Author: Daxx Khan

Sen. John McCain to be honored at 3rd annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (December 11, 2019) – Senator John McCain will be posthumously presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport this Friday night at a special ceremony during the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the ongoing 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 National Championships at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event’s emcee for the third year in a row.

The USA Boxing Alumni Association’s third HOF class also includes three Olympic gold-medalists, “Big” George ForemanMark Breland and “Smokin'” Joe Frazier, as well as legendary coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

The late Sen. McCain boxed at the U.S. Naval Academy, where the 5′ 7″ lightweight competed three years as a fearless boxer who reportedly always came forward, never reversing gears. In his final year, he managed the battalion boxing team to a brigade championship.

“Our family believes our father would accept this award graciously as a very high honor,” daughter Megan McCain said on behalf of the McCain family. “The courage, character and action needed to step into the ring is something he felt very strongly about.

“He learned many life lessons through boxing, including the value of fitness, discipline, individual performance training and operating as part of a team.  Boxers run up against opposition they have no idea how to attack or defend against, yet they figure it out and learn about themselves, as well as develop endurance during the process.”

“Senator McCain was a true ally to the sport, having personally understood the courage and risk-taking required from those who enter the ring,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. Throughout his career in politics, USA Boxing communicated with his office numerous times as part of a collaborative effort to safeguard the future of Olympic style, amateur boxing, and Senator McCain never hesitated to offer to do more for our athletes. For this and many other reasons, the USA Boxing Alumni Association looks forward to honoring his legacy this weekend.”

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John ScullyObie BeardMark Lanton and the Stephens brothers – DonaldAnthony and Jerry.

SPRINGFIELD FAN FAVORITES READY TO SHINE FRIDAY (12/13) AT “NEW ENGLAND EXPLOSION”

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (December 10, 2019) — Having already announced a fierce New England focused triple-header showcasing, Hartford’s RICHIE “POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN” RIVERA (15-0, 12 KO’s), E. Hartford’s “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (12-0, 4 KO’s) and Danbury’s OMAR “THE BEAST” BORDOY (9-1, 3 KO’s), Star Boxing is pleased to showcase local Springfield fan favorites DERRICK WHITLEY II and

ANGEL VAZQUEZ, who are ready to shine this Friday night, in separate bouts.

Tickets to “New England Explosion,” presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING, sponsored by MGM Springfield, from Mass-mutual Center starts at $40.00 (excludes facility fees and convenience charges) and on sale HERE and at the Mass-mutual Center Box Office. “New England Explosion” will air live in a first for New England Sports Network (NESN), starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. As the home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox, NESN is available nationally on a sports subscription basis.

Whitley, who meets JERMAINE CORLEY (3-8, 1 KO) in a 6-round bout, is a direct descendant of Springfield boxing royalty. His father/head trainer is former Mass State champion Derrick Whitley, and his uncle/assistant trainer, Darin Whitley, also was a popular regional pro boxer. The Whitley brothers are twins.

“It’s exciting,” Derrick II spoke about fighting at home in Springfield. “I started out in boxing off my father’s name. I have a lot to live up to, but I’m a little different than him. I have my own fanbase, which is pretty cool, and they’re there win or lose. There hasn’t been a lot of boxing here since the Hippodrome closed, but MGM Grand has brought boxing back to Springfield. This will be my third fight here.

“I’m popular in my city because I played football here in high school. It’s been a thrill for me to still have my family and fans watching me. They’ve always supported me. It’s been pretty crazy for this fight.”

Vazquez (0-1), a native of Puerto Rico, faces LEANDRO SILVA (1-3) in a 4-round match.

“I feel great, like Muhammad Ali,” an excited Vazquez said about fighting at home. “This is awesome. Springfield is my town! I’m proud. I grew up in Puerto Rico, but I’ve lived here seven years. I want to put on a great show for my hometown.”

Also fighting on the undercard in a 6-round bout is Hartford welterweight JEFFREY TORRES (5-0, 3 KOs) vs. Brockton, MA veteran ANTONIO FERNANDEZ (9-39-4, 3 KOs).

