Elson, left, against Victor Galindez. That fight was the co-feature
to the Ali-Lyle heavyweight championship fight at the Las Vegas
Convention Center in May of 1975. Elson was the last surviving member
from that TV night.
NYSBHOF CLASS OF 2014
(L-R) Seated - Mustafa Hamsho, Tracy Patterson, Billy Backus, Gene
Moore, Howard Davis Jr and Juan LaPorte; Standing - Steve Farhood, Keven
Kelley, Lou DiBella, Teddy Atlas and Gerry Cooney.
Photos by Peter Frutkoff)
(L-R) - NYSBHOF & Ring 8 president Bob
Duffy, NYSBHOF inductee Tracy Patterson and presenter Brian Burke
(L-R) - Presenter Jack Hirsch and
NYSBHOF inductee Juan LaPorte
(L-R) - NYSBHOF & Ring 8 president Bob Duffy and NYSBHOF inductee
(L-R) - Presenter Bobby Cassidy Jr., NYSBHOF inductee Gerry Cooney
and presenter Bobby Cassidy Sr.
(L-R) - NYSBHOF inductee Lou DiBella and
presenter Steve Farhood
(L-R) -- Presenter Vinnie Maddalone and
NYSBHOF inductee Keven Kelley
(L-R) -- NYSBHOF inductee Billy Backus and
presenter Don Majeski
DOUG JONES, 1960's CONTENDER
New York Nov 13, 2017:
Doug Jones has died. Jones was famous for taking Cassius Clay to the
outer limits in their 1963 bout at Madison Square Garden. Jones career
lasted 9 years and included bouts with George Chuvalo, Ali, Bob Foster,
Earnie Terrell, and Joe Frazier, among others.
Jones had lived in the Bronx after
retirement in 1967 and been on a low profile the last few years. He had
been trained to box in the Air Force by Rollie Hackmer, who remained his
trainer throughout his professional career. Hackmer, also was the
trainer of Ray Elson, who has recently passed.
RAY J ELSON REMEMBERED
1970's New York fighter who fought the
contender Ray J Elson has passed away. Ray was a staple in the New York
area in the 1970's, and his career took an upturn in 1974 with an upset
of contender Tommy Hicks. That win got him a bout with light-heavyweight
champion Victor Galindez, and although young and green, Ray put up a
gallant fight till he was stopped in the 8th round. Ray continued
and fought the likes of Davey Hilton, Michael Spinks, and Eddie Mustafa
Muhammad, until his retirement in 1979. Although brief, Rays career is
what many fighters can only dream of. It also merits the definition of
competing at the highest level, even when you are at a decided
disadvantage. It was about always defending yourself in the struggle, as
his motto "Keep' em Up" exemplifies.
Ray's son puts his fathers career
and passing in a letter to our website.
of Ray J Elson
It’s with great sadness that I
inform you my father Ray J passed away on Friday October 20, 2017. It’s
with great comfort I inform you that he was comfortable and amongst
family who greatly loved him. My father’s passion for the sport of
boxing never wavered. He often referred to boxers as artists striving
to paint a masterpiece that is recognized by all: the masterpiece of
winning a championship and putting that belt around your waist.
Something that all boxers are aware of is that all odds are against
them. However they still go forward because of the love and passion of
all who step in the ring for the Art of Boxing.
So I thank you for recognizing
my father but I thank you even more for fighting for the forgotten sport
of boxing and the athletes who make up this great sport. Many may not
know that Ray was also an accomplished grandfather to my children
Gabriella, Angelina and Timothy.
Son of a Boxer
And as my father would always
say “Keep’em UP”
Ultiminio "Sugar" Ramos
GRIEF AND MOURNING IN THE WBC- UTIMINIO RAMOS HAS DIED
September 3rd, 2017
The WBC and its President Mauricio Sulaiman, decree a day of mourning
for the passing of one of the greatest boxers of history, Ultiminio
"Sugar", Ramos, aged seventy five.
"Sugar" Ramos was born on December 2nd I941 in the town of Matanzas,
Cuba, where he took his first steps in pugilism. Afer the Cuban
Revolution, which banned professional boxing, Ultiminio travelled to
Mexico and made it his home. Famed and respected for his mighty punching
power in addition to his elusive style, which proved very effective,
Ultiminio conquered the World Boxing Council featherweight crown on
March 21, 1963, defeating the American Davey Moore , to become the first
WBC world champion.
In an apt quirk of fate, this larger than life and beloved character,
was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992, both as Ultiminio
Ramos...And as Sugar Ramos. Two for the price of one, which was his
motto of sheer fighting effort!
We will always remember Ultiminio as a great champion, but even more
so, as a wonderful, friendly, genuine and kind man. A memorable day,
some months ago with the inauguration of his café in Mexico City.
Unforgettable hospitality from the great man, his attractive kind Wife,
plus beautiful family. And that broad beaming smile that was so much
him. That event also hosted a press conference with Carlos Cuadras,
following his tremendous fight with Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez.
A man of discerning style, always smart and elegant, often rakishly
sporting a flamboyant hat, Ultiminio was adored by the people of his
adopted country, certainly for his fighting spirit, but also for his
unique character, chuckling sense of humor and his love of dancing...and
fun! He embraced the rhythm and the very essence of life.
