NEW YORK – More than 300 people thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s sixth annual New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF) induction ceremony at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York. NYSBHOF is sponsored by Ring 8.
“It seems like yesterday that we started the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame but here we are in our sixth year,” NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said opening the festivities. “I’ve been asked what VIPs were coming here and I said the 15 inductees are VIPs. This is how we remembers our New Yorkers in boxing. We recognize them for their achievements in boxing and all of them are great guys, too.”
“Today is a validation of their (inductees’) careers,” added Ring 8 president/Chairman of the NYSBHOF Induction Committee Jack Hirsch. “This is a great honor for all of them. Congratulations to all of the honorees.”
Living boxers inducted into the NYSBHOF were Manhattan welterweight Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega (131-39-6, 69 KOs), Yonkers’ world heavyweight title challenger Renaldo “Mr.” Snipes (39-8-1, 22 KOs), Yonkers middleweight Doug “Cobra’ Dewitt (33-8-5, 19 KOs), and world middleweight title challenger Alex “The Bronx Bomber” Ramos (39-10-2, 24 KOs)
Posthumous participants inducted were Queens’ former middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Dick Tiger (60-19-3, 27 KOs), Brooklyn/Manhattan light heavyweight world champion Jose “Chegui” Torres (41-3-1, 29 KOs), and Williamsburg’s middleweight world champion, “The Nonpareil” Jack Dempsey (51-4-11, 23 KOs).
Non-participants now in the NYSBHOF are Brooklyn/Bronx manager Stan Hoffman, Long Island matchmaker Ron Katz, and past Ring 8 president/NYSAC judge Bobby Bartels and Queens’ International agent Don Majeski.
Posthumous non-participant inductees were Brooklyn boxing historian Hank Kaplan, Long Island cut-man Al Gavin, Bronx referee Arthur Donovan and New York City columnist Dan Parker.
Each inductee will receive a custom-designed belt signifying his induction into the NYSBHOF.
The 2017 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Ron McNair, Angelo Prospero and Neil Terens.
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years 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.
Past world champions and NYSBHOF inductees Iran Barkley, Vito Antuofermo and Mark Breland were in attendance, as were retired boxers and others such as Dennis Mitlon, Bobby Miller, Jimmy Lange and Richard Brown.
Gasper Ortega: “I’m very honored to have people come out to honor me. It’s truly a pleasure to be here. I want fans to know how much I appreciate their support. Right now, I feel like a champion; I’m on top of the world.”
Stan Hoffman: “A lot of things have been said about me in boxing and I’m grateful for the success I’ve had in boxing. I wish I had 200 friends but the problem is I [probably have a 1000, so I can’t name them all today. This is special because I’m going into the Hall of Fame the same year as my godson, Ron Katz, who was the best matchmaker. He’s terrific. Boxing has been good to me.”
Ron Katz: “During the past 42 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many great fighters, over 200 world champions. I’ve had the pleasure to work for some great promoters, to say I’ve world for some of the giants of this industry is an understatement. I learned so much from Johnny Bos, Mickey Duff, Bruce Trampler and my mentor, Teddy Brenner. I’m so grateful to them.”
Doug Dewitt: “I could have done better in the Tommy Hearns fight. Took Robbie Simms too lightly but I won the rematch. I was No. 3 (in the world) and I was going to fight Marvin Hagler, who was world champion when there was only one. Boxing is a tough business. I’m not walking around like I used to 20 years ago. I had some good teachers. I had a good career, I wouldn’t call it great. Thank you very much.”
Renaldo Snipes: “I have a lot of friends. I had a lot of enemies but now they’re friends. You have to know how to get along with everybody even though you had to fight some in the ring. You can’t go into the ring without freaking killer instinct. I’d like to thank everybody who supported me. I took what I learned in boxing and took it into the business world.”
Bobby Bartels: Dick Tiger wanted me to go to Africa with him but I said I couldn’t. I wish I had gone with him. When I was in Stillman’s Gym sparring, Gasper helped me a lot. He’s a beautiful man. I want to congratulate all the inductees. It’s great to be inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame. It’s been a long road from the gym, through Golden Gloves, becoming a judge, and then Ring 8 president for nine years. This is the icing on the cake.”
Alex Ramos: First, I want to thank the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame and everybody here from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank Shelly Finkel, who did so much for me, and all the people who trained me. I was my own problem. I had a brain injury but it’s great to be alive.”
Don Majeski: “I have much to be humbled about. I congratulate all the inductees for their hard work and incredible contributions to boxing. I’m a beneficiary for all the fighters who gave me a chance to be a small part of their careers. This is a great honor, probably the only one I’ll ever get. It’s been a wonderful life in boxing the past 50 years.”
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.
CLASS OF 2016: Aaron Davis, Charles Murray, Vilomar Fernandez, Edwin Viruet, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Rocky Graziano, Rocky Kansas, Joe Lynch, Joe Miceli, Ed Brophy, Joe DeGuardia, Randy Gordon, Dennis Rappaport, Howie Albert, Freddie Brown, Howard Cosell, Ruby Goldstein and Jimmy Jacobs.
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.