INFO:

East Hartford super lightweight “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (12-0, 4 KO’s), returns home in an 8-round tilt against ANGEL “AZTEC WARRIOR” HERNANDEZ (17-14-2, 11 KO’s), Hartford cruiserweight RICHIE “POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN” RIVERA (15-0, 12 KO’s) faces Virginia cruiserweight “MIGHTY” JOE JONES (11-1, 8 KO’s), while Danbury super lightweight OMAR “THE BEAST” BORDOY (9-1, 3 KO’s) meets Dublin, Ireland’s undefeated “SLICK” VICTOR RABEI (8-0, 2 KO’s). On the undercard will be local Springfield favorites, DERRICK “BAD BOY” WHITLEY II (6-1-1), the son of former USA Massachusetts State Super Middleweight Champion, Derick Whitley Sr., as well as ANGEL VAZQUEZ (0-1).

33rd annual Ring 8 Holiday Event & Awards Ceremony another KO event, NYSBHOF Class of 2020 announced

NEW YORK (December 10, 2019) – The 33rd annual Ring 8 Holiday Event and Awards Ceremony was held this past Sunday at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York. There were 354 attendees.

The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame, sponsored by Ring 8, announced its Class of 2020 (see below)

Headlining Ring 8’s 2019 Awards Ceremony were Fighter of the Decade, Amanda “Real Deal” Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Puerto Rico; undefeated heavyweight contender (Fighter of the Year) Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Poland; Legend Award winners three-time, three-division world champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley (43-19,1 27 KOs), of Bronx, and two-time, two-division world champion Junior “Poison” Jones (50-6, 28 KOs), of Brooklyn; and two-time world heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon (55-13-1, 28 KOs), of Philadelphia, the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award winner.

Below is a complete list of the 2019 award winners:

2019 RING 8 Award Winners

                                                  Fighter of the Decade: Amanda Serrano
Fighter of the Year: Adam Kownacki
Legends Award: Iran Barkley & Junior Jones,
Muhammad Ali Humanitarian: Tim Witherspoon
Sam Kellerman Media Award: Gerry Cooney & Randy Gordon
Long & Meritorious Service: Daryl Peoples
Uncrowned Champion: John Capobianco
Prospect of the Year: Left “2 Gunz” Gonzalez
Member of the Year: James Monteverde
NYS Official of the Year: Waleska Roldan
Trainer of the Year: Scott Lopeck
Manager of the Year: Keith Connolly
Community Service Award: Michael Corleone
Amateur of the Year: Nisa Rodriguez
Amateur Official of the Year: Michael “Biggie” O’Conner
Good Guy Award: Peter Frutkoff

Twenty-eight new NYSBHOF inductees were announced (see below):

                                                             NYSBHOF CLASS OF 2020

   

                                                                           BOXERS
                                                           (living)                                 (deceased)
                                                    Jorge Ahumada                   Soldier Bartfield
                                                    Alfredo Escalera                  Steve Belloise
                                                   Freddie Liberatore             Jimmy Goodrich                                          
                                                   Dennis Milton                       Tami Mauriello
                                                    Lou Savarese                        Davey Moore
                                                    Merqui Sosa                          Freddie Welsh
                                                                          NON-BOXERS

 

                                                   Don Ackerman                       Lester Bromberg

                                                   Bobby Cassidy Jr.                 Dan Daniel   

                                                   Rick Glaser                            Bobby Gleason
                                                   Jack Hirsch                            Flash Gordon
                                                   Max Kellerman                      A.J. Liebling
                                                 Dr. William Latham                 Tony Mazzarella
                                                 Julie Lederman                        Dan Morgan
                                                 Ron Lipton                                Kevin Rooney

                                 

Class of 2020 Announced in Canastota!

BOXERS BERNARD HOPKINS, JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ, SHANE MOSLEY, BARBARA BUTTRICK, CHRISTY MARTIN & LUCIA RIJKER ELECTED TO INT’L BOXING HALL OF FAME

Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva, Dan Goossen, Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser to also enter Hall of Fame

CANASTOTA, NY – DECEMBER 4, 2019 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced today the members of the Class of 2020. Inductees include champions Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez and “Sugar” Shane Mosley in the men’s Modern category; Barbara Buttrick in the women’s Trailblazer category and “The Coal Miner’s Daughter” Christy Martin and “The Dutch Destroyer” Lucia Rijker in the women’s Modern category. Non-participants and observers to be inducted include promoters Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva and Dan Goossen and journalists Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser.