This is the saddest of losses, but the man with the big hands and the
larger heart, leaves us with a wonderful legacy of joy and happiness.
How lucky is Mexico that he chose it to accomplish the highlights of a
magnificent career spanning 66 fights, including 55 wins, with 40
knockouts, four draws and only seven losses.
The loss Is now most surely ours` but what fantastic and
indestructible memories he leaves us!
LOU DUVA 1922-2017
Famous Trainer Lou Duva has passed way
at the age of 94, it has been learned. Lou began a career training in
1963 after a brief career as a professional boxer. He guided 19
champions, starting with the incomparable Joey Giardello, and other
champions such as Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield and Medrick Taylor. Duva died of
Born in New York on May 28th
1922, Duva made his pro debut on June 23, 1942. It was an introduction
to boxing that endured the growth of the sport and many famous moments.
One moment came on St Patricks day, 1990 when his charge, Medrick Taylor
was stopped with two seconds left in a bout with Julio Cesar Chavez.
Duva charged after the referee and demanded the fight be concluded.
Duva's persona was that of an honest grumpy old man that had your back.
Other fighters Duva managed and/or
trained included Rocky Lockridge, Johnny Bumphus, Vinny Paz, and a host
of many others.
Lou Duva Obituary: Legendary Boxing
Trainer & Manager Passes at age 94
Paterson, NJ, March 8-Legendary Hall of Fame boxing manager and
trainer Lou Duva, the patriarch of one of the most influential families
in the sport, passed away today at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson,
New Jersey. He was 94. He died of natural causes, according to his son
Dino Duva. A fiery and charismatic character, Lou Duva's career spanned
seven decades in the corners of boxing champions.
Duva handled the careers of 19 world champions, and most notably
trained heavyweight titlist Evander Holyfield, and welterweight kingpins
Pernell Whitaker and Meldrick Taylor –
all U.S.A. Olympic medalists – just
to name a few. Duva’s first world champion was middleweight
Joey Giardiello, who won the
title in 1963.
Lou Duva was born on May 28, 1922 in New York City to Italian
immigrants, and the family later moved Paterson, New Jersey.
A true icon in the sport of the “Sweet Science,” Lou Duva is
enshrined in the
International Boxing Hall of Fame
(1998), as well as the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, and the National
Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
Duva and his family built the promotional company Main Events
(founded in 1978) into one of boxing’s powerhouses. Duva was voted
“Manager of the Year” in 1985 by the Boxing Writers Association of
America. In 1987, the World Boxing Association chose Duva as “Trainer of
Lou Duva is survived by his son Dino and his wife Margi, daughters
Donna Duva Brooks and her husband Tommy Brooks , Deanne Boorman
and her husband Mike Boorman , and Denise; daughter in law Kathy Duva,
widow of Dan Duva; grandchildren Cassandra and her husband Shaun, Max
and partner Tabitha Hugdahl , Nicole, Alex, Lisa and her husband
Will Jamieson , Louis, Amanda, Bryan, Deena, Michael and Scott; and
great grandchildren Shaun Jr., Carter, Luc and Ryan. Lou Duva was
pre-deceased by his wife Enes, and eldest son Dan.
"The overwhelming number of calls and sympathy wishes from so many
friends and associates shows how much our father was loved and
respected. We sincerely appreciate the support from everyone." said Dino
These are the wake and funeral arrangements:
Festa Funeral Home
111 Union Blvd.
Totowa, NJ 07512
Sunday, March 12 - 3pm -7pm
St Mary's R.C. Church
HAWK" AARON PRYOR DEAD AT 61
Former Boxing Champion Aaron Pryor, has
died early Sunday. He was 61 years old.
Known by his nickname "The Hawk," Pryor was the World Boxing
Association Junior Welterweight Champion from 1980 to 1983 and the
International Boxing Federation Junior Welterweight Champion from 1983
Among the greats he battled were Antonio Cervantes and Alexis
Arguello (2x), and it was that will for victory in those famous
encounters that propelled him to an International Hall Of Fame induction
BOBBY CHACON 1951-2016
New York, NY 9/7/2016 -- Bobby Chacon has passed
away at age 64. Chacon had been suffering in recent years from dementia,
which was contributed to his death.
A professional of 67 fights, Chacon's career
started in May of 1972 and had many peaks and valleys, many ring
triumphs and personal failures, yet the fighting spirit remained in
Bobby long after his best days were over, until the final bell tolled in
June of 1988.
And like many of his bouts, Chacon's career started
with a bang. Reeling off 19 straight victories against some top West
Coast fighters, such as "Choo Choo" Castillo
and Frankie Crawford, Bobby was
matched against top featherweight Rubin
Olivares in June of 1973. In a little more than a year of
turning professional, Chacon was trading punches with the 71-3 Olivares,
ultimately succumbing to the much more experienced opponent after
Continuing his winning ways after the Olivares
setback, another West Coast fighter was making waves in the division ---
Danny "Indian Red" Lopez was on a
collision course with Chacon that had the Coast fan's buzzing. The match
finally happened in late May of 1974, and this time, Bobby's experience
proved too much for Lopez, registering KO in 9 rounds.
A win over the credible
Alfredo Marcano, then a challenge to WBC featherweight
champion Jesus Estrada in March of
'75 resulted in a second round stoppage --- and Chacon had finally
captured the world championship.
