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Luigi Borra

Luigi Borra was a strongman, weightlifter and gymnast born in 1866 in Italy. He worked as a telegraph instrument maker until the age of 23, when he decided to join a circus and perform as a wrestler. Throughout many European tours, Luigi performed various strength and gymnastics feats, aside from wrestling performances with his colleague, Folies Bergere.

Luigi Borra in 1894

Luigi Borra in 1894

During one of his tours, Luigi met Louis Attila who talked him into returning back to England, so Attila can promote him and act as Luigi’s manager. Louis proposed this idea not only to benefit Luigi, but to end his partnership with Eugen Sandow and hurt his reputation by making Luigi more popular than him. Since Luigi wasn’t really known back then, Attila thought that it would be a good idea to setup a wrestling challenge between Luigi and Eugen. However, Eugen stopped accepting challenges after he lost from the McKann brothers, so he naturally refused this one as well.

Luigi also had a really strong jaw, as he often performed a crucifix while holding two 50-pounds dumbbells hanging by his teeth. He also liked kettlebell juggling and he was capable of juggling 80 pound kettlebell with his right hand while bent pressing 225 pounds using his left hand. All this with only 160 lb in bodyweight! In the picture below, Luigi is balancing and supporting more than 500 pounds on his chin.


Luigi supporting 500 pounds on his chin

Luigi supporting 500 pounds on his chin

At one point in his career, Luigi performed along with Louis Cyr. Luigi died in 1955 in England, at the age of 89.



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