Lightweight champion Frank Erne in the Old Timer category and Paddy Ryan in the Pioneer category will also be honored. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. Biographies on the Class of 2020 can be found on www.ibhof.com

“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2020 and are very much looking forward to honoring the newest class of inductees, which includes the first ever female boxers to be enshrined,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy.

The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will be held June 11-14th in Canastota, NY. Many events in “Boxing’s Hometown” of Canastota throughout the four-day celebration, including a 5K Race / Fun Run, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, VIP Cocktail Reception, Parade of Champions and the Official Induction Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds, are scheduled. The Hall of Fame Weekend evening events include Friday night’s Fight Night at Turning Stone and Saturday’s Banquet of Champions. Both events will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in nearby Verona, NY.

33rd annual Ring 8 Holiday Event & Awards Ceremony this Sunday in New York

Amanda Serrano, Adam Kownacki, Iran Barkley, Junior Jones and Tim Witherspoon among 2019 major award winners

NEW YORK (December 4, 2019) – Limited tickets are still available for this Sunday afternoon’s 33rd annual Ring 8 Holiday Event and Awards Ceremony, 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
Headlining the event is Fighter of the Decade, Amanda “Real Deal” Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Puerto Rico; undefeated heavyweight contender (Fighter of the Year) Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs), of Brooklyn by way of Poland; Legend Award winners three-time, three-division world champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley (43-19,1 27 KOs), of Bronx, and two-time, two-division world champion Junior “Poison” Jones (50-6, 28 KOs), of Brooklyn; and two-time world heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon (55-13-1, 28 KOs), of Philadelphia, the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award winner.
Below is a complete list of this year’s award winners:
 
2019 RING 8 Award Winners
Fighter of the Decade: Amanda Serrano
Fighter of the Year: Adam Kownacki
Legends Award: Iran Barkley & Junior Jones,
Muhammad Ali Humanitarian: Tim Witherspoon
Sam Kellerman Media Award: Gerry Cooney & Randy Gordon
Long & Meritorious Service: Daryl Peoples
Uncrowned Champion: John Capobianco
Prospect of the Year: Left “2 Gunz” Gonzalez
Member of the Year: James Monteverde
NYS Official of the Year: Waleska Roldan
Trainer of the Year: Scott Lopeck
Manager of the Year: Keith Connolly
Community Service Award: Michael Corleone
Amateur of the Year: Nisa Rodriguez
Amateur Official of the Year: Michael “Biggie” O’Conner
Good Guy Award: Peter Frutkoff
The famous Jack Johnson Exhibit will be on display, Gerry Cooney will hold a book signing, and special guests will also be on hand.
 
Tickets are $125.00 and include a complete brunch with cocktail hour upon entry, followed by seating at the awards ceremony, dinner and dessert, and top-shelf open bar throughout the afternoon. There will also be a silent auction of boxing memorabilia. This event is expected to sell-out and everybody is urged to purchase tickets as soon as possible to secure favorable seating. Donations of any denomination are welcome for those unable to attend the festivities.
All checks for tickets should be payable to Ring 8 (credit cards are acceptable) should be mailed to Ring 8, P.O. Box 89, Massapequa Park, NY 11762. For additional information about Ring 8 or its annual Holiday Events and Awards Ceremony, contact Ring 8 president Charlie Norkus (516.781.3065 or Bob Duffy (516.313.2304), or go online to www.Ring8ny.com.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR UNDEFEATED “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (December 4, 2019) — There’s no place like home for undefeated super lightweight prospect “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (12-0, 4 KOs). Although he won’t be fighting at home in East Hartford, Connecticut, Laureano returns to familiar surroundings for his December 13th fight on a loaded “New England Explosion” card, presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING, at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“New England Explosion,” sponsored by MGM Springfield, will air live from Mass MutualCenter on New England Sports Network (NESN), starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, in NESN’s first live boxing broadcast. The home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox, NESN is available nationally on a sports subscription basis.

In 2016, Laureano captured top honors in the same venue at the Western New England Golden Gloves Championships. He went on to become the New England Golden Gloves champion and placed third in the National Golden Gloves Championship.

