Tickets for Boxing Hall of Fame dinner on sale

22.09.06 - Tickets for the second annual Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame dinner, which will be held Friday evening on Dec. 1st in the Grand Pequot Ballroom at Foxwoods Resort Casino, are now available. The event starts at 6 p.m. The 2006 inductees include Chico Vejar of Stamford, one of the prominent middleweights in the 1950s and Gaspar Ortega of New Haven, a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame.. The remaining inductees are former heavyweight contender Nathan Mann of New Haven, former welterweight contender Lou Bogash Sr. of Bridgeport, longtime promoter Manny Liebert of West Hartford, and former state boxing director John Burns of Windsor.

Vejar finished his pro career with a record of 92-20-4 with 43 knockouts. He was once ranked the No. 7 middleweight in the world. Vejar twice fought former world champion Joey Giardello, losing both times, once by split decision. Vejar also fought former world champion Gene Fullmer as well as Kid Gavilan. Vejar lost decisions to both.

Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995, Ortega compiled a record of 131-39-6 with 69 knockouts. Ortega fought some of the best middleweights of his era, including Emile Griffeth, Benny "Kid" Paret, Carmen Basilio, Gavilan and Tony DeMarco. Ortega, 70, beat Paret by unanimous decision in 1959 and then did it again two years later. Ortega, who was born in Mexico, has a son Michael who is one of the state’s top referees.

Mann had a world heavyweight title fight against Joe Louis in 1938 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Louis scored a third-round knockout, but Mann went on to claim the New England heavyweight title by winning a decision over George Fitch in a bout in West Haven in 1940. Mann finished with a career record of 74-11-4. He had 44 knockouts. Mann died in 1995 at the age of 84.

Bogash had a world title shot in 1920, getting a draw with Jack Britton. Bogash was a Connecticut lightweight and welterweight champion. Bogash finished his career with a 100-16-13 record with 39 knockouts. Bogash died in 1978 at age 77. His son Lou is a renowned timekeeper in the state.

Since 1929, Liebert has been a manager, promoter, trainer and a second. Liebert was a driving force behind boxing’s revival in Connecticut in 1973 after the sport had been banned in the state for eight years. Liebert was one of the founders of the Connecticut Boxing Guild, which was active from 1948-2004. Liebert, 93, remains a member of the state boxing commission.

Burns, 70, has been involved in boxing since 1955 when he was a Hartford police officer. Burns was a supervisor for the Hartford Police Athletic League boxing program.

Director of consumer protection Mary Heslin appointed Burns to the position of boxing inspector in 1972. Burns later became the state director of boxing in 1987, a position he held until 2000.

Tickets for the dinner, priced at $60 per person, can be obtained by calling Shannan McNair at Foxwoods (860-396-6727), Sherman Cain at the Journal Inquirer (646-0500 or 1-800-237-3606, ext. 321) and CBHOF president Glenn Feldman at 860-409-1070.

The inaugural class of inductees in 2005 included Willie Pep, Marlon Starling, Louis "Kid" Kaplan, Maxie Rosenbloom, Johnny Duke and Bat Battalino. Further information on the CBHOF may be obtained at

Article posted on 22.09.2006

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