New arrivals to America were anxious to assimilate. Participation in local sports proved to be one of the quickest ways to do so. In the early years, many young boys took up boxing. One of the first local legends to cross-over into mainstream popularity was favorite son, Raffaele Giordano, known professionally as Young Corbett, III as he claimed the World Welterweight boxing title against Jackie Fields in 1933. Corbett is still considered one of the greatest southpaws and
counterpunchers of all time. Every decade since has produced world-class athletes with Fresno County ties, including Super Bowl champions and Olympic medalists. On the spectator side, the gathering place for everyone on Fresno's West Side was the Italian Entertainment Park on Kearney Boulevard. Originally opened in September 1928, the Park regularly hosted exciting automobile and motorcycle races on its unpaved 1/5-mile track, as well as world-class boxing matches and dances for the young and young at heart at the romantic Palomar Ballroom. Later renamed Airport Speedway and then Kearney Bowl, the venue is still nostalgically remembered.