Chicago, IL – Mike McNamara, the Director of the Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame, announced the Hall’s 2015 class of inductees today.
This year’s inductees include a wide range of participants and contributors to boxing in Illinois. They include:
Stanley Berg – top amateur who, after a short but successful pro career, became a top referee
Craig “Gator” Bodzianowski – Light Heavyweight who, after a 12-0 pro start, lost much of his right leg in a motorcycle accident. He continued boxing, finishing 31-4-1 and fought for the WBA World Cruiserweight Title
Luke Capuano – 21-5 Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight brawler with a huge following
John Collins – Popular professional Middleweight with a 34-2-1 record.
David Diaz – former WBC World Lightweight Champion with a 36-4-1 record
Rita Figueroa – 10-2-1 pro champion and now a top trainer
Mike Garcia – 26-0 pro who held multiple Illinois State Professional titles.
Frank Glienna – successful amateur fighter who went on to head the Illinois State Athletic Board
Montel Griffin – Olympian and WBC World Light Heavyweight Champion who also won two more minor world titles.
Bobby Hitz – top promoter, CEO of Hitz Boxing, 1983 Golden Gloves Champ and a 21-4 pro who fought George Foreman
Mike Joyce – top amateur fighter, attorney, and coach of several boxing clubs as well as head of the boxing club at Leo High School in Chicago, one of the few high school boxing programs in the United States.
Edmund L Kelly – noted Chicago politician who, in addition to being a top amateur boxer, started the Chicago Park District boxing program while serving as Superintendent of the Chicago Park District
Nate Jones – Olympic Bronze Medalist, successful pro and now a top trainer for The Money Team.
Pat La Cassa – successful amateur boxer who went on to train scores of successful pros.
Mike Landini – 26-3 pro who won several Illinois and regional professional titles.
Lenny LaPaglia – popular Light Heavyweight who compiled a 36-9 record.
Johnny Lira – Held the USBA Lightweight and Super Lightweight titles in the 70’s and 80’s
Louie Lomeli – 34-5 professional who twice fought for world titles
Luis Mateo – 22-6 pro who won several Illinois professional titles
Martin McGarry – Southside Irish amateur champion who went on to become a top local trainer
Lee Roy Murphy – former IBF World Cruiserweight Champion with a 30-4 professional record.
Eddie Perkins – a 20 year pro who held WBA and WBC World Lightweight Titles
Marc Randazzo – 29-1-1 pro who fought for the World Cruiserweight title. Now a successful restauranteur.
Jim Ryan – Golden Gloves Champion and former Illinois State’s Attorney who enacted important professional boxing legislation in Illinois.
Tony Zale – 1930’s and 40’s boxing superstar and undisputed World Middleweight Champion
The inductees will be read into the Hall Saturday November 14 at the Hall’s First Annual Banquet and Ceremony at Abbington Banquets, 3S002 IL-53, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 near Butterfield Road and Route 53.
The Hall, in its first year, is an outgrowth of the successful 12-year-old Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame. McNamara, an accomplished kickboxer, tournament fighter, and trainer of former ISKA World Cruiserweight Kickboxing Champion Rob Salazar, is also Director of the Martial Arts Hall.
“We’ve always considered boxing a martial art, one of the “fighting arts,” so we began to induct prominent people from the Illinois boxing community into the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame several years ago. Those same inductees were extremely appreciative. They also pointed out that despite the rich 150 year history of boxing in Illinois, there was no Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame and they suggested to us that we start it and run it,” says McNamara.
Previous Boxing inductees to the Martial Arts Hall include pro trainer Sam Colonna, international championship referee Pete Podgorski, pro trainer Pete George, International Boxing Organization founder John Daddono, top amateur knockout artist Robert Beal, and former World Heavyweight Champion, the late Ernie Terrell. All will be added to the Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame.
The Martial Arts Hall Annual Banquet has grown into a large and successful affair, routinely attended by several hundred people. “The response by the local boxing community to the Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame has been fantastic and we expect our first annual event to be as big as or bigger than the Martial Arts Hall,” added McNamara.
The Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring people from Illinois and/or who participated in or contributed to Boxing in Illinois. Its First Annual banquet and induction Ceremony will be held Saturday November 14, 2015 at Abbington Banquets, 3S002 IL-53, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 near Butterfield Road and Route 53. The event starts at 6PM with a social hour, followed by dinner at 7PM, and the ceremony at 8PM.
For tickets and more information about the event, contact Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame Director Mike McNamara at 708-473-0682 or at email@example.com
For information about sponsoring the event, including advertising in the printed program, contact Co-Director Pete Hoffman at 708-267-8154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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