North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight champion Tony “TNT” Grano has been named the 2012 Connecticut Professional Boxer of the Year by the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame.
Grano and the other 2012 award winners – Elvis Figueroa, Conn. Amateur Boxer of the Year; Dick Flaherty, Official of the Year; Mitchell Etess, Contributor To Boxing – will be honored November 17 at the 8th annual Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) Gala Induction in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The 2012 CBHOF Hall of Fame inductees are former World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight champion “Tremendous” Travis Simms, former World Boxing Union (WBU) middleweight titlist “Dangerous” Dana Rosenblatt, five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, promoter Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc.), manager George Cruz and the late manager/promoter Lou Viscusi.
The 31-year-old Grano (20-2-1, 16 KOs), fighting out of Hebron (CT) by way of Hartford, is the first recipient of Conn Boxer of the Year award as a professional and amateur. He was selected as the amateur winner in the inaugural year of the CBHOF, after Grano captured a gold medal at the 2005 U.S. National Championships and silver medal at the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
The hard-hitting Grano, now promoted by legendary Don King, has had two significant fights this year, stopping Brian Minto (35-4) in the third-round of their NABF title eliminator, and knocking out former world title challenger DaVarryl Williamson (27-6) in the fourth round this past June for the vacant NABF title. Grano is rated No. 10 in the world by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Figueroa, who celebrates his 16th birthday on Monday, is a light heavyweight from New Haven who has a 19-3 amateur record. He is a two-time Silver Gloves champion, who captured a gold medal at this year’s National Junior Olympics Tournament in Mobile, Alabama.
Flaherty is an International boxing judge and retired referee. Now living in G;astonbury (CT), he has judged a reported 26 world championships since he started in 1987, including the recent Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez match in Las Vegas. Dick started refereeing in 1969 and he recently retired in that role. Although he primarily refereed fights held in New England, he was the third man in the ring for three world title fights, including Sergio Mora’s upset of the late Vernon Forrest for the WBC light middleweight champion at Mohegan Sun in 2008.
Etess, who lives in East Lyme (CT), is the Chief Executive Officer of the Mohegan Sun Gaming Authority. He first came to Mohegan Sun in 2004 and served as CEO and President of Mohegan Sun. Mitchell was responsible for overseeing management and operations at Mohegan Sun, which developed into one of the premier venues in the United States for boxing.
Tickets for the 8th annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $75.00, are on sale now by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860-.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails at 6 p.m. ET, followed by dinner.
Go online to www.ctboxinghof.com for additional information about the CBHOF.