Twenty-three members of the Class of 2018 were inducted into the New York Stare Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF), this past Sunday afternoon during the seventh annual NYSBHOF induction dinner, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
“Those being honored tonight are humble, honorable people,” NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said. “We do this as an act of love. Many of the inductees are here today and those no longer with us are represented by family members. This is our way of saying thank you to all the inductees for what they have done for boxing in New York.”
Class of 2018 living boxers inducted heading into the NYSBHOF included (Long Island) WBA light heavyweight Lou “Honey Boy” Del Valle (36-6-2, 22 KOs), (Central Islip) IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Jake Rodriguez (28-8-2, 8 KOs), (Brooklyn) world lightweight title challenger Terrence Alli (52-15-2, 21 KOs), undefeated, No.; 1 heavyweight contender “Baby” Joe Mesi (Buffalo) and former world cruiserweight champion Al “Ice” Cole (Rockland County).
Posthumous participants inducted were NBA & NYSAC World Featherweight Champion (Manhattan) Kid “Cuban Bon Bon” Chocolate (136-10-6, 51 KOs), (New York City) 20th century heavyweight James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett (11-4-3, 5 KOs), (Williamsburg) World Lightweight Champion Jack “The Napoleon of The Prize Ring” McAuliffe, (Kingston) WBC Super Lightweight Champion Billy Costello (40-2, 23 KOs), (Beacon) NYSAC Light Heavyweight World Champion Melio Bettina (83-14-3, 36 KOs), (Brooklyn/Yonkers) world-class middleweight Ralph “Tiger” Jones (52-32-5, 13 KOs) and (Port Washington) heavyweight contender Charley “The Bayonne Bomber” Norkus (33-19, 19 KOs).
Living non-participants now in the NYSBHOF are (Troy) Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter Dave Anderson, (Brooklyn) trainer/advisor Pete Brodsky, (Rockaway) boxing historian/editor Herb Goldman, (Bronx) matchmaker Bobby Goodman, (Ardsley) NYSAC chairperson/judge Melvina Lathan, and (Brooklyn) NYSAC Chairperson/matchmaker/promoter Ron Scott Stevens.
Posthumous non-participant inductees were (Brooklyn) ring announcer Johnnie Addie, (Brooklyn) matchmaker Johnny Bos, (Bronx) boxing publicist Murray Goodman, (New York City) boxing writer/historian Bert Randolph Sugar and (Lower East Side) radio & television announcer/journalist Sam Taub.
Each attending inductee (or direct descendant of) received a custom-designed belt signifying his or her induction into the NYSBHOF.
The 2017 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Don Majeski, Ron McNair, and Neil Terens.
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years 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.
Boxers who attended the seventh annual NSBHOF included NYSBHOF past inductees Iran Barkley, Junior Jones, Mustafa Hamsho, Bobby Cassidy, Sr., Bobby Bartels, and Renaldo “Mr.” Snipes, as well as Monte Barrett, Ray Mercer, Dennis Milton, Richard Kiley, Scott Lopez, Michael Corleone, Tommy Rainone, Kevin Collins, Cletus Seldin, James Duran, Victor Paz, and Jaime Dugan. Other notable attendees from the boxing world included Mike Reno (FDNY Boxing), Darryl Peoples (IBF), international judges Steve Wesisfeld and John MacKay, and NYSBHOF inductees Tommy Gallagher and Bobby Miller, and Emmy-award winning producer Bobby Cassidy, Jr.
David Diamante served once again as Master of Ceremonies. Special presentations were made to the daughter of the late Steve Acunto, Donna Acunto, and Miller’s close friend, Dave Wojcicki.