However, Rubin Olivares was lurking like a shark in
the waters, and was matched with Chacon in June and stopped Bobby in two
rounds. For the second time Bobby had lost to Rubin, and his title reign
was a brief three months. At age 24, Bobby was an ex-champion and
experienced veteran ready for more.
In 1975 Chacon traveled to Mexico to take on
Limon, the first fight of four, losing
a decision over 10 rounds.
became a staple on the west coast, thrilling fans from the Olympic
Auditorium in Los Angeles, to Sacramento, California. 1977 through 1979
saw Bobby battle Olivares again (W UD 10), a hard fought draw against
Limon, and an unsuccessful bid to wrest the WBC super featherweight title
Alexis Arguello (RTD 7).
Down but not out, Chacon started 1980 with a points
win over Limon, and the series of bouts between the two was 1-1-1.
After a couple of tune-ups, Chacon was matched in
May 1981 against Cornelius Boza Edwards
for the WBC super featherweight title. After a drag out see-saw battle,
Chacon could not come out for the 14th round. The WBC title would change
hands a few times, and by 1982 Edwards was no longer the title holder
--- the title belong to non other than Bobby's arch nemesis --- Raphael
In a sensational fight, and the 1982
Ring Magazine "Fight of the
Year", Chacon, who was on the canvas twice,
came on like gangbusters to drop Limon in the 15th and gain the WBC
And Bobby was not to be outdone, even by politics
of the day. The number one contender now was Boza-Edwards, and Chacon
signed a deal with Don King to fight Hector Camacho. After much
bickering, Chacon did fight Boza-Edwards, but the fight was not
sanctioned by the WBC. In another thriller, in what was the 1983
Ring Magazine "Fight
Of The Year" Bobby knocked down Boza-Edwards three times to win a
narrow 12 round decision.
Chacon would be stripped by
the WBC of the title June 27, 1983 for failing to
defend against Camacho. For all intent and purpose, that would be
the last hurrah in what was a fabulous career.
A loss against lightweight champ Ray Mancini (TKO
3) in 1984 was the last time Bobby would challenge for the title.
Howard Davis, most outstanding boxer
at 1976 Olympics, dead at 59
Reported by Kevin Iole
Howard Davis Jr., who was voted the most outstanding fighter at the
1976 Olympics in Montreal in a year in which the U.S. may have fielded
its greatest team ever, died Wednesday at 59 after a short battle with
His brother, Kenny Davis, confirmed the news.
Davis won the lightweight gold medal at the 1976 Games, just five
years after he had taken up boxing. He was an inspirational figure as he
fought for his 37-year-old mother, who had died of a heart attack two
days before the Games began.
The 1976 Olympic boxing tournament featured some of the greatest
fighters to have ever lived, including Americans Sugar Ray Leonard and
Michael Spinks and Cuban heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson, but it was Davis
who won the Val Barker Award as the Games' most outstanding boxer.
He used his fast hands and precise punches to take the gold,
defeating Simion Cutov of Romania in the final match. He'd also beaten
the likes of Aaron Pryor and Thomas Hearns in the amateurs.
Writing in Sports Illustrated after the Olympics, the legendary Pat
Putnam said, "Howard Davis is even more skilled as a fighter than
Leonard. A remarkably clever boxer, he thinks people who can take a
punch to deliver one are foolish."
Davis, who had a 125-5 amateur record, told Putnam in Montreal that
he didn't see the sense of getting into slugfests.
I'm no brawler. The Europeans take a lot of punches. They get cut up,
and looking ugly is just part of the day's work. But I don't want to be
ugly. I'm not crazy.
Davis had a solid, though not spectacular, career as a pro. He went
36-6-1 with 14 knockouts as a pro, but failed to win a world title. He
lost WBC lightweight title bouts to Jim Watt in 1980 and Edwin Rosario
in 1984. He dropped an IBF junior welterweight title match to Buddy
McGirt in 1988.
After his fight career ended, Davis stayed in the sport and began
training fighters. He eventually began to train MMA fighters as well as
boxers and became the striking coach for the American Top Team in
Florida. Among his MMA pupils was UFC Hall of Famer and former light
heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. He also promoted MMA fights, and his
company, Fight Time Promotions, got a contract with the CBS Sports
Network to do shows. In 1976, Davis was signed to a deal with CBS, the
first among his teammates to land a network television deal.
Doctors told him he likely had less than a year to live. Davis, who
never smoked or drank alcohol, told the Sun Sentinel that once he learned
that, he stopped chemotherapy and tried non-conventional methods to save
But Davis was known for a sunny disposition and a willingness to
fight to overcome any obstacle. He reacted with grace when he learned
the bad news and vowed to battle to remain alive.
I never ask why I got [cancer]. I just started fighting. If you are a
champion, champions don't quit.
He dropped from 195 pounds to 138, according to Sherdog, but
continued to seek a cure. He got off chemotherapy when the doctor
estimated he had less than a year to live and tried to find alternative
Randy Gordon, the former chairman of the New York State Athletic
Commission, was close with Davis for his entire adult life. He said
he'll remember Davis as an elite athlete but more so as one of boxing's
true good guys.
