The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has officially announced its Class of 2012. New members will be inducted at the 8th annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, November 10 at the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The new CBHOF inductees are former World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight champion “Tremendous” Travis Simms, former World Boxing Union (WBU) middleweight titlist “Dangerous” Dana Rosenblatt, five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, promoter Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc.), manager George Cruz and the late manager/promoter Lou Viscusi.
“This year’s class has great individuals and is an eclectic group comprised of world champion boxers, promoters, managers and trainers,” CHBOF president and Class of 2011 inductee Glenn Feldman said. “We even have a direct link to Connecticut’s greatest fighter of all-time, Willie Pep (inaugural CBHOF class), through Lou Viscusi.”
The 41-year-old Simms, fighting out of Norwalk, captured the WBA World light middleweight crown on December 13, 2003, stopping defending champion Alejandro Garcia in the fifth round of their fight in Atlantic City. Simms successfully defended his title against Bronco McKart (DEC2) and Jose Antonio Rivera (TKO9). Travis, whose twin brother Tarvis Simms also was a world-class boxer, currently is a member of the Norwalk Town Council.
Rosenblatt (37-1-2, 23 KOs), 40, fought 13 times as a professional in Connecticut, winning 12 with one draw. Rosenblatt, who hails from Malden (MA), won the WBU middleweight title in 1996, stopping 1976 U.S. Olympian Howard Davis in the second round at the Fleet Center in Boston. Dana added the International Boxing Association middleweight title belt to his collection in 1998 with a win by 12-round decision over Terry Norris. In 1999, Rosenblatt avenged his lone loss as a pro via a 12-round decision against 2011 CBHOF inductee Vinny Paz at Foxwoods Resort Casino for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) super middleweight championship..
Roach, a native of Dedham (MA), was a popular New England boxer who went on to greatness as a trainer and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this year. Roach was CBHOF inductee Marlon Starling’s chief second when Starling captured his first world championship. Roach has trained 20 world champions including Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya, James Toney, and Bernard Hopkins, and Roach currently trains world champions Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Burchfield, based in North Providence (RI), has promoted countless shows during the past 30 years at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mohegan Sun and in Hartford. The “Hardest Working Promoter in Boxing” is best known for promoting Vinny Paz. Burchfield has also promoted Chad Dawson, Peter Manfredo, Jr., Scott Pemberton, Joe Mesi, Ray Oliveira, Jason Estrada, Matt Godfrey, Matt Remillard and many others.
Cruz has been a fixture for numerous years at the San Juan Center in Hartford. He guided Starling for the first part of his career, managed CBHOF inductees Tyrone Booze and “Iceman” John Scully, and has been heavily involved in Connecticut amateur boxing.
Viscusi is best remembered for guiding three Hall of Famers – Pep, Joe “Old Bones” Brown and Bob Foster – to world titles. He and trainer Bill Gore formed one of boxing’s classic combinations with Lou handling the business end. A New England manager/promoter from boxing to wrestling to circuses, Viscusi was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.
Tickets for the CBHOF 8th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $75.00, are on sale now by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860-.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails at 6 p.m. ET, followed by dinner.