The Tomato Can Reviews

“The “sweet science” of boxing is reduced to a curious alchemy in this uproarious and sentimental look at crooked pugs and their “wise guy” handlers. It’s 1947, and Jake LaMotta has just thrown the infamous bout at the Garden. Sitting at the usual table in the usual restaurant is crooked boxing maven Sonny, who recounts the evening’s events for the usual crowd from the neighborhood. According to these ring rats, LaMotta is a bum who can't even throw a fight gracefully, unlike their former schoolyard friend turned prizefighter, Tommy Curcio. Nicknamed “The Cockie-Doodie Boy” after an unfortunate childhood incident, Tommy once made an art form of taking a fall in the ring. In the parlance of the boxing world, this earns one the label, “Tomato Can,” as well as the friendship of those who consider a fair fight to be a sucker bet. However, love for Rosie, daughter of Big Nose Sallie, not greed, motivated Tommy’s compliance. Dimwitted, but with a heart of gold, he had misgivings about being a skilled loser. However, loyalty to his mob patrons won out, setting the stage for a truly hilarious fight scene.”

Publiher’s Weekly

“Ron Ross’ novel The Tomato Can would make a great Italian-American movie—move over Norman Jewison! The story is told with charming ingenuousness by a first-generation Italian-American, a minor underworld character who seems to be appointed spokesperson by a whole Italian neighborhood...”


Aethlon, Spring 1995

“...Tomato Can is a funny incisive about the fight scene in Brooklyn’s Coney Island section with Tommy, the Dwarf, Big Nose Sallie, Fats, Foghorn, and other Italian-American boxers during the days of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia...”


—Dr. Nikos Michalis Spanakos, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1997