"He was a loyal friend and devoted husband, father and brother,"
Gordon told Yahoo Sports. " ... He had the fastest pair of hands I ever
saw. He was a very hard worker in the gym. On the road, he ran like no
fighter I ever saw. In 1979, I clocked him in the mile at 4:20. I am
sure if he put his mind to it, he could have approached the world
record. He told me a few years ago that he enjoyed training fighters,
promoting MMA and playing music – he
played guitar – more than he enjoyed
fighting. I believe he was Florida's busiest MMA promoter. To know
Howard Davis was to love him. Heaven is gaining one very special angel."
Services are pending.
The NYS Veteran Boxer's Association
R.I.P. HERSCHEL JACOBS
Yonkers New York December 20th:
Herschel Jacobs, 75, formerly of Wade, North
Carolina died Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Yonkers, NY.
Hershel Jacobs, a crafty local NY fighter who
had a taste of the big time, has passed away. Boxing out of Westchester
County, NY, Jacobs started his career in 1960 and fought the best of the
generation, from Hurricane Carter to Hal Carroll to Jimmy Dupree,
becoming a gatekeeper in the light-heavyweight divisions.
Jacobs had a savvy style that kept him in the
ring with some of the best fighters, and defeating some of them --
Johnny Persol, and Carroll to name a few. Jacobs, like many during that
time, became a journeyman toward the end of his career.
Jacobs career highlights (courtesy of Henry
Went the distance in a 10-round bout in 1972
versus future heavyweight champion Ken Norton, losing by UD. Norton was
heavyweight champion in 1978.
Fought former light-heavyweight champion Harold
Johnson twice, losing a 10-round UD in 1967 and winning by TKO in 3 in
1971. Johnson was light-heavyweight champion in 1961-1963.
He was the first man to beat Rubin "Hurricane"
HALL OF FAME FLIES FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FORLIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION BOB FOSTER
CANASTOTA, NY - NOVEMBER 22, 2015
- The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at
half-staff in memory of light heavyweight champion Bob Foster, who
passed away yesterday in Albuquerque. He was 76.
“Bob Foster was a truly great light heavyweight champion and one of
the most devastating punchers in boxing history,” said Hall of Fame
Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame joins the worldwide
boxing community in mourning his passing and offer our condolences to
his entire family.”
The fighting pride of Albuquerque, NM, Foster turned pro in 1961.
With a 79 inch reach and one of the best left hooks in boxing, the
6-foot-3 Foster began a steady march to the light heavyweight title. He
captured the championship in 1968 with a 4th round knockout over Hall of
Famer Dick Tiger. An impressive string of 14 successful defenses
followed including wins over Vicente Rondon, Mike Quarry, Chris Finnegan
and Pierre Fourie. Foster retired in 1978 with a pro record of 56-8-1
(46 KOs). After hanging up the gloves he had a long career in law
enforcement in Albuquerque.
In 1990 Foster was elected into the International Boxing Hall of
"SIX HEADS" LEWIS DIES IN ACCIDENT
May 4, 2015:
Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis, 44, has died of injuries of a bicycle accident
in Guyana, it has been reported. Born in 1970 and turning professional
in 1993, Lewis was an exciting fighter, possessing power in both hands
and had a flair for the big stage. He upset James Page in 2001 to
capture the Vacant WBA welterweight title. After a victorious defense
against Larry Marks, Lewis engaged in a No Contest result (a head-butt
caused a gash on Lewis eye) against Ricardo Mayorga in 2002. In a
mandatory rematch, Mayorga annexed the crown, stopping Lewis via a 5th
Lewis tried to regain a portion of the title a year later, but was
stopped by Antonio Margarito in the 2nd round.
From 2003 Lewis basically fought local bouts until his last one, a
split decision loss to Howard Eastman in Oct, 2008. Lewis final
tally as a professional includes 23 wins, 20 by KO, 4 losses and 2
CONTENDER PASSES AT 86
boxing community has lost another legend. I was saddened to learn today,
that the great light heavyweight world champion, Harold Johnson, passed
away at the age of 86. Harold fought from 1946-71, finishing up his
career with a very impressive record of 76(32)-11(5)-0, defeating along
the way the likes of Archie Moore (fought 5 times), Ezzard Charles, and
Jimmy Bivins. He became champ when outpointed Doug Jones in 1962 and
lost the title to future hall of famer, Willie Pastrano by disputed
decision in 1963. Harold was inducted in the World Boxing Hall Of Fame
in 1992 and the I.B.H.O.F. in 1993. He was named the 7th greatest light
heavyweight of all time by The Ring in 2002. Rest in eternal peace,
Harold. You will be missed, but never forgotten by boxing fans.
NEW YORK CITY
(Jan. 27, 2015) - New York City boxing leader Tony Mazzarella passed
away after a long illness this past Monday at the age of 75.
During his long career in boxing, Mazzarella was a former New York
State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) Deputy Commissioner and inspector -
honorary NYSAC Deputy Commissioner the past few years - Ring 8
treasurer, New York State Sports Commission member, amateur (including
Golden Mittens and Mayor's Week of Boxing) and professional promoter
(co-promoter of Ring Promotions) and the major influence in the founding
of the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF).
