Photos: Peter Frutkoff
A sold-out crowd turned out this past Sunday night to honor 20 members of the Class of 2014 inducted into the third-year New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), sponsored by Ring 8, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
“This was our largest crowd we’ve ever had with more than 500 people,” Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said. “Everyone was so receptive, commenting about how much they enjoyed the ceremony, and there was a lot of emotion displayed. The whole point of starting the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame was to recognize New Yorkers in boxing and to honor them for their contributions. New York has been the centerpiece of boxing for the past 50 years. Some of our inductees may not have been international stars, but they helped make boxing what it is in New York. We wanted to do the right things and recognize the New York guys who made boxing was it is today.”
Living boxers inducted into the NYSBHOF were Tracy Harris (63-8-2, 43 KOs), the former WBC/IBF Super Featherweight Champion from New Paltz; former WBC/WBA Welterweight Champion Billy Backus (49-20-5, 23 KOs), of Canastota; former WBC Featherweight Champion Kevin Kelley, of Flushing, Queens; former WBC Featherweight Champion Juan LaPorte (40-17, 22 KOs), of Brooklyn; Huntington’s World Heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney (28-3, 24 KOs), Brooklyn’s two-time World Middleweight title challenger Mustafa Hamsho (44-5-2, 28 KOs) and Glen Cove’s Howard Davis, Jr. (36-6-1, 14 KOs), a 1976 Olympic gold medalist as well as Outstanding Boxer, and a three-time World Lightweight title challenger.
Posthumous participants inducted were two-time World Heavyweight Champion Patterson (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn, World Lightweight Champion Lou Ambers (91-8-7, 28 KOs), of Herkimer; three-time World Welterweight Champion Jack Britton (239-57-44), of Clinton; and World Featherweight Champion Terry McGovern (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn.
Living non-boxers inducted were ESPN boxing commentator and trainer Teddy Atlas, of Staten Island; promoter Lou DiBella (DiBella Entertainment), of Brooklyn; boxing historian and Showtime analyst Steve Farhood, of Brooklyn; trainer and Sunnyside Gardens matchmaker Gene Moore, of Queens; and boxing writer/historian Angelo Prospero, of Rochester.
Deceased non-boxers in the Class of 2014 are trainer/cutman Whitey Bimstein, of Manhattan’s Lower East Side; legendary trainer Cus D’Amato (Bronx and Catskill), who launched the career of “Iron” Mike Tyson as well as Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres; trainer William Muldoon (Belfast/Caneadea and Westchester County), who was also the first Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission; and manager Tom O’Rourke, of New York City.