Record Turnout for NYS
Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Dinner!
NYSBHOF Class of 2019: (L-R - seated) - Bob Jackson, John McKaie, Dick DiVeronica, Regilio Turr, Don King and Michal Olajidfe; (L-R - standing) - Ring 8 president Charles Norkus, Jr., Monte Barrett, Arthur Mercante, Jr., Steve Albert and NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy
all pictures by Peter Frutkoff / NYSBHOF)
(April 30th) - A record turnout honored the Class of 2019 at this past Sunday's eighth annual New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), sponsored by Ring 8, at Russo's On the Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
(Inimitable promoter Don King led the 24-member Class of 2019 into the NYSBHOF)
"We had our largest attendance, 402 people," a happy and proud NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said at the event. "This is the way we show our appreciation with this special belt for these New Yorkers for what they've given boxing through the years. Thanks to a lot of peoples' efforts this is our eighth year. I hope we can do another 50. I'd like to thank everyone of these inductees, and their family members for their support. It's all about family."
Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include (Bronx-born) three-time, two-division world champion Wilfredo Benitez (53-8-1, 31 KOs), (Hempstead) WBO super featherweight world champion Rogelio Tuur (46-4-1, 30 KOs), (Bronx) 1968 U.S. Olympian Davey Vasquez (19-15, 6 KOs), WBO super middleweight world title challenger Michael Olajide (27-5, 19 KOs), of Manhattan, New York welterweight Dick DiVeronica (44-13-1, 13 KOs), and Queens' world heavyweight title challenger Monte Barrett (35-11-2, 20 KOs).
Posthumous participants being inducted are (Bronx) three-time lightweight world champion Jimmy Carter (84-31-9, 34 KOs), Brooklyn welterweight Al "Bummy" Davis (65-10-4, 46 KOs), (Schenectady) world welterweight champion Marty Servo (47-4-2, 14 KOs), (Bronx) world heavyweight title challenger Roland LaStarza (57-9, 27 KOs), Brooklyn world lightweight champion Paddy DeMarco (75-26-3, 8 KOs )and Manhattan's Lower East Side lightweights Sid Terris (94-13-5, 12 KOs) and Leach "The Fighting Dentist" Cross (35-10-4, 22 KOs).
Living non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF are New York City-based promoter Don King, Flushing judge John McKaie, referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. Brooklyn sportscaster Steve Albert, and Bronx trainer Bob Jackson.
Posthumous non-participant inductees are Utica matchmaker Dewey Fragetta, Corona, Queens referee Johnny LoBianco, Garden City referee Wayne Kelly, Flushing sportsman Harry Hill, award-winning journalist Jimmy Cannon, of Manhattan's Upper East Side, and NYSAC official/former NABF president Joe Dwyer, of Brooklyn.
Each attending inductee (or direct descendant of) received a custom-designed belt signifying his or her induction into the NYSBHOF.
The 2019 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Don Majeski, Ron McNair, and Neil Terens.
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years to be eligible for NYSBHOF induction, and all inductees must have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their boxing careers or during the prime of their respective career.
INDUCTEES' QUOTES & PICTURES
Bob Jackson: "It's hard to speak at times like this when being honored by friends. It's been a great run. I live on memories and I have thousands. They keep me going. Never give up, always keep punching."
(L-R) presenter Vinny Maddalone & 2019 NYSBHOF inductee Bob Jackson)
Regilio Tuur: "I was a black kid from Holland fighting in the Olympics. Pretty much a nobody fighting the U.S. champion. They bought my return plane ticket before I even fought because they though my opponent was unbelievable. I trained to fight him, a southpaw, for a year and had a big fight hand that nobody knew of. I wanted to come to American and make by father proud. I retired from the pros) undefeated and make a lot money. I'm honored today. I had a great manager, Stan Hoffman, who is a man who made us men. Standing here today is a dream."
(L-R) -- 2019 NYSBHOF inductee Regilio Tuur & presenter Stan Hoffman)
John McKaie: "I have a great job and to be honored for something I really love doing is a great honor. I'd like to thank various commissions for licensing me, but New York is my home. I'd like to thank all the boxers because it's been a pleasure judging them."