"Tony was a loyal, dedicated Ring 8 member for more than 30 years," his
close friend and Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said." Without his
restaurant, the Waterfront Crabhouse (in Long Island City), serving as
the home of Ring 8, I don't think there would be a Ring 8 today if not
for Tony's generosity and perseverance. He kept Ring 8 alive and due to
his diligence, Ring 8 has always maintained its integrity. It was his
idea to found the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame.
"We were partners (Ring Promotions) and great friends for the past 25
years. Tony enjoyed being part of events, whether it was promoting shows
or hosting award dinners. He was very generous to fighters. Tony was
also a good baseball player and an avid fan. He was a leader and remains
a legend in New York City boxing. He was without question the most
respected Ring 8 member. We will all miss Tony Mazzarella more than
words alone can properly describe."
(standing, far right) shown here with the NYSBHOF Class of 2013
A native of Queens, Tony resided in Tappan, where his funeral will be
held this Friday (Jan. 30, 11 a.m.) at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Church (120 Kings Highway). His wake will be held this Thursday (Jan.
29), from 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., at Pizzi Funeral Home (120 Paris Ave.
in North Vale, New Jersey).
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 still 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.
REMEMBERING ERNIE TERRELL
CANASTOTA, NY - DECEMBER 23, 2014 - The International Boxing Hall of
Fame joins the worldwide boxing community in mourning the loss of
heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell, who passed away at his home in
Chicago on December 16th at age 75.
“As imposing as the 6’6” Terrell was in the ring, he was just as nice
outside of the ring,” said Hall director Ed Brophy. “We were saddened to
learn the news of his passing and we offer our condolences to his
Fighting out of Chicago, Terrell turned pro in 1957. Wins over
Cleveland Williams, Zora Folley and Hall of Famer Bob Foster preceded a
1965 bout with Eddie Machen for the vacant WBA heavyweight title. After
winning the title with a 15-round decision, he successfully defended
against George Chuvalo and Doug Jones before losing the belt to Muhammad
Ali in 1967. Terrell retired from the ring in 1973 with a 46-9 (21 KOs)
Terrell visited Canastota for the annual Hall of Fame Weekend and was
a fan favorite.
"It is with overwhelming regret that we announce the passing of Dan
Goossen, 64, from complications relating to liver cancer. The sudden
news of his diagnosis was very much a private matter and his final days
were spent surrounded by his family and closest friends. Sadness is
difficult to escape as we grieve his passing, however we are filled with
pride by the fact that Dan Goossen battled this aggressive illness with
boundless strength and the last days of his life were fought and lived
with unflinching bravery, pure love and grace beyond measure."
Arrangements are pending and details will be announced in the next
- Fred Sternburg
RING ANNOUNCER, PASSES AWAY
Ed Darian, the ring announcer has passed away. I remember him as a
staple at the Felt Forum in New York in the late 70's and the 1980's.
One of his famous intro was of an opponent, who traveled from a distance
to fight a local opponent " all the way from Seattle Washington . . ."
was an example and he always stated after a good bout to cheer for both
fighters in their effort. Below is a statement from longtime promoter
Ed Derian, who was my ring announcer and, more importantly, my
friend, passed away yesterday. We began working together in the
mid-1970s at a time when the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission
designated who would be the ring announcer at different fight cards. I
finally got that preposterous rule changed in the 1980s and Ed became my
steady guy from then until about two years ago when his beloved wife
Roxy died. Ed was the in-ring voice for all those great Tuesday Night
Fights on USA Network from the Blue Horizon. He and Roxy and me and my
wife Linda spent many enjoyable evenings together at a variety of Middle
East restaurants. There are so many Ed Derian stories to tell.
Former WBC #175 Champ
Matthew Saad Muhammad Dead at 59
light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad, 49-16-3 (35), of
passed away Sunday morning at the Chestnut
Hill Hospital, in Philadelphia. He had been suffering from ALS the Lou
Gehrig’s disease. He had been in a coma the last few days . .
It was Muhammad, who as Matthew Franklin, captured the WBC light
heavyweight title in April of '79 with a gutsy come from behind slugfest
with Marvin Johnson. He also had eight defenses, including a duo with
Britian's John Conteh (W15,KO4), as well as a solid TKO 14 over Yaqui
Lopez, which was the Ring Magazine 1980 fight of the year. A solid
Philadelphian fighter with a boxer brawler style, Muhammad engaged in
many see saw battles till Dwight Qawi took his title in 1981. Saad
Muhammad was part of a special era of light-heavyweights of the post
Foster era that will never be duplicated -
Jimmy Ellis, Ali’s Friend Who Won
Boxing Crown, Dies at 74
By Stephen Miller and David Henry May 6, 2014 1:38 PM ET
Source: Allsport Hulton/Archive via Getty Images
Jimmy Ellis, who beat Jerry Quarry to become World Boxing Association
heavyweight champion in 1968 and fought the era’s best fighters
including his friend, Muhammad Ali, has died. He was 74.
He died today at Baptist Health Louisville hospital in Kentucky, his
son, Jeff Ellis, said in a telephone interview. He had suffered from
dementia for more than a decade.
