Fifth annual Atlantic City Hall of Fame
By Ken Hissner: Over the weekend of August 20th through the 22nd, the Fifth Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame event was held, with the induction ceremony being on Sunday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Sound Waves Theater, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Ray McCline is ACB HOF President, and Angela Crockett the Communications Director and Honoree Liaison.
Emcees of the night were Henry Hascup and Samad Haq, who did an excellent job as usual.
ACB HOF President Ray McCline said June 14th, 2022, will be their next event. Introduced John Scully for all he did as a humanitarian who did so much raising funds for Wilfredo Benitez, among others.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, Promoter Don King, and IBF Darryl Peoples spoke via satellite.
John “Ice Man” Scully: Wilfredo Benitez, at 17, became a world champ. His sister Yvonne helps take care of him. He is in Chicago in an apartment and needs to be moved to an apartment elsewhere. He asked Roy Jones, Jr. to sign material also to help raise money for Gerald McClellan.
Mayor Marty Small, Sr. of Atlantic City said, “I want to thank Ray McCline and Hard Rock Casino.” He went onto read the names of the inductees. Then gave a proclamation from the city to the ACB HOF.
NJ Commissioner Larry Hazzard, Sr.: Former champ “Jersey” Joe Walcott brought me here in 1978. I traveled around the world officiating. In 1985 I became NJ Boxing Commissioner. I want to wish happy birthday to Michael Spinks. Also, Don King who celebrated his 90th birthday. I remember when Saad Muhammad fought Jerry “The Bull” Martin when I stopped the fight. Murad Muhammad was the promoter. I was here the night “Mighty” Ivan Robinson, who beat Arturo Gatti here twice.
In attendance were 2-division champ Paulie “Majic Man” Malignaggi, WBO Heavyweight champ “Merciless” Ray Mercer, 2-division champ Michael “Jinx” Spinks, 3-division champ Iran “The Blade” Barkley, Angel Manfredy, Promoter’s J. Russell Peltz and Artie Pelullo, along with WBC & WBA middleweight champ Vito Antuofermo.
Inductees were: Roy Jones, Jr., Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, Al “Ice” Cole, Ernest “Ernie” Bing, Tony “Fighting Postman” Thornton, Sr., Calvin “Silky” Grove, Percy Richardson, Tommy Parks, Earl Morton, Sr., Steve Weisfeld, Ron Katz, Murad Muhammad, Marc Abrams, Al Bernstein, Ms. Laoma Byrd, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, Simon “Mantequilla” Brown, “Mighty” Ivan Robinson, Aaron Snowell, Joey Eye, Frank Cappuccino, Ed Keenan and Nino DelBuono.
Roy Jones, Jr.: “Ya’ll” Must Have Forgot!” That was the first of several rap songs Jones did to the delight of the crowd! He went onto say how great he was and that he took from Muhammad Ali how also to be an entertainer.
Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe: Atlantic City is my second home. I love it. It’s nice to be in the Hall of Fame. Keep my name out of your mouth, and I won’t break my foot out of yer ass.
Al “Ice” Cole: I’d like for Ray Mercer to come up here. We boxed together in the Army. Cole had just lost a brother recently and was very emotional.
Ernest “Ernie” Bing: This is a blessing from God. I started as a young amateur in 1967, and my last fight was in July of 1985 in London, England. I’m thankful I can stand here and talk about it. I still watch boxing on TV. I miss a lot of people I knew. I grew up in the city where there were a lot of gifted fighters. I first started with Frankie Polo and then with Mike Hall. A lot of people helped me. I was going to send my grandson, but they convinced me I should go. They said that the boxing people wanted to honor me for all my hard work.
Tony “Fighting Postman” Thornton, Sr.: record most knockouts in AC accepted by Tony Thornton, Jr., who said, “Truly, the neighborhood hero fixing cars, cut grass and made meals for his mother.”
Calvin “Silky” Grove: I want to thank all of you for coming and for this award. I am making a comeback.
Tommy Parks: Managed and trained such as Marty Pettiford, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Bobby “Chappy” Czyz, Derrick “Poppy” Rolan, Livingstone “Ras-I” Bramble, Jose Ribalta, Cornell “Slimm” Sims, and “the Triple Threat Team” of Charles “The Natural” Murray, Alfred “Ice” Cole, and Ray “Merciless” Mercer. He also worked with fighters Monte Barrett, Shawn Fitzgerald, Maurice “Mo” Harris, and Shannon Briggs, to name a few. (From Henry Hascup).
Percy Richardson: From 1977 to 1981, served as an inspector for NJ Commission. Some of the fighters he worked with were Michael Spinks, Larry Holmes, Donald Curry, Ray Mercer, Juan Laporte, Virgil Hill, Charles Murray Iran Barkley, Sammy Goss, Archie McBride, Nigel Benn, Al Cole, and Mike McCallum. (From Henry Hascup)
Earl Morton, Sr.: He started refereeing in 1989 and also judging in 2004 until 2012.
