Jake "The Bronx Bull" LaMotta has confirmed his attendance Sunday, April 1 at the inaugural New York State Boxing Hall of Fame ("NYSBHOF") induction dinner, sponsored by Ring 8, at Russo's On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
LaMotta is now 90 years old, and on this day, I would watch my mouth around him, and take care not to offend, because you know he could still rip off a one-two and knock my block off...
On Feb. 5, 1943, LaMotta (83-19-4, 30 KOs) became the first to defeat (via UD10) another member of the first NYSBHOF class, "Sugar" Ray Robinson, arguably the greatest boxer of all-time. Want to know something that will tell you something about that era, and make you mock this era all the more (cough Mayweather-Pacquiao, cough cough)? LaMotta fought Robinson 21 DAYS LATER, this time losing UD10...
LaMotta defeated Marcel Cerdan in 1949 to capture the World Middleweight Championship. During his 13-year professional boxing career, Jake was a fixture fighting in the NY Coliseum in the Bronx, and later at Madison Square Garden. Robert DeNiro played LaMotta in the award-winning movie, Raging Bull, which was directed by Martin Scorsese.
Boxers joining LaMotta and Robinson in the inaugural NYSBHOF class are 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.
The NYSBHOF will have a dedicated wall at the Waterfront Crabhouse and in the New York State Athletic Commission to commemorate inductees each year.
Inductees who have committed to attending the festivities, in addition to LaMotta, include McCallum, Griffith, Ortiz, Antuofermo, Acunto, Glenn and Lederman. The families of Canzoneri, Tunney, 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 Tony 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.