Laureano’s last two fights have been in New York at Resort World Catskills. “I love fighting at home,” Laurano said. “Springfield is less than a 30-minute drive from my home and I have history there. I’ve built up a good fan-base at the Caskills and a lot of fans are coming to Springfield to support me with my New England fans. I’ll never forget all the people from there who helped me along the way. There’s no place like home!”

The 24-year-old Laureano takes on Texas super lightweight ANGEL”AZTEC WARRIOR” HERNANDEZ (17-14-2, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bout airing live on NESN. .Hernandez, fighting out of McAllen, TX, has become somewhat of a gatekeeper in the super lightweight division. The tough Mexican-American fighter has taken on former IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter and one of the brightest in Star Boxing’s stable, former WBO super lightweight world champion CHRIS ALGIERI (24-3, 8 KOs) the full 10-round distance, albeit in losses by decision.

“For me,” Laureano commented about Hernandez, “I respect him like any fighter I’m in the ring with, but I’m not looking at him differently than any fighter I’ve faced. My team chooses my opponents and I’m ready to fight anyone. They always do what’s best for me and I have full confidence in my team.”

Far from a typical boxer, Laureano holds an associate degree and he’s a para-educator at an elementary school in Hartford. He plans to earn his bachelor’s degree, majoring in criminal justice, but his education has been put on hold due to his professional boxing career. Working and training full-time doesn’t leave time to take courses, at least not right now.

“I definitely know I have potential in boxing,” the Puerto Rican-American explained, “but I have a brain, too, and there’s life after boxing. I want to give back to my community. Whatever I end up doing will be in the juvenile system for me to have an impact on youths. I love being a teacher’s assistant and I’m a good example for kids. I thank the principal. Dr. Greene, for giving me this chance and believing in me. Education is on hold for boxing, but I will get my bachelor’s degree.”

Laureano believes fighting live on NESN will open new doors for him, his career and brand.

“Right now,” he concludes, “people are noticing me more and more. I’m there but not there yet. I want to be a household name and I’m grateful to be fighting on NESN. I’ve had some fights shown on NESN, those were taped, but this fight is live. The more people who see me, the more they will be drawn to me. I work hard and have a good, pure heart. I’ll never forget where I come from.”

Undefeated Detroit Prospect Jacob Bonas Returns This Saturday After Short Three-Week Break Between Fights

Undefeated welterweight Jacob Bonas will continue his determined return to boxing this Saturday 7, December, just three weeks after his previous fight.
Fighting in a four-round supporting bout of Second 2 None Promotions’ event at the Performance Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Bonas (5-0-1, 2 KOs) will face Palmdale, California’s Hector Torres.
26-year-old Bonas scored a four-round shutout decision over Missouri’s Noah Kidd on November 22 but says he’s ready to go again.
“Three weeks is a very short time to recover from a fight, but the support I get from my Romanian community gives me all the energy I need,” said Bonas, one of the last of the young fighters formerly trained by the late, great Emanuel Steward. “When I came back, I told my promoter Dmitriy I wanted to stay busy and that’s what we are doing. I’m sharper than ever and looking forward to a very big 2020.”
“Jacob is looking to end the year strong and take a shot at a top prospect next year,” said Salita. “And when it happens, my goal will be to bring the fight to Detroit. Jacob’s popularity in this area will generate the fan interest that helps lead the city back to more glory days of boxing.”

TREMENDOUS UNDERCARD OF POPULAR NEW YORK CITY FIGHTERS THIS THURSDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 5

New York, NY (December 3, 2019) Popular New York City prospects will be featured this Thursday, December 5, at Terminal 5, as DiBella Entertainment presents their Annual Holiday Broadway Boxing card from the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. The 112th edition of Broadway Boxing will be live streamed exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, beginning at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT. Broadway Boxing is presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, Christos Steak House and Gagliardi Insurance.

Commentating on UFC FIGHT PASS will be Women’s WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Alicia “The Empress” Napoleon-Espinosa, former lightweight contender and Director of the New York Golden Gloves Brian Adams and New York Yankees Digital Host and Reporter Justin Shackil.