Ali’s former sparring partner and a fellow Kentuckian, Ellis was
among a group of boxers who traded title belts during one of the
heavyweight division’s most celebrated eras. His 15-round majority
decision win over Quarry in Oakland, California, came in the final of an
eight-man tournament. Later that year in Stockholm, he defended the belt
against two-time champion Floyd Patterson in a fight that he also won on
“I was made out to be nothin’ but a sparring partner,” Ellis said in
a 1968 interview with Sports Illustrated after winning the world title.
“It bothered me to be run down like that. I was more than that. I knew
it. I think I’ve proven that now.”
Ellis won the WBA belt that Ali held until he was stripped of his
titles for refusing induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Ellis, who was 6-foot-1 (185 centimeters) and 197 pounds (89 kilograms)
when he took the crown, won 40 bouts, 24 by knockouts, and lost 12 in
his professional boxing career.
He was WBA champion until Joe Frazier defeated him in February 1970
at Madison Square Garden in New York. In that fight, Frazier knocked him
down twice in the fourth round and Ellis didn’t come out of his corner
for the fifth.
Ellis began his boxing career at the Columbia Gym in Louisville,
where he was trained by police officer Joe Martin, who was credited with
spotting Ali’s talent years earlier. Ali and Ellis later shared the
renowned trainer, Angelo Dundee.
After losing his world title, Ellis had unsuccessful bouts with Ron
Lyle, Joe Bugner and Frazier before retiring in 1975 after injuring his
left eye during training. He later developed a form of dementia that is
common to boxers.
James Albert Ellis was born Feb. 24, 1940 in Louisville, the son of a
Baptist minister, Walter Ellis, and his wife, Elizabeth, who raised the
family’s nine children.
He had a strong interest in gospel music from his teenage years and
was a featured singer in the Riverview Spiritual Singers, based at the
Riverview Baptist Church, where his father became pastor. The group
toured and released recordings, even while Ellis pursued boxing.
Ellis first encountered Ali watching him fight on local television in
the late 1950s, and decided he could beat Cassius Clay, as Ali was then
known, Jeff Ellis said. The often sparred, then became friends.
They met in a North American Boxing Federation championship bout in
1971. While neither fighter was knocked down, the referee stopped the
match at 2:10 of the 12 round, awarding a technical knockout victory to
Ali. They remained friends in retirement.
“I still talk to Muhammad once a week on the phone and he never,
ever, begins our conversation without the words ‘‘Hi, champ,’’ Ellis
told the Daily Telegraph in 2003.
In addition to his son Jeff, Ellis’s survivors include another son,
James Jr., daughters Jamesetta Wells, Inez Ellis, Mary Ellis and Sonya
Ellis, and 10 grandchildren. His wife, the former Mary Etta Williams,
died in 2006.
To contact the reporters on this story: Stephen Miller in New York at
firstname.lastname@example.org; David Henry in Frankfurt at email@example.com
POPULAR PROMOTER CEDRIC KUSHNER PASSES AWAY
New York Jan 29: Cedric Kushner, the characteristic promoter who
guided many boxers, has passed away in New York City.
Among many things, Kushner was the architect of "Heavyweight
Explosion" a series of heavyweight contests that would determine
the next big contender -- and it produced results. However Kushner
promoted three big heavyweights --Hasim Rahman, David Tua and Ike
Ibeabuchi, and had success with all three, especially Rahman, who won
the title from Lennox Lewis in 2001.
Cedric had others as well -- Shane Mosley, and most recently Ali
Funeka. Services are pending.
NYS INDUCTS NEW YORK AREA BOXERS INTO HALL
NEW YORK CITY (April 1, 2014) - A sold-out crowd turned out this past
Sunday night to honor 20 members of the Class of 2014 inducted into the
third-year New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), sponsored by
Ring 8, at Russo's On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
"This was our largest crowd we've ever had with more than 500
people," Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said. "Everyone was so
receptive, commenting about how much they enjoyed the ceremony, and
there was a lot of emotion displayed. The whole point of starting the
New York State Boxing Hall of Fame was to recognize New Yorkers in
boxing and to honor them for their contributions. New York has been the
centerpiece of boxing for the past 50 years. Some of our inductees may
not have been international stars, but they helped make boxing what it
is in New York. We wanted to do the right things and recognize the New
York guys who made boxing was it is today."
Living boxers inducted into the NYSBHOF were Tracy Harris (63-8-2, 43
KOs), the former WBC/IBF Super Featherweight Champion from New Paltz;
former WBC/WBA Welterweight Champion Billy Backus (49-20-5, 23 KOs), of
Canastota; former WBC Featherweight Champion Kevin Kelley, of Flushing,
Queens; former WBC Featherweight Champion Juan LaPorte (40-17, 22 KOs),
of Brooklyn; Huntington's World Heavyweight title challenger Gerry
Cooney (28-3, 24 KOs), Brooklyn's two-time World Middleweight title
challenger Mustafa Hamsho (44-5-2, 28 KOs) and Glen Cove's Howard Davis,
Jr. (36-6-1, 14 KOs), a 1976 Olympic gold medalist as well as
Outstanding Boxer, and a three-time World Lightweight title challenger.
Posthumous participants inducted were two-time World Heavyweight
Champion Patterson (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn, World Lightweight
Champion Lou Ambers (91-8-7, 28 KOs), of Herkimer; three-time World
Welterweight Champion Jack Britton (239-57-44), of Clinton; and World
Featherweight Champion Terry McGovern (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn.
