By Phil Doherty
Photos: Sam Cohen
The state of boxing in the state of Florida keeps improving. Nowhere was that more evident than at the grand reopening of trainer Steve Canton’s SJC Boxing Gym in Ft Myers, Florida yesterday. The 2-day celebration kicked off with the formal announcement of this year’s inductees to the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame. This year’s class features a wide assortment of inductees; including Fightnews.com’s very own editor-in-chief Karl Freitag.
Canton (an inaugural inductee with the class of 2009) spoke of transitioning to the new site, stating: “The ghosts of the old gym made the trip here as well.” He also expressed his sincere thrill at hosting the official announcement of current inductees.
Florida Boxing Hall of Fame President Walter “Butch” Flansburg and Vice President Sam Cohen joined Canton next to the ring and spoke. Flansburg announced the inductees with a brief description of their achievements. Sam Cohen eloquently described the efforts of legions of people in boxing who will never achieve fame and fortune yet keep the sport alive.
One of the goals of the FBHOF is to recognize these people for their unselfish efforts to promote boxing in Florida.
IBO founder and Chairman John Daddono and respected ring announcer Bob “Bowtie Bob” Alexander described the privilege of induction to the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame. (Alexander was inducted last year and Daddono is a current inductee.) Alexander drove all the way from Key West following Friday night’s ESPN card to participate in the event.
Boxing seems to get a lot more media attention these days due to current film The Fighter and Fox TV series Lights Out. Whether or not that attention translates into a resurgence of the sport remains to be seen. Regardless, one undisputed fact remains: the men and women within the sport of boxing will continue to unselfishly serve the sport they love.
Thanks to the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, they won’t do it anonymously.
Please join the boxing community to recognize the following inductees:
Col. Bob Sheridan
Harold “Hackie” Reitman
*indicates posthumous recipient