(L-R) - Presenter Melvina Latham, 2019 NHSBHOF inductee John McKaie and
NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy)
Monte Barrett: "Congratulations to everybody up here. There's so much history in this room. I've been in boxing 18 years and have a select memory, but there have been so many amazing experiences and accomplishments. I love this guy (trainer Jimmy Glenn). A lot of managers don't even ask how you're doing. My manager was the great Stan Hoffman. He gave me $50,000, $3000 a month and another $1000 for insurance without a contract. Stan said: 'How you doing? I believe in you and love you.' In 2005, I was having an argument with Don King about money. He said, 'Life is a negotiation.' Well, I'm negotiating now, and I'm in the Hall of Fame."
(L-R) - Presenter Melvina Latham, 2019 NHSBHOF inductee Monte Barrett and his wife, Shaneka, and NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy)
Arthur Mercante, Jr.: "What a great honor it is to be recognized by Ring 8 and the boxing community. In 2012, my dad was inducted into the New York Boxing Hall of Fame Now he's looking down today and he's so proud. I entered the Golden Gloves at the age of 17. Un the quarterfinals I lost to a great fighter and Hall of Famer, Juan LaPorte. Like any boxer, I thought that I had won, and wanted aa rematch. My father told me I didn't like road work and just lost a three-round fight. He asked if I'd like to be a referee. I started in 1979 and my father made me work five years before turning pro. I went on to ref so many great fights, including one on the same card with my father at Radio City Music Hall. My greatest fight was Lennox Lewis versus Evander Holyfield."
(L-R) - 2019 NYSBHOF inductee Arthur Mercante, Jr. and presenter James Mercante
Michael Olajide: "I'm really honored to be here today. My history in boxing goes back a little now. There's nothing better to be honored by those who are a part of your profession. Thank you. I've had an incredible journey: Liverpool to Canada to New York. Boxing has given me so much. I wouldn't be the person I am without boxing. To live is to fight. Boxing and life are synonymous"
(L-R) - Presenter Jack Hirsch and 2019 NYSBHOF inductee Michael Olajide)
Steve Albert: "It is a tremendous honor to be honored by these luminaries. To be recognized in your own state is special. This is a celebration of all of New York. I worked 23 years for Showtime Championship Boxing, from 1987-2010, and the most dramatic was Corrales-Castillo I, one of the greatest fights of all time. I got the see the world because of boxing, but it was the lighter moments I remember most. Only in boxing do you have these characters and amazing experiences."
(L-R) - Presenter Randy Gordon and 2019 NYSBHOF inductee Steve Albert)
Don King: "Only in America, right? I'm happy to be inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame. O got into boxing with Muhammad Ali for his first fight and he stayed with me. A black and a Jew, me and Al Braverman, revolutionized boxing. Mario Cuomo gave me my license to promote in New York. One of our three offices was at 30 Rockefeller Center overlooking this great city. New York is a great city and stayed, so good they named it twice, New York, New York. I'm proud and privileged for all the young men and women honored here. I'm so proud to be inducted with them today. I'm here because New York played such a vital role in my career. I'm happy to be here today to accept this award. I got my belt!"
Presenter Don Majeski, 2019 NYSBHOF inductee Don King and
Master of Ceremonies Dave Diamante
CLASS of 2012: Carmen Basilio, Mike McCallum, Mike Tyson, Jake LaMotta, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, "Sugar" Ray Robinson, Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Harold Lederman, Steve Acunto, Jimmy Glenn, Gil Clancy, Ray Arcel, Nat Fleischer, Bill Gallo and Arthur Mercante, Sr.
CLASS of 2013: Jack Dempsey, Johnny Dundee, Sandy Saddler, Maxie Rosenbloom, Joey Archer, Iran Barkley, Mark Breland, Bobby Cassidy, Doug Jones, Junior Jones, James "Buddy" McGirt, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Bob Arum, Shelly Finkel, Tony Graziano, Larry Merchant, Teddy Brenner, Mike Jacobs, Tex Rickard and Don Dunphy.
CLASS OF 2014: Floyd Patterson, Tracy Harris Patterson, Billy Backus, Kevin Kelley, Juan LaPorte, Gerry Cooney, Mustafa Hamsho, Howard Davis, Jr., Lou Ambers, Jack Britton, Terry McGovern, Teddy Atlas, Lou DiBella, Steve Farhood, Gene Moore, Angelo Prospero, Whitey Bimstein, Cus D'Amato, William Muldoon and Tom O'Rourke.
