New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2016

NEW YORK (December 29, 2015) – The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), sponsored by Ring 8, has announced its 18-member Class of 2016. The fifth annual NYSBHOF induction dinner will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), April 3, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
 
“This is another very strong class of inductees,” said Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy, who was inducted into the NYSBHOF last year.  “We are honoring New York’s finest in our sport. This is all about recognizing great fighters, as well as others involved in boxing, from the state of New York.”
 
Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include former world welterweight champion (’90-91) and 1986 New York Golden Gloves winner, Bronx fighter Aaron “Superman” Davis (49-6, 31 KOs), Rochester’s world junior welterweight champion (’93-94) Charles “The Natural” Murray (44-9, 26 KOs), Bronx two-time world lightweight title challenger and 1970 New York Golden Gloves co-champion Vilomar Fernandez (30-11-2, 9 KOs), and New York City’s world lightweight title challenger Edwin Viruet.
 
Posthumous participants being inducted are Spanish Harlem’s 4-time, 3-division world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho (79-6-3, 45 KOs), Brooklyn’s world middleweight champion (1952) Rocky Graziano (67-10-6, 52 KOs),  Buffalo’s world lightweight (’25-26) titlist Rocky Kansas (62-11-6, 38 KOs), Brooklyn’s 2-time world bantamweight titleholder Joe Lynch (99-36-19 2 NC, 37 KOs) and Brooklyn’s “uncrowned welterweight champion” Joe Miceli (60-42-8, 28 KOs).
 
Non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF are Canastota’s International Boxing Hall of Fame executive director Ed Brophy, Bronx promoter Joe DeGuardia, Melville’s commissioner/media personality Randy Gordon and Queens promoter/manager Dennis Rappaport.
 
Posthumous non-participant inductees are Bronx manager Howie Albert, Manhattan’s East Side trainer/cutman Freddie Brown, New York City television commentator Howard Cosell, Manhattan’s Lower East Side boxer/referee Ruby Goldstein and New York City manager Jimmy Jacobs.
 
Each inductee will receive a custom-designed belt signifying his induction into the NYSBHOF.  Plaques are on display at the New York State Athletic Commission. 
 
The 2016 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members:  Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Don Majeski, Henry Hascup, Ron McNair, Angelo Prospero and Neil Terens.
 
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years in order to be eligible for NYSBHOF induction, and all inductees must have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their boxing careers or during the prime of their respective career.
 
 
CLASS of 2012: Carmen Basilio, Mike McCallum, Mike Tyson, Jake LaMotta, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Harold Lederman, Steve Acunto, Jimmy Glenn, Gil Clancy, Ray Arcel, Nat Fleischer, Bill Gallo and Arthur Mercante, Sr.
 
CLASS of 2013: Jack Dempsey, Johnny Dundee, Sandy Saddler, Maxie Rosenbloom, Joey Archer, Iran Barkley, Mark Breland, Bobby Cassidy, Doug Jones, Junior Jones, James “Buddy” McGirt, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Bob Arum,  Shelly Finkel, Tony Graziano,  Larry Merchant, Teddy Brenner, Mike Jacobs, Tex Rickard and Don Dunphy.
 
CLASS OF 2014:  Floyd Patterson, Tracy Harris Patterson, Billy Backus, Kevin Kelley, Juan LaPorte, Gerry Cooney, Mustafa Hamsho, Howard Davis, Jr., Lou Ambers, Jack Britton, Terry McGovern, Teddy Atlas, Lou DiBella, Steve Farhood, Gene Moore, Angelo Prospero, Whitey Bimstein, Cus D’Amato, William Muldoon and Tom O’Rourke.
 
CLASS OF 2015: Saoul Mamby, Joey Giambra, Johnny Persol, Harold Weston, Lonnie Bradley, Paul Berlenbach, Billy Graham, Frankie Genaro, Bob Miller, Tommy Ryan, Jimmy Slattery, Bob Duffy, Mike Katz, Tommy Gallagher, Bruce Silverglade, Charley Goldman, Jimmy Johnston, Cedric Kushner, Harry Markson, Damon Runyon and Al Weill.
 
 
Tickets are priced at $125.00 per adult and $50.00 for children (under 16), and include a complete brunch and cocktail hour upon entry, starting at 12:30 PM/ET, as well as dinner (prime rib, fish or poultry) and open bar throughout the evening.  Tickets are available to purchase by calling NYSBHOF/Ring 8 president Bob Duffy at 516.313.2304..  Ads for the NYSBHOF program are available, ranging from $50.00 to $250.00, by contacting Duffy. Go on line at www.Ring8ny.com for additional information about the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame.

Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini International Boxing Hall of Fame Candidate

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NEW YORK (Oct. 14, 2014) – Former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini is officially a candidate for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF).
 
Mancini (29-5, 23 KOs), the pride of Youngstown, Ohio, turned professional in 1979 and officially retired from the ring in 1992. From 1982 to 1984, he captured the hearts and minds of boxing fans all over the world, developing into a marquee fighter and household name.
 
“To learn that I am on the ballot for induction into the IBHOF has given me great pride, great excitement and great appreciation for those who think that my career is worthy of induction,” Mancini said. “I am truly humbled by this consideration. I would be honored to share that day with the other recipients, my family, my deceased parents, my city of Youngstown, Ohio and boxing fans worldwide.”
                                                                                     
Mancini won his first 20 pro fights, highlighted by his win over future two-time world champion Jose Luis Ramirez (71-3) by 12-round unanimous decision, setting the stage for his fist world title shot in 1981 against one of the all-time greats, Hall-of-Famer Alexis Arguello (67-5), for his World Boxing Council (WBC) crown. Arguello proved to be too experienced for the then 20-year-old Mancini, who gave his much more experienced opponent trouble early and built a lead on the scorecards in a spectacular fight, before he was stopped in the 14th round.
 
In 1982, Mancini captured the WBA 135-pound title, knocking out defending champion (24-1) Arturo Frias in the opening round, in which Mancini was initially shaken and cut by Frias. The popular Italian-American fighter successfully defended his title four times, in order, against former world champion (35-4) Ernesto Espana (TKO6), (17-1-1) Deuk-Koo Kim (KO14), (30-0-1) Orlando Romero (KO9) and two-time world champion (52-6-1) and IBHOF inductee Bobby Chacon (TKO3).
 
His five career losses were all to world champions: Arguello, Livingstone Bramble (twice), Hector Camacho and Greg Haughen.
 
Today, among several business ventures, Mancini is a consultant and fight analyst for Fight Network, a 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports. It airs programs focused on the entire scope of the combat sports genre, including live fights and up-to-the-minute news and analysis for boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, professional wrestling, traditional martial arts, fight news, as well as fight-themed drama series, documentaries and feature films.
 

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“We’re very proud that Ray Mancini is part of our family,” Fight Network president Len Asper (pictured at left with Ray, picture by Emily Harney) said. “All of us at Fight Network congratulate Ray for being a much deserved Hall-of-Fame candidate. Ray will have an increased role as we expand our channel across all media. He’s a class act and we are thrilled Fight Network is one of the platforms through which Ray continues to inspire others and contribute to the boxing world. ”
 
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Fight Network,” Mancini added. “America needs a TV channel that covers boxing around the clock and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”
 
Members of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) vote for IBHOF inductees, based on the candidate’s contributions to the sport of boxing. The Class of 2015 will be announced in December. Mancini, who was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005, is one of 20 new names on the IBHOF’s  “Modern” ballot for 2015.
 
Mancini favorably compares to 2013 IBHOF inductee, the late Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, in terms of their exciting, blood-and guts style of fighting, proven ability to spike television ratings and ticket sales, and especially their fan-friendly personalities. They both had compelling out-of-ring story-lines. Mancini’s intertwined with his father, Lenny Mancini, who was considered a world champion prospect. An injury suffered in World War II, however, prevented Lenny from fulfilling his potential. Their relationship, as well as how Ray dealt with depression resulting from the Kim tragedy, in which Kim died four days after his fight with Mancini from a brain injury, were featured in the acclaimed documentary, “The Good Son: The life of Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini.”

Forgotten Legends: Kenny Keene

By: Steve Gallegos

We at TheTitlefight.com are proudly headquartered out of Boise, ID and in this week’s segment, we salute one of our own. While Idaho doesn’t have a rich boxing history, there was one man who put Idaho on the map for boxing in the 1990’s. That man was KennyThe Emmett EliminatorKeene.

A hard nose, in your face kind of fighter. Keene was a fan favorite who was in a bloody war just about anytime he stepped into the ring. Keene was born and raised in Emmett, ID just outside of Boise. He had at very good amateur career as he went 86-21 while representing the U.S.A. in international events.

He turned pro in 1990 and won his first 24 bouts, 17 by KO. He fought mostly at home in the Boise area, providing his hometown fans with many thrills. He got his first shot at a title when he faced very tough journeyman Bobby Crabtree for the minor WBF Cruiserweight title.