Living non-boxers inducted were ESPN boxing commentator and trainer
Teddy Atlas, of Staten Island; promoter Lou DiBella (DiBella
Entertainment), of Brooklyn; boxing historian and Showtime analyst Steve
Farhood, of Brooklyn; trainer and Sunnyside Gardens matchmaker Gene
Moore, of Queens; and boxing writer/historian Angelo Prospero, of
Deceased non-boxers in the Class of 2014 are trainer/cutman Whitey
Bimstein, of Manhattan's Lower East Side; legendary trainer Cus D'Amato
(Bronx and Catskill), who launched the career of "Iron" Mike Tyson as
well as Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres; trainer William Muldoon
(Belfast/Caneadea and Westchester County), who was also the first
Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission; and manager Tom
O'Rourke, of New York City.
TRACY PATTERSON: "I want to thank
everyone for supporting this big event. Without a doubt I had a
tremendous role model (father Floyd Patterson). Dad was my super hero.
We'd see him put on a suit and go down to the city and then he'd be at
the gym later that night. He was a very special man. I can't thank him
enough for what he did. I want people to know he did real good things
for me that I'll never forget. I miss him very much."
JUAN LAPORTE: "I finally got
here, huh? I want to thank these guys up here. I wish the best to the
Class of 2014. This is my world, this is what I love. A lot of guys
forget where they came from. I didn't and you guys will always be with
me. I miss a lot of Ring 8 guys, my trainer, Emile Griffith, who aren't
here today with us but they will always have my back."
TEDDY ATLAS: "I have five tables
of friends and family, some have come from Las Vegas and Florida, and
I'm proud to have them here. Boxers don't always get the same respect
athletes in other sports do. All they need are loyal fans and boxing
fans are the best. Cus (D'Amato) didn't believe in long visits home
because you'd be away from the gym. Nearly 40 years later in the fight
game, I think I've done okay. I want to
thank my wife, Elaine, and my children Nicole and Teddy. You can't win
any fight without a good corner and my family has given me the best.
There are some people here today who are part of my life and family."
GERRY COONEY: "It's great being up here today. I've had a great life.
I see a lot of old guys who used to be fighters. I had some great fights
and I'll always be connected with Larry Holmes. I'm blessed, especially
coming from my background. This is a miracle. There I was one night
fighting in Madison Square Garden for the heavyweight championship of
the world. What a life! I got to know fighters like (Willie) Pep,
(Carmen) Basilio, (Jake) LaMotta, (Muhammad) Ali, (Kenny) Norton.... I
was recently diagnosed with CRS. Do you know what that is? Can't
remember s***. I will forever be connected to you guys."
LOU DIBELLA: "It's an honor sitting here on this dais with so many
New York men I've known and each I can call a friend. I'm proud to be
part of New York boxing. We're part of a great sports that sometimes
stumbles and forgets it's the king of sports with a lot of angels. Kevin
Kelley got me started at HBO. He handed me a pencil with Flushing Flash'
and said there were a lot of hungry fighters like him to put on better
shows. Guys like, him Tracy (Patterson), Arturo Gatti, and others. Teddy
(Atlas) told me to be true to yourself and, Teddy, I hope I've done
that. I bought two tickets for this dinner for my parents; my father
passed away and my mother's in the hospital with a broken hip. I'm going
to bring this (belt) to her."
KEVIN KELLEY: "Without you guys, like Howard Davis and Juan LaPorte,
I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have been in boxing. I'd like to thank
BILLY BACKUS: "In my older days I'm getting a little emotional. When
they (NYSBHOF) called, again, I got a little emotional on the phone.
Thank you all. I appreciate being her with this class."
Supporting the Class of 2014 were past NYSBHOF inductees such as Iran
Barkley (2012), Mark Breland (2013), Jimmy Glenn (2012) and Harold
Lederman (2013). Other dignitaries in attendance included boxers Vinnie
Maddalone and Steve Bujaj, Showtime executive Gordon Hall and legendary
trainer Al Certo.
Master of Ceremonies Dave Diamante
and NYSAC Chairperson Melvina Lathan
Each attending inductee received a custom-designed belt signifying
his induction into the NYSBHOF. Plaques honoring each class are on
display at the New York State Athletic Commission and Waterfront
Crabhouse. Ring 8 also plans to build a monument in Long Island City
with every NYSBHOF inductee's name inscribed.
The 2014 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee
members: Jack Hirsch, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Don Majeski, Henry Hascup, Ron
McNair 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.
Go on line at
for additional information about the New York State Boxing Hall
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 referee 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.
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 still 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.
(L-R) - NYSBHOF inductee Steve Farhood and
presenter Gordon Hall
RING 8's TRIBUTE TO THE CHAMP, EMILE GRIFFITH
NEW YORK (September 26, 2013) -
More than 100 people turned out last week for at
Ring 8's monthly meeting and its tribute to the
late, great Emile Griffith, at historic Waterfront
Crabhouse, in Long Island City, New York.
