Golden-era heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Dempsey, and legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum lead a star-studded cast of 20 inductees into the second-year New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF). The huge list of fighters includes the likes of Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Sandy Saddler, and many other greats.
The second annual NYSBHOF induction dinner will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.n. ET), April 2O, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
“This is an exceptional group of inductees,” NYSBHOF and Ring 8 president Bob Duffy said. “We are inducting legitimate New Yorkers in the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame. All of these inductees have a significant impact on New York State boxing during their respective times. There are many other potential inductees but this is only our second year. We’re confident that any deserving people who haven’t been inducted yet will be inducted in due time. There’s a process we’re following. New York State was the driving force in boxing for more than a half-century and remains a major player in the sport, so we’ll have many, many great boxing people to choose from over the years.”
Posthumous participants being inducted along with Dempsey (61-6-9, 50 KOs) are the first great Italian boxer based in America, featherweight Johnny Dundee (83-32-20, 17 KOs); two-time world featherweight champion Sandy Saddler (144-16-2, 103 KOs) Sandy Saddler, who is best known for his epic rivalry with Willie Pep; and world light heavyweight champion Maxie Rosenbloom (207-39-26 (19 KOs).
Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF are Bronx middleweight Joey Archer (61-6-9, 50 KOs), three-division world champion from the Bronx, Iran Barkley (43-19-1 (27 KOs); Brooklyn’s Mark Breland (35-3-1, 25 KOs),1984 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world welterweight titlist, Levittown light heavyweight Bobby Cassidy (59-16-3, 27 KOs); world heavyweight challenger Doug Jones (30-10-1, 20 KOs), Brooklyn’s world bantamweight and super bantamweight champion Junior Jones (50-6, 28 KOs), Brentwood’s light welterweight and welterweight champion James “Buddy” McGirt (73-6-1, 48 KOs), Brooklyn’s world light heavyweight champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (50-8-1, 39 KOs).
Non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF with Arum (Top Rank) are Shelly Finkel, manager of a NYSBHOF inductee from last year, Mike McCallum, as well as Evander Holyfield and Pernell Whitaker; Tony Graziano, who managed last year’s NYSBHOF inductee, Carmen Basilio, and world welterweight champion Billy Backus; Brooklyn’s Larry Merchant, arguably television’s greatest boxing analyst; posthumously: Teddy Brenner, longtime matchmaker for Madison Square Garden (1959-1973), boxing’s premier blow-by-blow announcer on television and radio, Don Dunphy; powerful promoter Mike Jacobs, and Dempsey’s promoter, Tex Rickard.
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 and Waterfront Crabhouse. Duffy also has revealed that Ring 8’s plan calls for a monument to be built in Long Island City with every NYSBHOF inductee’s name inscribed.
The inductees were selected by NYSBHOF nominating committee members, including Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Don Majeski, Henry Hascup, Ron McNair and Neil Terens.
“I believe the people on our nominating committee are second to none for any nominating committee in boxing,” Duffy added. “They’re all very knowledgeable and passionate about boxing in New York State.”
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.
Last year’s Inaugural Class included Basilio and McCallum, Mike Tyson, Jake LaMotta, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, and Emile Griffith, as well as the late “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri.
Non-participant inductees from the Class of 2012 included judge/HBO analyst Harold Lederman, coach/instructor Steve Acunto, trainer/cut-man Jimmy Glenn and, posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel, Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer, New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo, and referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.