Stated Algieri, “I’m looking forward to putting on my promoter’s cap and bringing new energy to the East Coast boxing scene. Chris Algieri Promotions is looking to deliver a unique and exclusive boxing experience with the idea to combine New York City Nightlife with thrilling boxing action like never before. This is Fight Club: The Premier VIP Boxing Ticket.”

Undefeated welterweight prospect Mathew “Lefty Gunz” Gonzalez (9-0, 6 KOs), of Ridgewood, NY, clashes with Minneapolis, MN, veteran Rondale Hubbert (13-10-2, 8 KOs) in a scheduled six-rounder. The 24-year-old Gonzalez looks to cap off a terrific 2019 campaign, which included a third-round knockout of Gabor Kovacs on March 8 and a first-round stoppage of Federico Malespina on July 12.

In the light heavyweight division, undefeated southpaw Frederic “The French Revolution” Julan

(11-0, 9 KOs), a native of Paris, France, now residing in Brooklyn, NY, battles Jeyson “Verdugo” Minda (14-2-1, 8 KOs), of Quito, Ecuador. The heavy-handed Julan, who continues to impress fans in the United States with his world class knockout power, returns to the ring following a fourth-round stoppage of Colombia’s Milton Nunez on March 23, in Atlantic City, NJ.

Cruiserweight newcomer Matthew Tinker (1-0, 1 KO), of Yorkshire, United Kingdom, now fighting out of Long Island City, NY, faces Dylan Bryson (0-1), of Port St. Lucie, FL. The 28-year-old Tinker was an acclaimed amateur reaching the finals of the 2018 New York Golden Gloves. Prior to moving to the United States, he competed in the United Kingdom winning the London and Southern area titles in 2015, the Haringey Box Cup in 2014 and was also a Junior ABA Champion. Additionally, he was a Senior Elite Finalist in 2014 and 2015. Tinker made his professional debut with a first-round knockout of Shawn Nelson on November 9.

Brooklyn, NY’s Christian Bermudez (1-0, 1KO) will compete in a scheduled four-round lightweight bout. The 23-year-old impressed in his professional debut with a second-round knockout of Jonathan Conde on September 13, at Madison Square Garden, a devastating left hook to the body proving to be the finisher.

Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Victor “El Turu” Padilla (6-0, 5 KOs), of Berlin, NJ, will face Fredric Bowen (6-3-1, 3 KOs), of Jackson, TN, in a six-round tilt. The 20-year-old Padilla, recently signed to DiBella Entertainment, has looked sensational in 2019 thrilling crowds with his world class skills. Competing on August 1, he knocked out Benjamin Borteye in the first round in Monroeville, PA. In his last start on October 4, the southpaw won a six-round shutout decision versus Romain Tomas in Philadelphia, PA. Bowen hits the ring following a third-round knockout against Ronald Rivas on April 27, 2019 in Joliet, IL.

Headlining the event streamed on UFC FIGHT PASSO’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster (16-2, 10 KOs), of Houston, TX, will defend his WBC Silver Super Featherweight Title in a 10-round clash against Alberto “The Transformer” Mercado (16-3-1, 3 KOs), of Humacao, Puerto Rico.

Co-featured in a 10-round women’s world championship bout, former world champion Ana Laura “La Monita” Esteche (14-5-3, 2KOs), of Buenos Aires, Argentina, faces former world title challenger “Merciless” Mary McGee (25-3, 13 KOs), for the vacant IBF Super Lightweight World Title.

Top heavyweight prospect Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw (12-0, 9 KOs), of St. Louis, MO, clashes with Gregory “Bad News” Corbin (15-2, 9 KOs), of Dallas, TX, in a scheduled 10-round bout.

Former world title challenger Mikkel “Slikk Mikk” LesPierre (21-1-1, 6 KOs), Brooklyn, NY, squares off against Roody Pierre “Rude Boy” Paul (16-5-2, 6 KOs), of Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada, in an eight-round super lightweight bout.

Simply The Best! Mark Breland

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (December 3, 2019) – Arguably the greatest American amateur boxer of all-time, Mark Breland will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame on Friday night, December 13, during a special Class of 2019 ceremony at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 National Championships, Dec. 7-15, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event’s emcee for the third year in a row.

The USA Boxing Alumni Association’s third HOF class also includes two other Olympic gold-medalists, “Big” George Foreman and “Smokin'” Joe Frazier, as well as legendary coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport.

