The PAB HOF 61st Induction of 13 new members was held Sunday at Romano’s Catering in Northeast Philadelphia.
Boxing judge Lynne Carter who was honored by the Philadelphia Council recently opened the event up. Introducing her was the New Jersey Boxing Commissioner Larry Hazzard. She was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2012.
Carter has traveled the world judging and is a personal friend of this writer over the years. She is a delightful person and very knowledgeable is what she does. She had several tables of friends while fellow judge Rose Lacend sat next to her. Carter has been a trail-blazer in the sport since she began judging fights more than 35 years. She became the second female to be inducted. The first was Jacqui “Sister Smoke” Frazier-Lyde who was in attendance.
Well known manager Ivan Cohen was not in attendance and his good friend and top cut-man Joey Eye spoke for him. Cohen is best remembered for managing IBF World Junior Middleweight Champion Buster Drayton. He also managed Anthony Witherspoon who was the PA State Champion. He managed Tyrone “Butterfly” Crawley a lightweight title challenger and his son Tyrone Crawley, Jr. He also helped guide his son Brian Cohen now a boxing manager.
Vaughn “Turtle” Hooks was 19-2 (10), and a PA State Champion. He lost his last two fights retiring in 1993 after a 10 year career. He talked at length about starting as an amateur with The Executioners headed by Tucci Gordon in West Philadelphia.
Well known amateur boxer, referee, trainer and administrator official and P.A.L. supervisor Woodie Marcus spent some 39 years doing this. He was the 1961 AAU 132-pound title holder representing Idaho State College. He conducted numerous instructional seminars and training classes.
“Classy” Al Massey was not in attendance. He was a top amateur and overall had 51-11 record. As a professional he was 13-5-2 (7). He was best known for his 11 second knockout of Mike Cortez. He was part of the best known gym at 23rd PAL along with fellow boxers “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, “Gypsy” Joe Harris, Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts and Eugene “Cyclone” Hart.
Massey after his boxing career came to an end in 1969 became a trainer. He trained the future world champion Michael Spinks for 3 fights. His daughter Sabrina accepted his award. This writer has been a friend of both for the past 10 years.
Heavyweight Jack O’Halloran not only known for his boxing skills but was a movie actor. He was in Superman and Superman II, Farewell My Lovely, King Kong and Dragnet. He also authored the 2010 book “Family Legacy.
Born in Philadelphia but fighting out of Runnemede, NJ, was unbeaten in 16 bouts (15-0-1) ending at 34-21-2 (17). He fought 4 times in the UK. He lost to Joe Bugner but came back to defeat Carl Gizzi. He defeated Danny McAlinden and lost to Jack Bodell.
He was in with some of the top boxers such as “Big” George Foreman, Ken Norton, Mac Foster, Joe Roman twice, and Ron Lyle. He defeated Al “Blue Lewis” and Muhammad Ali’s brother Rahman Ali.
Joey Eye also accepted for the late Adolph Ritacco a well-known cut-man and trainer who worked with Matthew Saad Muhammad, Joey Giardello, Kitten Hayward, Dan Bucceroni, Oscar Bonavena, Jimmy Carter and Bud Smith. He boxed as an amateur with a reported 91-1 record.
Promoters Art Rooney & Barney McGinley began in the 1930’s into the 1950’s out of Pittsburgh, PA. They were best known as owners of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers. They promoted over 50 events.
Introducing both was Rich Pagano, author and Chester County writer. They were nominated by Historian Chuck Hasson.
Charles Singleton a 1978 National Golden Gloves Champion who trained out of the Joe Frazier Gym was not present but his daughter accepted his award. He won his first 17 fights before losing and retired with 11 knockouts. He boxed from 1979 to 1984 as a Light Heavyweight.
Will “Stretch” Taylor was a USBA Light Heavyweight Champion. He challenged for the IBF title losing to Reggie Johnson and later in a non-title bout. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 46. He was 19-4 (12).
Tony “The Punching Postman” Thornton was from Glassboro, NJ, but 11-1 in Philadelphia rings. He won 17 straight bouts. He won the USBA Middleweight title over Mike Tinley. He died after a motorcycle accident in 2009. He fought such boxers as Roy Jones, Jr., IBF Super Middleweight Champion James “Lights Out” Toney, for his title and to Super Middleweight WBO Champion Chris Eubank in the UK.
Thornton defeated Dave “TNT” Tiberi, John Scully, Merqui Sosa and Tyrone Frazier. He ended up 37-7-1 (26). He also won the USBA Super Middleweight title from Darren Zenner.
The final inductee was popular Heavyweight Kerry Judge whose brother Jerry was inducted in 2017. As an amateur he won the PA State Title. He won his first 5 bouts and later had a 7 fight win streak ending his career at 14-3 (7), in 1990.
Judge fought out of Warminster, PA, and after retirement held many Thanksgiving Eve amateur shows in Fairless Hills, PA. He is one of the officials today of the PA Athletic Commission.
MC for the evening was Ring Announcer Nino Del Buono. Hall of Fame Chairman and introducer of some of the inductees was Recoerding Secretary John DiSanto. He has his own site Philly Boxing History. This writer is a member of the committee.
Others at the head table were VBA Ring One President Charley Sgrillo, Vice President Fred Druding, Treasurer John Gallagher and Sergeant-At-Arms Norman Torpey. The Man of the Years was last year’s inductee Frank Kubach owner of the Front Street Gym. Singing of the National Anthem was young Nicky Eye, son of Joey Eye.