Boxing: new york state boxing hall of fame

Jake LaMotta had them rolling in the aisles at the induction gala for the first batch of entrants to the brand-new New York State Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday in Howard Beach, Queens.

The 90 year-old Raging Bull tossed quips galore at Russo's on the Bay. "I'm very happy to be here with my very good friends," he cracked. "I fought 'Sugar' Ray Robinson so many times it's a wonder I don't have diabetes. He broke my jaw but you can see he never broke my nose." LaMotta headed up a class of fighters and fightgame persons such as Mike Tyson, Carmen Basilio, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, Mike McCallum and the late Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri. Non-participant inductees include judge/HBO analyst Harold Lederman, trainer/cutman Jimmy Glenn and, posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel, The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer, New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo, and referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.

Ring 8, the NY organization formed to give aid to and spotlight veteran boxers, sponsored the event. "We're all proud of those sitting on the dais for their achievements," NYSBHOF & Ring 8 president Bob Duffy said. "The biggest joy, for me, is for what Mrs. Arcel, Mrs. Gallo and the members of the Canzoneri, Tunney, Mercante, and Clancy families said to me. They left a track record, like those sitting up here, but they're so happy that their inductees were not forgotten. Ring 8 specifically had these one-of-a-kind belts (all inductees received) designed for the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame."

The NYSBHOF will have a dedicated wall at the Waterfront Crabhouse and in the New York State Athletic Commission to commemorate inductees each year.
New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Dinner April 1

The inaugural New York State Boxing Hall of Fame ("NYSBHOF") induction dinner, sponsored by Ring 8, will be held Sunday, April 1 at Russo's On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.

"Sugar" Ray Robinson, arguably the greatest boxer of all-time, though Floyd Mayweather might argue otherwise, leads a list of 12 boxers and eight non-participants to be formally inducted.

Boxers joining Robinson in the inaugural NYSBHOF class are Mike Tyson, Jake LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, Mike McCallum and the late Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri.

Non-participant inductees are judge/HBO analyst Harold Lederman, coach/instructor Steve Acunto, trainer/cutman Jimmy Glenn and, posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel, The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer, New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo, and referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.

"We're doing this to honor New York fight people," NYSBHOF president Tony Mazzarella said. "This is a dream come true for so many people who've worked hard to make the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame a reality. On April 1st we will be setting the foundation for years to come. All of the inductees will be immortalized with plaques showcased on a dedicated wall at the Waterfront Crabhouse and in the New York State Athletic Commission."

Inductees who have committed to attending the festivities include Bowe, McCallum, Griffith, Ortiz, Antuofermo, Acunto, Glenn and Lederman. The families of Arcel, Gallo and Mercante will also be represented.

Tickets, priced at $150.00 per person, include a complete brunch and cocktail hour upon entry, starting at 12:30 PM/ET, as well as dinner (prime rib, fish or poultry) and open bar throughout the evening. Tickets are available to purchase at the Waterfront Crabhouse (2-03 Borden Ave in Long Island City), or by calling Mazzarella at 718.729.4862 or Ring 8 president Bob Duffy at 516.313.2304. Ads for the NYSBHOF program are available, ranging from $50.00 to $250.00, by contacting Mazzarella and Duffy.

Go on line at www.Ring8ny.com for additional information about the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame.

Bos: Why isn't Dempsey in first NY Hall class?

October, 31, 2011
10/31/11
10:03
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The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame unveiled its inaugural class last week, and Johnny Bos, the Brooklyn-born matchmaker who is I dare say the most authoritative boxing historian alive today, thinks the Hall selection committee dropped the ball.

Here is the list of fighters who comprise the first NYSBHOF class: "Sugar" Ray Robinson, "Iron" Mike Tyson, Jake "Bronx Bull" LaMotta, Carmen "Upstate Onion Farmer" Basilio, Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, Mike "Bodysnatcher" McCallum, Gene "The Fighting Marine" Tunney, Benny "The Ghetto Wizard" Leonard and Tony Canzoneri.

