CANASTOTA, NY – APRIL 24, 2008 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today legendary comedian and entertainer Pat Cooper and Dallas Cowboys superstar Ed “Too Tall” Jones have been named Grand Marshals of the 19th Annual Boxing Hall of Fame Parade of Champions scheduled for Sunday, June 8th at 1 p.m..
“The Hall of Fame is extremely excited about welcoming two legends in their fields to Canastota to celebrate the sport of boxing,'” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “It is a thrill to have them as the 2008 Parade of Champions Grand Marshals.”
From his 1963 television appearance on The Jackie Gleason Show to his recent sold-out concert performances, Pat Cooper continues to enthrall standing room only audiences with his lovable “comedic anger.” For nearly four decades Cooper has appeared on many stages, from comedy clubs to major theaters, including the legendary Copacabana, Trump Castle, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, and Trop World. Throughout his long career, Cooper has had the opportunity to share the stage with such superstars as Jerry Lewis, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Englebert Humperdinck, and Sammy Davis Jr. Cooper’s humor also reaches the talk show audiences with his successful appearances on The Howard Stern Show, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Cooper has also appeared in such films as Analyze This and Analyze That. His impeccable timing, comedic genius and commanding stage presence always leave his sold-out audiences roaring!
“It’s an honor to be a grand marshal of the Boxing Hall of Fame parade,” said Cooper. “But I’m a little angry that I never got a title shot!” A two-time All-American at Tennessee State, Jones was the number one pick in the 1974 NFL draft and played defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys for a record 15 seasons (1974-78, 1980-89). One of the most dominant pass rushers in the game, Jones was named All Pro in 1981 and 1982, appeared in three Pro Bowls (1981-83) and was a key member of Dallas’ Super Bowl XII championship team. “Too Tall” holds Cowboys’ records for most games played(224) and most starts (203). Jones has also acted in motion pictures and television shows including Necessary Roughness, Married With Children and Diff’rent Strokes. In 1979 he left the Dallas Cowboys for one year to pursue a professional boxing career. Jones was undefeated (6-0, 5 KOs) in the ring before returning to the Cowboys in 1980.
“I’m looking forward to visiting Canastota for the first time. I’m a huge boxing fan. It has always been my favorite sport and still is today,” said Jones. “The excitement of being part of Hall of Fame Weekend will be priceless.”
The Parade of Champions, set for Sunday, June 8th at 1:00 p.m., will pass through the streets of Canastota and lead to the grounds of the Hall of Fame Museum prior to the start of the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the new class of inductees. Living inductees to be honored at the Official Induction Ceremony are heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, junior welterweight champion Eddie Perkins, promoters Mogens Palle and Frank Warren, and journalists Dave Anderson and Joe Koizumi. Posthumous inductees will also be honored.
Over 50 boxing stars, including Marvelous Marvin Hagler, James “Buster” Douglas, Ken Norton, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Angelo Dundee, Emile Griffith, Gene Fullmer, Jose Torres, Ron Lyle, Ernie Terrell, and Canastota’s Carmen Basilio will be highlighted in the Parade of Champions.
“With the lineup of marching bands, boxing celebrities, Pat Cooper, and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, this should be our biggest parade ever and an unforgettable day for all,” said parade chairperson Charlene Barres.
The 2008 Parade of Champions is sponsored by Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe.
The June 5-8th Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will feature over 20 exciting events including a banquet, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party, and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2008.
For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 19th Annual Induction Weekend please call (315) 697-7095 or visit www.ibhof.com.