Photos: Donna Freitag
A huge crowd was on hand to witness the induction of the 2011 Class at the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday at the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel in Tampa, Florida.
Former world champions on hand were John “The Beast” Mugabi (who came all the way from Australia), Freddie Pendleton, Tyrone Booze and Elisha Obed. Trainers honored were Pete Fernandez, Alton Merkerson and Dwaine Simpson. Others included referee Eddie Eckert, fighter/manager/trainer Tommy Torino, IBO founder John Daddono, historian Ramiro Ortiz, Fightnews.com founder Karl Freitag and attorney Steve Yerrid.
Inductees unable to attend included legendary announcer Col. Bob Sheridan who made a video appearance from his home in Las Vegas where he is recovering from an illness, and Dr. Harold “Hackie” Reitman who is recovering from an operation.
DKP executive Dana Jamison, trainer/manager Jim McLoughlin and oldest active Florida police officer Leo Thalassites were recognized with special awards (none were able to attend).
Posthumous inductees included fighter Roland LaStarza, Manuel Quintero and Holman Williams, promoter Pete Ashlock and famed Miami ring announcer Frank Freeman.
The highlight of the day was a story about Mugabi training in Jimmy Williams’ Tampa gym. Mugabi had been knocking out his sparring partners, and Williams told him he had to go easier on them. Mugabi responded, “I already am going easy on them!”
Florida Boxing Hall of Fame organizers Walter “Butch” Flansburg, Kathy Flansburg, Steve Canton, Sam Cohen, Dr. Allan Fields and others did a tremendous job in putting together this event.
Visit the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame website.