went from a flyweight to a
lightweight boxer," George Primich said.
He also recalled that his brother often worked out with Gary native and
former middleweight world boxing champion Tony Zale.
Despite his brother's size - 5 feet 5 inches, 135 pounds - Mr. Primich had a
left hook that "nearly always" KO'd his opponents.
"My brother had a style ... weaving and bobbing in the ring. It kept his
opponents at bay and gave him the chance to clip them," said George Primich.
Mr. Primich retired from Pipefitters Local No. 597. He was a member of the
Hobart Elks Lodge, No. 1152; the East Chicago Moose Lodge; the Goodfellow Club;
and the AARP.
The former boxer was inaugurated in the boxing Hall of Fame of East Chicago
He is survived by two daughters, Joan (Bob) Janiga of West Lake Village,
Calif., and Mary Jane Payne of Morro Bay, Calif; two brothers, Frank (Mary) of
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and George (Ann) of Merrillville; niece Pat (Dr. Virgil)
Angel of Munster; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and several
nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Wednesday from Geisen Funeral Home, Merrillville
chapel, and from St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church, with the Rev. Michael
Burial took place at Calumet Park Cemetery.
* This story was done in cooperation with Geisen Funeral Home.