 “I’m very happy to be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame,” Breland said. “It really means a lot, especially going in this year with Foreman and Frazier. I guess it proves I’ve done a lot in boxing. I’m happy to be going in. I had a lot of fun in USA Boxing. To be going into the same Hall of Fame with Evander (Holyfield) (MuhammadAli, Foreman, Frazier…champs like that, it’s something for me to be with them.”

Breland, ironically, first got into boxing at the age of eight, due to him being brought to his first boxing match, Frazier-Ali I, at Madison Square Garden. “We were up in the top seats,” the Brooklyn-born and raised Breland remembered like it was yesterday. “The crowd, the atmosphere…all I could think of was, wow! I didn’t realize until I got older that there were so many stars there watching Ali and Frazier, because they were all at ringside.

“The next day I went to a gym. I was really skinny, small, but I came back the next day. I enjoyed working out and fell in love with boxing. I wanted to box in big tournaments. This is what I wanted to do, but I had hid boxing from my parents. They knew I had I played football, but that was okay with them, because unlike in boxing, we had a helmet. I won at the Junior Olympics and it was in the papers. I saw it and thought my mother was going to kill me. My mother asked me why I hadn’t told her, so I invited her to watch me fight in the Golden Gloves. She was in one of the front rows, but afterwards when I asked her what she thought when I knocked out my opponent, she said she didn’t see it because she had closed her eyes.”

Breland went on to become a five-time New York Golden Gloves champion with a 21-0 record, including 19 knockouts, 14 coming in the opening round. In 1982, Breland captured a gold medal at the prestigious World Championships in Munich, Germany, after which he was named the No. 1 welterweight in the world by AIBA. He was also selected as Boxer of the Year (1982) by USAABF.

At the 1984 Olympic Games, held in Los Angeles, Breland fought his way to a gold medal,

along with eight of his American teammates: Paul GonzalezSteve McCroryMeldrick TaylorPernell WhitakerJerry PageFrank TateHenry Tillman and Tyrell Biggs.

Breland, who completed his amateur career with an amazing 110-1 (73 KOs) record, appeared to be cooler than the other side of the pillow on a hot, steamy night. No real celebrations after he won gold, to the contrary, Mark was emotionless, the same as he still is today as a trainer of champions.

“I’ve always been really laid back,” he explained. “I just remember raising my hands. At an Olympic press conference, I was asked if I was happy, and I just said I was glad it was over. I guess I didn’t seem excited. I was happy but calm. It’s the same way now (as a trainer); it’s just me. I’m happy to win and happy to be doing what I do.”

“Mark’s dominance over his competition throughout his USA Boxing career cements him as a legend,” commented Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “His ring intelligence, commitment to his craft, and ability to fight at any pace against any style makes him a tremendous example for today’s group of amateur champions. It has been a long time coming, but the Alumni Association looks forward to reflecting on his accomplishments and honoring Mark in Louisiana.”

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John ScullyObie BeardMark Lanton and the Stephens brothers – DonaldAnthony and Jerry.

                       HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE USA BOXING ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.
To join the Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing.org for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.
Breland made his much-anticipated pro debut November 15, 1984, at the famed Madison Square Garden, defeating Dwight Williams by way of a six-round unanimous decision. During his illustrious pro career (1984-1997), Breland compiled a sterling 35-3-1 (35 KOs) record and he was a two-time World welterweight champion.

The 56-year-old Breland, who once trained the late, great 1992 US Olympian Vernon Forrest, currently trains another great USA Boxing alumni and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Deontay Wilder, the reigning World Boxing Council heavyweight champion.

“Once I started boxing in the amateurs,” Breland concluded, “I started progressing. I learned a lot from other amateurs like different styles. Boxers from New York/New Jersey had different styles than boxers from Georgia/Florida, and fighting Cubans was completely different. I was beating up a Cuban fighter, but every time I hit him, somehow, they took away a point from me. I knew right away that I had to knock him out to win, and they did end up stopping the fight.”

CLASS OF 2017: The charter class was headed by Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, in addition to veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

CLASS OF 2018: U.S. Olympic Team medalists and world (professional) champions Roy Jones, Jr., Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as former USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Emanuel Steward and veteran USA Boxing official Tom Cleary.

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