The six-time, three-division
world champion Griffith (85-24-2, 23 KOs) was a
fixture at Ring 8. His tribute included speakers
such as his biographer, Ron Ross, Emile's son,
Louis, boxing historian Henry Hascup and Bobby
Bartels, his former sparring partner and past
president of Ring 8. Everyone enjoyed watched some
of Griffith's best fights, on a projector screen,
against Dick Tiger, Luis Rodriguez, Jorge Fernandez,
Andy Heilman, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, and the
second Nino Benvenutti fight.
a tremendous turnout to celebrate Emile's life and
boxing career," Ring 8 president Bob Duffy said. "It
was a fitting tribute to a very special man. We're
all better people for having known him."
Ring 8 also selected its 2013
award winners at last week's meeting. These awards
will be presented, along with Fighter of the Year
(to come), at the 27th
annual Ring 8 Holiday & Awards Ceremony on Sunday
afternoon, December 8, at Russo's On The Bay in
Howard Beach, New York.
2013 Ring 8 Award
Official of the Year: Deputy
Commissioner Robert Orlando
Amateur Official of the Year: Dan
Member of the Year: Carmine
Professional Judge of the Year:
Prospect of the Year: Sean Monahan
Professional Trainer of the Year:
Amateur Trainer of the Year: Joe
Emile Griffith Good Guy Award: Sal
Long & Meritorious Service: Dr.
Anniversary: Bobby Bartels & Lenny Mangiapane
Bartels & Lenny Mangiapane/ 50 years later
GRIFFITH, EX WELTER
& MIDDLEWEIGHT KING, DEAD AT 75
Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of
the toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn't so kind in the ring.
He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with elite fighters
and, despite his induction
into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was never given
the credit he was due.
Emile Griffith (R) lands a right to
Jose Napoles during a 1969
title fight in Los Angeles (AP file photo)
Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of the
toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn't so kind in the
ring. He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with
elite fighters and, despite his induction
into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was
never given the credit he was due.
Rather, Griffith, who
died Tuesday in New York at 75, will sadly best be remembered
for killing rival Benny Paret
in the ring during a nationally televised welterweight title
fight at Madison Square Garden in
Griffith and Paret had
split their first two bouts, when they met on March 24, 1962 in
a rubber match for Paret's belt. Before the fight, Paret taunted
Griffith, using a Spanish word that is slang for homosexual.
That apparently enraged Griffith.
As before, Paret called Griffith 'maricon,' gutter
Spanish for homosexual. It is the most vulgar epithet in
that violent idiom and is particularly galling to Griffith,
who has a piping voice, wears extravagantly tight clothes,
has designed women's hats and is, ordinarily, a charming,
affectionate kid. Griffith told Benny to "shut up." Paret
laid a gratuitous, slighting hand on Emile's back. "Keep
your hands off me, Paret," snarled Griffith.
The fires Paret had lit in Griffith were banked as he
entered the ring Saturday night, but they were not banked
Herbert, who said he'd watched Griffith-Paret III on ABC as a
child in 1962, wrote:
I asked Mr. Griffith if he was gay, and he told me no.
But he looked as if he wanted to say more. He told me he had
struggled his entire life with his sexuality, and agonized
over what he could say about it. He said he knew it was
impossible in the early 1960's for an athlete in an
ultramacho sport like boxing to say, "Oh, yeah, I'm gay."
But after all these years, he wanted to tell the truth.
He'd had relations, he said, with men and women. He no
longer wanted to hide. He hoped to ride this year in New
York's Gay Pride Parade.
heavyweight champion Joe Frazier
(L) and Griffith in the locker room at Madison Square Garden in
It was a sad and sobering story of a once strong, proud man.
Get used to the smoke. Let it fill your lungs and sting
your eyes. There's no getting rid of it, not in a story
about Emile Griffith,
not in the one American arena where the smoke just doesn't
seem to dissipate. A policeman or a judge or a lawyer can
openly be something other than heterosexual. A doctor or
teacher or carpenter can be, along with, of course, an actor
or a musician or a writer. Even executives on Wall Street
now can. But a male athlete in a major sport?
But he was one of the best boxers of his time, winning
welterweight and middleweight titles while compiling a record of
85-24-2, with 23 knockouts and one no contest.
He scored a number of quality wins, beating the likes of
Nino Benvenuti, Dick
Tiger, Bennie Briscoe,
Ralph Dupas and Paret,
After Paret's death, Griffith boxed for 15 more years, but he
took excessive damage, Klores wrote.
Eventually, Emile got
back in the ring. He won and lost the welterweight and
middleweight titles four more times. He fought way too long,
even married a woman, which lasted a few months.
Joe Frazier was his
best man at a lavish affair at the Concord Hotel in the
Those who knew Griffith
will never forget him.
I just got off the phone with Emile's step son
JOHNNY BOS, MATCHMAKER
Johnny Bos, the colorful boxing matchmaker who was a
mainstay in New York boxing in the past 25 years, was found dead in his
Florida home on Saturday. A keen eye for talent, and a businessman who
relied on the old fashioned handshake, Bos helped many fighters climb
the ladder early in their professional careers.
I spoke with Bos a couple of weeks ago, and I always
remembered to tell him the he was the smartest man in boxing. But this
time, since he quietly disappeared from the scene the last few years I
reminded him that he was one of the smartest men in boxing, of which he
replied, "what do you mean, one of?"
But that was Bos, with the sense of humor, a man of
many boxing stories and a vast knowledge of boxing history.
(last photo) Bos, left, with cutman