Here is Bos' reaction to the news, posted on Facebook. (For the record, Big Bos is a loose cannon, in a good way, because he is unafraid to speak on the iniquities which plague the sport. He's an ALL CAPS KIND OF GUY. His candor, however, scares some of the large promoters, all of whom would be well served to use his services. As he points out, between 2000-10, 10 NY-based fighters who rose to 10-round status fought for world titles. Bos, who now lives in Florida, worked as an adviser in selecting foes for four of them.)

"HOW COULD THERE BE A NEW YORK BOXING HALL OF FAME AND JACK DEMPSEY NOT INDUCTED ON THE FIRST BALLOT SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG WITH THAT HE IS THE MAN MORE RESPONABLE THAN ANYBODY FOR AT ONE TIME MAKING NEW YORK CITY THE MECCA OF PRO BOXING."

Bos followed up with:

"WHERE IS JACK DEMPSEY AND THE MAN WHO LEGALIZED BOXING IN NY JAMES J WALKER -- THE TWO MEN WHO PUT NY BOXING ON THE MAP NOT IN NY HALL OF FAME, THERE CLAIM OF DEMPSEY NOT BEING A NEW YORKER IS BULL----. HE MOVED INTO THE ANSONIA APARTMENTS IN OCTOBER OF 1918 AND REMAINED A NEW YORKER UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1983 THAT'S 65 YEARS ONE FIGHTER WHO GOT IN LIVED IN NY A TOTAL OF 4 YEARS."

Here is a primer on Dempsey the man and fighter, written by the esteemed Red Smith in 1983.

Here is the criteria to be selected, as laid out by the Hall: "All boxers had to be inactive for at least three years and all inductees had to have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their careers."

Stay tuned to see if Dempsey can make a late run and join the first class.

N.Y. Boxing Hall of Fame inductees announced

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
4:05
PM ET
Even the casually aware boxing fan might know there is a boxing Hall of Fame. There are two, actually, the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, located in Riverside, Calif.

The Canastota Hall is the more accepted of the two.

New York-area fight fans might be pleased to know that a New York State Boxing Hall of Fame, in planning for 14 months, is off the ground. A luncheon introducing the inaugural class of inductees was held at Gallagher's near Times Square on Tuesday.

Tony Mazzarella, a board-member of the Ring 8 club, a N.Y. group formed in 1954 to help and honor former boxers, has been trying to get a HOF for years now. He's offered space at his restaurant, the Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City, for plaques and memorabilia. A physical location is being hunted down.

Here's the first class to be inducted. It includes 12 boxers, and eight non-boxers.

"Sugar" Ray Robinson, "Iron" Mike Tyson, Jake "Bronx Bull" LaMotta, Carmen "Upstate Onion Farmer" Basilio, Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Mike "Bodysnatcher" McCallum, Gene "The Fighting Marine" Tunney, Benny "The Ghetto Wizard" Leonard and Tony Canzoneri. Also, judge/HBO analyst Harold Lederman, coach/instructor Steve Acunto, trainer/cut-man Jimmy Glenn and, posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel, Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer, New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo, and referee Arthur Mercante Sr.

Ring 8 president Bob Duffy announced plans for the kickoff dinner. "We plan to do this every year," Duffy said. "Our first introduction dinner will be at Russo's On The Bay in March of 2012. We have a wall at Waterfront Crabhouse which will list our Class of 2012 and another at the New York State Athletic Commission. We started this to honor New York fight people."

The inductees were selected by a six-member NYSBHOF nominating committee made up of Boxing Writers Association president Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Henry Hascup, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Ron McNair and Neil Terens.

All boxers had to be inactive for at least three years and all inductees had to have lived in New York State for a significant portion of their careers.

Lederman had a couple people wiping the onion juice out of their eyes when he took to the mike and said, "I'm so honored to be in this first class. I've asked myself how did I get in the same class as Sugar Ray Robinson," as he choked up.

The event wasn't diminished at all by another press conference, run by famed promoter Don King, held at the same time at another location. Media turnout was a bit less than expected because of that, though. Word was King was going to cut his presser short and head over to the Hall session, but as the Gallagher's group exited the building, King was nowhere to be found. We can assume King was somehow melding the works of Aristotle, the deeds of Crispus Attucks and the plight of Rodney King together into a delicious oratorical stew that perhaps even had something to do with the sweet science.

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