Oh how I wish he were still alive so I could hear his acceptance speech. Hopefully, he'd have been sipping from the adult drink cup and his tongue would have been loosened.
Alas, Howard Cosell is no longer among the ranks of the living, but we at NYF are sure as can be that he'd have been getting goosebumps when he heard he was a member of the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Cosell made the cut, along with regional aces like Aaron Davis, a skilled technician from the Bronx who was a tough out in the late 80s and early 90s, and the fighting pride of Rochester, Charles Murray, as we don't hold it against him that he was born in Jersey.
Hector Camacho, an 80s era rockstar who repped Spanish Harlem with ridiculous flair, gets a spot, as does Rocky Graziano, a Brooklyner whose violent waltzes with Tony Zale will live on as long as there is a YouTube.
Here is the release which went out today:
NEW YORK (December 29, 2015) – The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), sponsored by Ring 8, has announced its 18-member Class of 2016. The fifth annual NYSBHOF induction dinner will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), April 3, at Russo's On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
“This is another very strong class of inductees,” said Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy, who was inducted into the NYSBHOF last year. “We are honoring New York's finest in our sport. This is all about recognizing great fighters, as well as others involved in boxing, from the state of New York.”
Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include former world welterweight champion ('90-91) and 1986 New York Golden Gloves winner, Bronx fighter Aaron “Superman” Davis (49-6, 31 KOs), Rochester's world junior welterweight champion ('93-94) Charles “The Natural” Murray (44-9, 26 KOs), Bronx two-time world lightweight title challenger and 1970 New York Golden Gloves co-champion Vilomar Fernandez (30-11-2, 9 KOs), and New York City's world lightweight title challenger Edwin Viruet.
Posthumous participants being inducted are Spanish Harlem's 4-time, 3-division world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho (79-6-3, 45 KOs), Brooklyn's world middleweight champion (1952) Rocky Graziano (67-10-6, 52 KOs), Buffalo's world lightweight ('25-26) titlist Rocky Kansas (62-11-6, 38 KOs), Brooklyn's 2-time world bantamweight titleholder Joe Lynch (99-36-19 2 NC, 37 KOs) and Brooklyn's “uncrowned welterweight champion” Joe Miceli (60-42-8, 28 KOs).
Non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF are Canastota's International Boxing Hall of Fame executive director Ed Brophy, Bronx promoter Joe DeGuardia, Melville's commissioner/media personality Randy Gordon and Queens promoter/manager Dennis Rappaport.
Posthumous non-participant inductees are Bronx manager Howie Albert, Manhattan's East Side trainer/cutman Freddie Brown, New York City television commentator Howard Cosell, Manhattan's Lower East Side boxer/referee Ruby Goldstein and New York City manager Jimmy Jacobs.
Each inductee will receive a custom-designed belt signifying his induction into the NYSBHOF. Plaques are on display at the New York State Athletic Commission.
The 2016 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Don Majeski, Henry Hascup, Ron McNair, Angelo Prospero and Neil Terens.
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years in order 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.
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 Giambra, 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.
Tickets are priced at $125.00 per adult and $50.00 for children (under 16), and 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 by calling NYSBHOF/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 Duffy. Go on line at www.Ring8ny.com for additional information about the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame