Class of 2020 finally inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame

NYSBH OF CLASS OF 2020: (L-R) Ron Lipton, Merqui Sosa, Dennis Milton and Freddie Liberatore (seated); Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Lou Savarese, Jack Hirsch and Rick Glaser (all pictures by Peter Frutkoff / NYSBHOF)

NEW YORK (September 22, 2021) – After delay after delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2020 was finally inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF) this past Sunday afternoon at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.

The 28-member Class of 2019 was honored at the ninth NYSBHOF induction dinner.

Living boxers inducted included three-time World light heavyweight title

challenger Jorge Ahumada (42-8-2, 22 KOs), of Woodside, Queens by way of Argentina; (1975-78) WBC super featherweight World Champion Alfredo “El Salsero” Escalera (53-14-3, 31 KOs), of New York City by way of Puerto Rico; WBC super featherweight World title challenger Freddie “The Pitbull” Liberatore (20-4-1, 11 KOs), of Bayside, Queens; WBC middleweight World Champion and four-time New York Golden Gloves winner Dennis “The Magician” Milton (16-5-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx; two-time New York Golden Gloves winner Lou Savarese (46-7, 38 KOs), of Greenwood Lake; and WBA super middleweight title World title challenger Merqui “El Corombo” Sosa (34-9-2, 27 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of the Dominican Republic.

Posthumous participants inducted are Brooklyn welterweight Soldier Bartfield (51-29-8, 33 KOs), who fought a reported 55 world champions; Bronx middleweight Steve Belloise (95-13-3, 59 KOs); NYSAC and World lightweight champion (1925) Jimmy Goodrich (85-34-21 (12 KOs), of Buffalo; World heavyweight title challenger Tami Mauriello (82-13-1, 60 KOs), of Bronx; WBA light middleweight World champion (1982-83) and four-consecutive New York Golden Gloves titlist Davey “Sensational” Moore (18-5, 14 KOs), of Bronx; and World lightweight champion Freddie “The Welsh Wizard” Welch (74-5-7, 34 KOs), of New York City by way of Wales.

Living non-participants now in NYSBHOF are Oneida judge Don Ackerman, Wantah, Long Island journalist/producer Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Buffalo manager Rick Glaser, Rockaway Beach journalist Jack Hirsch, Bronx boxing broadcaster Max Kellerman, Orangeburg judge Julie Lederman, Hyde Park referee Ron Lipton, and Staten Island/Catskill trainer Kevin Rooney.

Posthumous non-participant inductees are Brooklyn’s Ring Magazine editor Lester Bromberg, New York City sportswriter Dan Daniel, Ardsley ringside physician/NY Medical Director Dr. William Lathan, Brooklyn’s Gleason’s Gym founder Bobby Gleason, Sunnyside, Queens boxing writer Flash Gordan, Manhattan journalist A.J. Liebling, Long Island City’s NYSBHOF co-founder Tony Mazzarella and New York City manager Dan Morgan.

Each attending inductee received a custom-designed belt signifying his or her induction into the NYSBHOF.

The 2020 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Don Majeski, Ron McNair, Jim Monteverde and Neil Terens.

Hascup and famed ring announcer David Diamonte shared master of ceremony duties

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 sizable portion of their boxing careers or during the prime of their respective career. Numerous boxing dignitaries were in attendance, including World Champions Junior Jones, Lonnie Bradley, and Iran Barkley, as well as popular heavyweights Gerry Cooney and Renaldo Snipes.

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The United States Marines Boxing Team were special guests. They led the Pledge of Allegiance and received a commemorative medal from the NYSBHOF.

Duffy also announced that the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn will display NYSBHOF memorabilia, including inductee plaques and pictures, thanks to NYSBHOF inductee Brice Silverglade.

INDUCTEES’ QUOTES & PICTURES

Jack Hirsch: “I’ve been up here a lot as a member of the Ring 8 Board of Directors and for Hall of Fame presentations. It’s different this year as a recipient and I’m grateful. I’m honored to be on the dais: “We are 2020 teammates and we’ll always be connected. This is such a great, great honor. I appreciated every single person out there.”

Dennis Milton: “This is really a great please to be dais with this class to be honored with my equals and peers, and to be part of this event. I haven’t seen some of these guys in years like Lou (Savarese) and now I’m up here as an inductee. I’ve graduated to be put in the club. This is very special to me and the other fighters.”

Bobby Cassidy, Jr.: “I want to thank the New York Boxing Hall of Fame for inducting me. I appreciate this honor. I wrote about all the guys up here. It was always great covering this sport. Thanks to by dad (NYSBHOF inductee Bobby Cassidy, Sr.). Not only did he instill a lot of boxing in me like hard work and dedication. It made me a better journalist. He exposed me to boxing. When I was around 8 or 9, he brought home The Ring (magazine). I never dreamed that ended up writing for Ring. I always wanted to cover boxing. I covered all sports, but the real stories always are the fighters.”

Marqui Sosa: “I’m not good at this. In the ring, I did my best. That’s it, I’m a fighter. I didn’t know how to box, I fought. I always gave 100-percent and did my best for my family.”