CLASS OF 2015: Saoul Mamby, Joey Giamba, Johnny Persol, Harold Weston, Lonnie Bradley, Paul Berlenbach, Billy Graham, Frankie Genaro, Bob Miller, Tommy Ryan, Jimmy Slattery, Bob Duffy, Mike Katz, Tommy Gallagher, Bruce Silverglade, Charley Goldman, Jimmy Johnston, Cedric Kushner, Harry Markson, Damon Runyon and Al Weill.
CLASS OF 2016: Aaron Davis, Charles Murray, Vilomar Fernandez, Edwin Viruet, Hector "Macho" Camacho, Rocky Graziano, Rocky Kansas, Joe Lynch, Joe Miceli, Ed Brophy, Joe DeGuardia, Randy Gordon, Dennis Rappaport, Howie Albert, Freddie Brown, Howard Cosell, Ruby Goldstein and Jimmy Jacobs.
CLASS OF 2017: Gaspar Ortega, Renaldo "Mr." Snipes, Doug Dewitt, "The Bronx Bomber" Alex Ramos, Dick Tiger, Jose Torres, "Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey, Don Majeski, Ron Katz, Stan Hoffman, Bobby Bartels, Hank Kaplan, Al Gavin, Arthur Donovan and Dan Parker.
CLASS OF 2018: Lou "Honey Boy" Del Valle, Jake Rodriguez, Terrence Alli, "Baby" Joe Mesi, Kid Chocolate, James J. "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, Jack McAuliffe, Billy Costello, Melio Bettina Ralph "Tiger" Jones, Charley Norkus, Dave Anderson, Pete Brodsky, Herb Goldman, Bobby Goodman, Melvina Lathan, Ron Scott Stevens, Johnnie Addie, Johnny Bos, Murray Goodman, Bert Randolph Sugar and Sam Taub.
ABOUT RING 8: Formed in 1954 by an ex-prizefighter, Jack Grebelsky, Ring 8 became the eighth subsidiary of what was then known as the National Veteran Boxers Association - hence, RING 8 - and today the organization's motto remains: Boxers Helping Boxers.
RING 8 is fully committed to supporting less fortunate people in the boxing community who may require assistance in terms of paying rent, medical expenses, or whatever justifiable need.
Go on line to www.Ring8ny.com for more information about RING 8, the largest group of its kind in the United States with more than 350 members. Annual membership dues is only $30.00 and each member is entitled to a buffet dinner at RING 8 monthly meetings, excluding July and August. All active boxers, amateur and professional, are entitled to a complimentary RING 8 yearly membership. Guests of Ring 8 members are welcome at a cost of only $7.00 per person.
Dick DiVeronica Embodies Spirit of NYS BHOF
Don King, Jimmy Cannon, Jimmy Carter & Wilfredo Benitez Headline Class of 2019 Inductees,
Induction Dinner This Sunday, April 28th!
(April 22nd) Canastota, New York welterweight Dick DiVeronica embodies the true spirit of the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame: New Yorkers honoring New Yorkers for their accomplishments and achievements in boxing.
DiVeronica will be part of a 24-member Class of 2019 inducted at the eighth annual NYSBHOF induction dinner this Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), at Russo's On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
"This is what the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame is about, honoring and remembering men and women who devoted their time and energy to our beloved sports," NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said. "We thank all of them and their families for sharing these special people with us."
DiVeronica fought professionally between 1958-1972, compiling a 44-31-1 (13 KOs) record as a welterweight contender. He was stopped only twice in 58 pro fights, once by NYSBHOF charter (2012) inductee Emile Griffith.
"This wasn't expected (NYSBHOF induction) and we're all super excited," DiVeronica's daughter Theresa commented. "We live in the same town as the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but my father will never be inducted into that Hall of Fame because he was never a world champion, only a contender. Billy Backus (undisputed world welterweight champion in 1971-72) is from Canastota, too. He and my father never fought because they didn't want the hometown fighter losing. My father was a humble guy and we're so happy to have him recognized by the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame."
DiVeronica will now join Backus, who was a member of the Class of 2014, in the NYSBHOF. Boxing was incredibly important in DiVeronica life in and out of the ring. He started a boxing club in Germany while stationed there in the U.S. Army. He even met his wife at the famed 5th St. Gym in Miami. Dick was staying there at the home of a relative, right next door to where his future wife lived. One day he asked her out and eventually they were married and starting a family back in Canastota.
"My family is so excited," Theresa added. "We'll be there for the induction ceremony, even my older sister from Germany."