Steve Weisfeld: Thank you, Henry, for the introduction and 40 years of friendship. Thanks to Larry Hazzard for giving me the opportunity to work here. Thanks to Ray and Angelo for giving me this great honor.
Ron Katz: Worked with Butch Lewis and Abercrombe Associates.
Murad Muhammad: Talked about taking Roy Jones, Jr. to the heavyweight title. Took a kid from the Philippines, Manny Pacquaio, putting him on shows. Told Don King we will make millions. He said 2 million for you and 4 million for me.
Marc Abrams: This is an incredible honor. When Ray called me a couple of years ago, I was surprised. I asked if I was even on the ballot, for I would have voted for myself. Thanks to Don Elbaum for giving me my first job. There are so many to thank. Ed Keenan, the best PR man in the business. I worked for the AC Seagulls basketball team playing a Florida team. My father and I walked over to this guy from their team named Roy Jones, Jr. Thanks to all and God Bless.
Al Bernstein: No show
Felix “Tito” Trinidad: Former champ talked about an honor to fight Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker. He may have talked the longest with an interpreter.
Ed Keenan: This is quite an honor. 30 years ago, I sat in the office and was asked to help with Holyfield and Foreman. Worked with Tito Trinidad, Roy Jones, Jr., Ivan Robinson along with Main Events, Murad Muhammad, Top Rank, Larry Hazzard, Kathy Duva, and all the media people. My wife Jessica took care of all the kids, so I could be away at times to do all of this. I want to thank Ray McCline for being part of this.
Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik: I’m not much of a talker, but it’s here I won my title from Jermain Taylor.
Simon “Mantequilla” Brown: 2-division world champion. Thanks for this award.
Joey Eye: Henry Hascup said, “When Stallone was running through the streets of Philadelphia, he picked up a little guy, Joey Eye. From the movie “Creed,” he alone got an award.”
Thanks for no one can do this on their own. I want to dedicate this to my late father, who got me started when I was 5 watching Wepner and Ali. My father took me by bus to so many places like the Blue Horizon and Atlantic City. He talked me into becoming a cut man when I injured my knee. I want to thank cut men Adolph Ritacco, who I listened to at a corner bar in South Philly. Then there was Eddie “The Clot” Aliano, who taught me in the gym and said to stay calm even if their eyeball is hanging out. Stan, “the Cut Man,” took me to the firehouse to help me. I don’t care who you are. We all bleed the same color, red. My other favorite color is green, what we make for what we do. Thanks to my beautiful wife Nancy of 28 years and my 4 kids. It’s a huge honor.
“Mighty” Ivan Robinson: I want to thank all of you for showing me love and respect.
Aaron Snowell: Thank you for following my brother Murad Muhammad, the great promoter. I have been blessed in my travels by my God. I lived near Deer Lake, where Muhammad Ali trained. Ali took me and my other five siblings and put us in an ice cream commercial for St. John’s.
When Ali was getting ready for the fight with Foreman fight, he asked if he could be George Foreman? This place in New Jersey is home to me. You can’t come into this state without knowing Larry Hazzard.
He is a jewel, and so is this state. I want to thank Henry Hascup, who is on my radio show. Put your hands together for Ray, Angelo, and Rob from the ACB HOF.
Give thanks to Michael Spinks for moving up to take the heavyweight title. Even Ali fought here as an amateur and said, looking at the ocean, “this is the biggest lake I have ever seen!” Thanks to Don King, “Slim” Robinson, for showing me the game. Thanks to “Iron” Mike Tyson, Julian “The Hawk” Jackson, Art Pelulla, who had Rickey Parkey who scored the quickest knockout here, a young man who in 1990 won an Olympic Bronze medal who got stuck in the eye or would have been Olympic champ. He fought with his jaw broken in two places, and I had to pull his teeth out so he could continue in IBF bantam champ Tim Austin. Thanks, Ray McCline. I love you. I love you.
Nino DelBuono: Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for being here. Please support boxing in the state of New Jersey. People like Ivan Robinson and my neighbor Joey Eye, Rob Scott, Ray, and Angelo. October 16th, a statue will be presented of “Jersey” Joe Walcott.
Ms. Laoma Byrd: passed at 98. Award accepted by the mayor of Pleasantville, Judy Ward.
Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker: Passed in July of 2019. He was a 4-division world champ.
Frank Cappuccino: Passed in June of 2015. 1958-2010 he was a judge and referee.
Dave Ruff, writer: “I thought it went great. It was a great show. I thought being on stage was great.”
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