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Bravo To NY State Boxing Hall of Fame, For Aiding Boxing Fam Hit By COVID-19

Michael Woods

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Bravo to the good people at the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame, for stepping up as the pandemic worked NY over, starting in March, into April, and now continues to be a formidable foe in May.

The jointly established COVID-19 fund by New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF) and Ring 8 distributed more than $5,000 last month to assist New York and New Jersey boxers and boxing personnel in financial need due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All the people helped needed to be licensed, with NYSAC, NJSAC or USA Boxing. Most all boxers, trainers, cut men and the boxing personnel are independent contractors in need of financial support during this trying time, and so Bob Duffy and company sent out funds to help folks who’ve lost jobs and such.

“We wanted to help people in boxing whose livelihoods have been so adversely affected by this pandemic,” NYSBHOF present Duffy (below) said.

“I’d like to thank Ring 8 president Charley Norkus for partnering with us, along with Ring 8 board members Ron McNair, Bobby Bartels and Henry Hascup. I’d especially like to thank Lou DiBella for his generous contribution, as well as Dave “Scooter” Honig and boxer Richard Kiley for their donations. And Peter Frutkoff, among others, for all of his hard work getting the word out about the fund.”

Norkus chimed in: “As president of Ring 8, I was honored to be part of this group relief fund to assist those who were in need. I am glad that in more than 60 years of existence, Ring 8 still assists those in need from the boxing community.”

Duffy went on the SiriusXM Ak and Barak show, and told the hosts, who, by the way, both fought off COVID-19, that many people got money to buy two or three weeks of groceries. “In our sport, they don’t get a paycheck every month, they get a check when they get a fight or work a corner,” Duffy said. Some people were very grateful, because the money infusion allowed them to pick up a needed prescription.

The longtime fightgame fixture, who worked for the commission and did promotion and wore lots of the hats, said that the game has been touched by the virus. He cited cornermen Nelson Cuevas and Bob Jackson expiring, and told the hosts that he wears a mask and gloves. He’s 70, he said, and with some medical issues in play, so he doesn’t take any chances. “I’m not with the way the government’s handled it with the general public,” Duffy admitted. He wants all leaders, from both parties, to just work on the behalf of the masses.

More news–Sept. 20th, that will be the gala dinner, to laud the incoming Hall of Fame class, Duffy said. “There’s gonna have to come a point when we break out of this.”

These are the persons who’ll enjoy the spotlight then:Other living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include three-time World light heavyweight title challenger Jorge Ahumada (42-8-2, 22 KOs; below, versus Bobby Cassidy), of Woodside, Queens by way of Argentina.

Also gaining entry will be: WBC super featherweight World Champion Alfredo “El Salsero” Escalera (53-14-3, 31 KOs), of New York City by way of Puerto Rico; WBC super featherweight World title challenger Freddie “The Pitbull” Liberatore (20-4-1, 11 KOs), of Bayside, Queens; WBC middleweight World Champion and four-time New York Golden Gloves winner Dennis “The Magician” Milton (16-5-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx; World heavyweight title challenger and two-time New York Golden Gloves winner Lou Savarese (46-7, 38 KOs), of Greenwood Lake; and WBA super middleweight title World title challenger Merqui “El Corombo” Sosa (34-9-2, 27 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of the Dominican Republic. See Sosa vs Prince Charles Williams, their first scrap, below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm92d7Q9PIE

Posthumous participants being inducted are Brooklyn welterweight Soldier Bartfield (51-29-8, 33 KOs), who fought a reported 55 world champions; Bronx middleweight Steve Belloise (95-13-3, 59 KOs); NYSAC and World lightweight champion (1925) Jimmy Goodrich (85-34-21 (12 KOs), of Buffalo; World heavyweight title challenger Tami Mauriello (82-13-1, 60 KOs), of Bronx; WBA light middleweight World champion (1982-83) and four-consecutive New York Golden Gloves titlist Davey “Sensational” Moore (18-5, 14 KOs), of Bronx; and World lightweight champion Freddie “The Welsh Wizard” Welch (74-5-7, 34 KOs), of New York City by way of Wales.

Living non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF are Wantagh journalist/producer Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Oneida judge Don Ackerman, Buffalo manager Rick Glaser, Rockaway Beach journalist Jack Hirsch, Bronx boxing broadcaster Max Kellerman, Ardsley ringside physician/NY Medical Director Dr. William Lathan, Orangeburg judge Julie Lederman, Hyde Park referee Ron Lipton, and Staten Island/Catskill trainer Kevin Rooney.

Posthumous non-participant inductees are Brooklyn’s Ring Magazine editor Lester Bromberg, New York City sportswriter Dan Daniel, Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym founder Bobby Gleason, Sunnyside, Queens boxing writer Flash Gordan, Manhattan journalist A.J. Liebling, Long Island City’s NYSBHOF co-founder Tony Mazzarella and New York City manager Dan Morgan.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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