A celebration of the life of long-time boxing figure Anthony “Tony” Rila takes place Saturday, Nov. 17, at his boxing gym in Las Vegas. Rila, who owned and operated one of the most popular training facilities in Las Vegas for world championship-caliber boxers, passed away last month at the age of 66. The informal tribute gathering starts at 3 p.m. at 3962 Euclid Ave.
Food, beverage and entertainment will be provided, and it’s expected that hundreds of Rila’s friends from the fields in which he made a mark–billiards, poker, auto racing, as well as boxing–will attend. Rila’s private gym played host to dozens of world champions and world-ranked contenders in recent years, including both Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, among many others.
“He was a guy who loved boxing and boxers,” said Gene Kilroy, an icon in the world of boxing. “He was a credit to the fight game.”
Rila moved to Las Vegas during 1995 and his life-long love of boxing manifest itself by his opening and operating the premier private gym in “The Boxing Capital of the World.”
Rila, who was born in 1946 in Muskogee, Okla., was an accomplished Texas hold ‘em poker player and competed in the World Series of Poker. He also was a world-class billiards player and more than held his own against the very best over the years, including Willie Mosconi, “Minnesota Fats,” Ronnie Allen, Buddy Hall and Jimmy Reid.
Rila was involved in both the restaurant and carnival industries prior to moving to Las Vegas. He is survived by a daughter, Susan and a son, John. Rila is buried in the Fort Gibson (Okla.) Citizens Cemetery.