The two met on 03/05/94 in Caldwell, ID and Keene was spectacualar in scoring a fourth round TKO. Two fights later, he took to the road and faced the very tough slugger Terry Ray. They met on 10/08/94 in Ray’s hometown of Terre Haute, IN and it would be Keene’s national debut as the bout was televised on CBS.

The two men were throwing bombs from the opening bell. Keene was able to keep the fight on the inside which gave him the advantage over the taller Ray. As the fight moved through the middle rounds, both men continued to land hard shots, however Keene had the advantage as he controlled the pace of the fight by keeping the fight on the inside. Keene also had the edge in jabs as he was able to gain leverage on his left jab when he threw it upwards while mixing in a vicious body attack.

The two men exchanged punches for the full 12 rounds and the end result would be a 12 round majority decision win for Keene and it was 1994’s “Fight of the Year”. Keene would return home to score a third round KO in his next fight and then he fought a rematch with Bobby Crabtree in Crabtree’s back yard of Arkansas.

Keene would get his first taste of defeat by dropping a split decision to Crabtree in what many called a hometown decision. Keene returned to Boise and two fights later, won a fifth round technical decision over Terry Ray in a rematch to claim the IBC Cruiserweight championship.

In July of 1996, Keene would go back to Bobby Crabtree’s home turf of Arkansas and would taste his first loss with a ninth round TKO over Crabtree. Keene would win his next two bouts by KO before landing a spot on a huge fight card when he faced former world champion Robert “The Preacherman” Daniels on 03/01/97 in Atlantic City.

It was the co-feature on a pay per view card headlined by “Sugar” Ray Leonard vs Hector Camacho. Keene performed very well on the biggest stage of his career by getting the better of Daniels in many exchanges and appeared to win the first seven rounds convincingly. Daniels was the bigger man with the bigger punch and he began to come on in the 8th-12 rounds.

Despite, Daniels’ late rally, it appeared Keene had did enough to win the decision; however the judges decided differently. The result was a close split decision win for Daniels. Later on that October, Keene would make his USA Tuesday Night Fights debut in Boise, ID. He was originally scheduled to face former 2 time world champion James “Lights Out” Toney, however Toney pulled out a week before the fight due to an injury; therefore he was replaced with tough Mexican challenger Saul Montana.

They met on 10/14/97 in front of a packed, electric crowd at the brand new Bank of America Center in Boise, ID. It was a big night of boxing in which a young, up and coming U.S. Olympian named Floyd Mayweather fought in the co-feature.

The fight was an exciting war which had lots of great moments. Keene had difficulty with the much taller Montana and wasn’t able to get off first as he is used to. The end result was a close unanimous decision win for Montana.

1998 would be a great year for Keene as he fought on ESPN 2 regularly, exposing himself to a national audience in impressive fashion. He began the year with an exciting 12 round decision over unbeaten Richard LaMontagne at the Bank of America Center in Boise. He would return to the same arena four months later when he faced the tough, exciting Rocky Gannon.

The two met on 05/15/98 and it was the first ever boxing match that “Your’s Truly” attended live. It was an exciting, bloody war for 11 rounds, before referee Mills Lane stopped the bout in the 11th round. Keene followed up this win with another exciting victory over another tough fighter in Dominick Carter just three months later. Keene would close out 1998 with a 10 round decision over Rod Bensonhaver in Boise, ID.

Keene would fight and win three times in 1999 all in Boise before calling it a career, however it wouldn’t be the end of Kenny Keene. He would return to the ring in February of 2002 in Boise, ID and he would return in impressive fashion, knocking out Tony Menefee in the second round.

Keene would go 3-0 from 2003-2006 and was in line for a world title shot. On 07/29/06, Keene met former world champion Arthur Williams on a Pay Per View card headlined by Roy Jones at the Qwest Arena in Boise, ID. Keene had a title shot guaranteed against Cruiserweight champion Virgil Hill who was sitting ringside commentating for the Pay Per View telecast.

Williams was a very skilled experience veteran who was able to dominate the fight with his height and jab. Keene pressed forward trying to force the fight, however he just couldn’t get off his shots. Williams would stop Keene in the 10th round. It was the end of a very exciting career for Kenny Keene. He would retire for good after that fight with an impressive record of 51-4 with 28 KO’s.

Today, Keene resides in Emmett, ID and owns a successful bail bonds business. While he wasn’t able to reach the next level of the elite, he definitely showed tremendous heart and passion for the sport of boxing. He was a true blood and guts warrior; therefore Mr Keene, we proudly salute you.

Rounds 1-4

Rounds 5-8

Rounds 9-12

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