The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame recently announced its first list of inductees during a press conference in New York at Manhattan’s Gallagher’s Steakhouse. The class of inductees was led by the late ‘Sugar” Ray Robinson, who many fans and experts consider as the greatest boxer in history.

There are 11 other boxers being inducted into the new hall of fame along with eight non-fighting members. The induction ceremonies and dinner are scheduled for New York City in March 2012.

The other boxers who will be being inducted are Jake LaMotta, Mike Tyson, Carmen Basilio, Carlos Ortiz, Riddick Bowe, Vito Antuofermo, Mike McCallum, Emile Griffith, and the late Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, and Gene Tunney. The eight non-fighting inductees are Harold Lederman (HBO analyst), Steve Acunto (coach), Jimmy Glenn (cutman/trainer) and the late trainers Ray Arcel and Gil Clancy, Nat Fleischer (founder of Ring magazine), Bill Gallo (boxing reporter), and Arthur Mercante, Sr. (referee).

The idea of a New York State hall of fame has been kicked around for quite some time and the wheels for it were put in motion just over a year ago by Tony Mazzarella, who contacted the state about it. The hall plans to induct new members on a yearly basis and the initial ceremonies and dinner will be taking place at Russo’s On the Bay.

The hall is in honor of boxing participants that resided in New York State and it has a wall at the New York State Athletic Commission with a list of its members and another one at the Waterfront Crabhouse. The hall is open to boxers and others involved in the sport, such as reporters, cornermen, and television commentators, etc.

The 2012 class of inductees were chosen by a six-man nominating panel consisting of Steve Farhood, Jack Hirsch, Henry Hascup, Neil Terens, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., and Ron McNair. To be eligible for induction into the hall, the boxers must have been inactive for a minimum of three years and all of the nominees must have lived in New York State for a good portion of their boxing careers. Mazzarella is the president of the hall and during the press conference at Gallagher’s he thanked everybody who helped make the dream come true, especially because they’re all volunteers.

It shouldn’t be too hard to fill the hall up with members since New York has a long and rich history when it comes to professional boxing. Some of the venues such as Madison Square Garden and Gleason’s Gym are basically boxing shrines and there are numerous excellent boxers from the state.

To many fans and fight people it’s still the Mecca of boxing, regardless of what goes on in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.


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