Freddie Liberatore: “Boxing taught me things like mind can make or break you, and never give up when things don’t go as planned. I have so many great memories. I’ll never forget winning the 1988 Golden Gloves in the Fight of the Night, when I beat the 2-time defending champion. One of my fondest memories as a pro was defeating 2-time world champion Calvin Grove when he was ranked No. 2. I got the WBC World featherweight title shot, but it didn’t go my way. Here I am today with my wife, Lori, my high school sweetheart. I want to thank my family for recognizing all my accomplishments and memories.”

Ron Lipton: “I want to thank the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame, and everyone connected with this honor. I look around the room and see at least one person at every table I worked with going back to the sixties with through the commission. I’m very honored to be part of this induction class. Congratulations to everybody inducted. I trained so I could keep up with the boxers.”

Lou Savarese: “It’s a tough business! You’re in there, not to hurt, but not to get hurt. It’s a blood sport, tough sport. The first guy I ever sparred was Renaldo Snipes. He took it easy on me and showed me what to do. I’m living in Houston, but there isn’t good pizza. The first thing I did when I came to back New York (for the induction) was the cemetery (his parents) and get New York City pizza. I had about six slices.”

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Rick Glaser: “I’d like to thank everyone for being here. It’s an honor. Boxing has been very good to me. I love boxing and have passion for it. And I’ve succeeded at it, the sport of boxing and business. I fused the sport and business. I learned for 30 years from Mike Acri, Ron Katz, Bruce Trampler and Don Majeski. These four people helped me, inspired me. Boxing has characters. We’re family! It’s about the fighters; I never jumped in the ring. I will continue to do everything I can in boxing.”

NEW YORK STATE BOXING HALL OF FAME

CLASS of 2012: Carmen Basilio, Mike McCallum, Mike Tyson, Jake LaMotta, Riddick Bowe, Carlos Ortiz, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Harold Lederman, Steve Acunto, Jimmy Glenn, Gil Clancy, Ray Arcel, Nat Fleischer, Bill Gallo and Arthur Mercante, Sr.

CLASS of 2013: Jack Dempsey, Johnny Dundee, Sandy Saddler, Maxie Rosenbloom, Joey Archer, Iran Barkley, Mark Breland, Bobby Cassidy, Doug Jones, Junior Jones, James “Buddy” McGirt, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Bob Arum, Shelly Finkel, Tony Graziano, Larry Merchant, Teddy Brenner, Mike Jacobs, Tex Rickard and Don Dunphy.

CLASS OF 2014: Floyd Patterson, Tracy Harris Patterson, Billy Backus, Kevin Kelley, Juan LaPorte, Gerry Cooney, Mustafa Hamsho, Howard Davis, Jr., Lou Ambers, Jack Britton, Terry McGovern, Teddy Atlas, Lou DiBella, Steve Farhood, Gene Moore, Angelo Prospero, Whitey Bimstein, Cus D’Amato, William Muldoon and Tom O’Rourke.

CLASS OF 2015: Saoul Mamby, Joey Giamba, Johnny Persol, Harold Weston, Lonnie Bradley, Paul Berlenbach, Billy Graham, Frankie Genaro, Bob Miller, Tommy Ryan, Jimmy Slattery, Bob Duffy, Mike Katz, Tommy Gallagher, Bruce Silverglade, Charley Goldman, Jimmy Johnston, Cedric Kushner, Harry Markson, Damon Runyon, and Al Weill.

CLASS OF 2016: Aaron Davis, Charles Murray, Vilomar Fernandez, Edwin Viruet, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Rocky Graziano, Rocky Kansas, Joe Lynch, Joe Miceli, Ed Brophy, Joe DeGuardia, Randy Gordon, Dennis Rappaport, Howie Albert, Freddie Brown, Howard Cosell, Ruby Goldstein, and Jimmy Jacobs.

CLASS OF 2017: Gaspar Ortega, Renaldo “Mr.” Snipes, Doug Dewitt, “The Bronx Bomber” Alex Ramos, Dick Tiger, Jose Torres, “Nonpareil” Jack Dempsey, Don Majeski, Ron Katz, Stan Hoffman, Bobby Bartels, Hank Kaplan, Al Gavin, Arthur Donovan, and Dan Parker.

CLASS OF 2018: Lou “Honey Boy” Del Valle, Jake Rodriguez, Terrence Alli, “Baby” Joe Mesi, Kid Chocolate, James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, Jack McAuliffe, Billy Costello, Melio Bettina Ralph “Tiger” Jones, Charley Norkus, Dave Anderson, Pete Brodsky, Herb Goldman, Bobby Goodman, Melvina Lathan, Ron Scott Stevens, Johnnie Addie, Johnny Bos, Murray Goodman, Bert Randolph Sugar and Sam Taub.

CLASS OF 2019: Wilfredo Benitez, Dick DiVeronica, Rogelio Tuur, Davey Vasquez, Michael Olajide, Monte Barrett, Jimmy Carter, Al “Bummy” Davis, Marty Servo, Roland LaStarza, Paddy DeMarco, Sid Terris, Leach “The Fighting Dentist” Cross, Don King, John McKaie, Steve Albert, Arthur Mercante, Jr., Bob Jackson, Dewey Fragetta, Johnny LoBianco, Wayne Kelly, Harry Hill, Jimmy Cannon, and Joe Dwyer.