There were sixteen inductees going into the 2018 Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame for the 60th year Sunday at Romano’s Caterers in Philadelphia. Having Nino Buono do his usual excellent job as MC was something you never get tired of. Back this year is IBHOF Promoter J Russell Peltz who had something to say about all the inductees and who knows them better? His lovely wife was with him and at the table were Brittany Rogers who works with Peltz and her dad Mike Rogers besides her. You don’t get them much better than Mike.
The officers were Charley Sigrillo, John DiSanto (Chairman of the PAB HOF), John Gallagher and Fred Drudding who played a big part in the event.
As one of the members of the Hall of Fame Committee one of the boxers going in was in the Main Event in the first Boxing Event this writer promoted back in May of 1981 at Rockne Hall, in Allentown, PA. That is Bethlehem’s Angel Cruz from the Vintage Boxers groups. Cruz fought to a draw that night against Trenton, NJ, lightweight Sammy Goss. Seems Goss beat Cruz into the Hall of Fame. It was great seeing Angel again.
Cruz ended his career going 10-0-1 with his last fight a split decision win over former WBC World Lightweight champion Saoul Mamby in May of 1988. Cruz finished with a 27-6-2 (8) record and finished behind former middleweight contender Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, 18-6-2 (12), from Philly in the Vintage category. Others from that category were Philly’s Ernie “Grog” Singletary, 26-6 (8) whose final fight was in an IBF World Super Middleweight fight losing to champion Murray Sutherland by decision. Peltz said the most brutal fight he ever put on was between Fletcher and Singletary sending both to the hospital afterwards.
Easton’s Mark Holmes, 38-1 (17), was 6-0 when this writer asked him if he wanted to be on my third and last promotion at Easton High School. His brother and manager Larry wouldn’t allow it. It wasn’t until Holmes 39th and last fight in fought in Easton. Since I was the one who nominated Mark Holmes it was nice to see him voted in from the Modern Boxers category. He spends a lot of time in Georgia so it was nice seeing him at the banquet. He deserved it and he didn’t get in on his brother Larry’s name either.
Leading the way from that category was USBA champion Mike “No Joke” Stewart, 48-8-3 (25), from New Castle, DE. He was 13-4-1 in Philly rings and always gave the fans something to cheer about. Seeing him with his two beautiful daughters was great. His manager Keith Stauffer was there. He is one of the good guys from the past also managing Amir “Hardcore” Mansour.
From the same category was Philly’s Tony “Dynamite” Green, 23-6-1 (15), who had a win over the then former WBA World Featherweight champion Julian Solis. Joining his brother, Frank, is Anthony “Two Guns” Fletcher, 24-4-1 (8), a former National Golden Gloves champion. He defeated a pair of world champions as a pro in Fred “No Fear” Pendleton and Livingston Bramble.
Philly’s Marvin Mack, 18-8-1 (10), rounds out the Modern Boxers category. He lost in a title bid in 1986 to Chong-Pal Park, the IBF World Super Middleweight champion in South Korea by decision. Mack is an excellent hat designer today. He had a great hat on that afternoon.
Rounding out the Vintage Boxers were Pittsburgh’s Johnny Morris, 27-11 (16), who defeated Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, split with George Benton and lost a split decision to future WBC & WBA Middleweight champion Joey Giardello. Also joining Morris was Philly’s Larry Torpey, 14-4-2 (6), a former National AAU champion. Both inductees have passed away so relatives did the accepting.
Who will ever forget when Buono introduced Joey Eye and joked about his height so Joey stood on the chair and brought the house down and it was a full house.
From the Non-Boxers category were Philly’s Stan “the Cut Man” Maliszewski, trainer’s “Pop” Bates and Willie Reddish, Jr. Joining them were promoter Mike Acri from Erie, PA, who couldn’t make the long trip and Ring Doctor George Bonner who is known for all the hours he puts in and how many people he has helped over the years. Last but not least the lone inductee from the Old Timers category was the former world heavyweight champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 51-18-2 ((32), from Camden, NJ. He was 10-2 in Philly rings losing in a classic battle in 1952 to Rocky Marciano at the Municipal Stadium. His grandson accepted his plaque.
The three Carto’s, Frank Sr., his son Frank who serves as manager for his unbeaten, 15-0 (11), bantamweight brother Christian who is as popular as any boxer today in Philly rings. They were good enough to sit at one of the VBA tables. The other had four New York firemen who worked the 911 disaster. One played the bag pipes afterwards to the tune of “Amazing Grace” and “America!” At that same table were Vic Diamond and his son both Ukranians. Others in attendance were Kevin Benard, George Hill, Jacki Frazier-Lyde and her husband, ring announcer Hank Kropinski, Mike and Eddie Everett, Barry Howell, Monty Farley Sherick, Fred McMunn, Mitch Allen, Frank Kuback, John Mulvenna, Rich Pagano, Hank Quinn, Norman Torpey, Markie Goodman and Simon Carr. Filming the event as usual Vic de Wysocki.