Published on Monday, July 7, 2014
BY THEO KARANTSALIS
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
Hialeah police Lt. Leo Thalassites, 88, was inducted June 22 into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.
Thalassites has helped train a bevy of fighters, over the decades, including Hector “Macho” Camacho, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran.
His police career started in 1956 and Thalassites has served the Hialeah police continuously since 1963, according to state records.
Thalassites currently works part time at the police gym, named in his honor, teaching self-defense tactics. He learned to fight from his father, who taught hand-to-hand combat skills to elite Greek soldiers before serving Miami’s Greek community, in the 1940s, as a priest.
The city of Hialeah honored Thalassites with a plaque, in 2012, that reads “oldest active police officer in America.”
“I wake up every day at 4 a.m. to pray,” said Thalassites. “Then I run a few miles, lift weights and punch the heavy bag.”
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Photo: The city of Hialeah honored Lt. Leo Thalassites with a plaque, in 2012, that reads “oldest active police officer in America.” (THEO KARANTSALIS/FOR THE MIAMI HERALD)