By Robert Brizel, Brick City Boxing Correspondent
We say goodbye. From January to December 2020, a dramatic time period for both professional sports and the world, the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus impacted everyone. As infections rose and casualties mounted, professional sports lost many famous names. Professional boxing lost a number of noteworthy names influential to the sport, some to Coronavirus, others due to other health reasons. Some names worth remembering:
COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Related Boxing Passages
Miguel Angel Castellini, 73, former WBA World Light Middleweight Champion, died of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Eddie Cotton (the referee and judge), 72, the former director of International Boxing Federation, died of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in Paterson, New Jersey. Cotton is not to be confused with Eddie the boxer, who held the Michigan version of the World Ligt Heavyweight championship, who was later a member of the Washington Boxing Commission and a restauranteur, who died in Seattle, Washington, in 1990 following a second liver transplant., The two Eddie Cottons are not related.
Nelson Cuevas, 80, noted boxing cutman, trainer of owner of Apolo Boxing Gym where Mike Tyson fought his first amateur fight, died of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in Bronx, New York.
Juan Domingo Roldan, 63, former number one middleweight contender, who fought Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns, and Michael Nunn for the World Middleweighnt title, died of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in Cordoba, Argentina.
Ali Harrison Salaam, former fight and trainer of his son former WBC World Super Middleweight champion Tony Harrison and other boxers, son of former 1950s and 1960s middleweight contender and Detroit Zoo zookeeper Henry Hank Harrison (Jusuf Salaam), dies of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in Detroit, Michigan.
Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia Pugilistica Related Boxing Passages
1956 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist turned businessman Pete Rademacher, who fought Floyd Patterson for the World Heavyweight championship in his first pro bout in August of 1957, had Patterson down in the second round, but lost, died at 91 at the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Sandusky, Ohio, where he suffered from Dementia Pugilistica for a number of years.
Former WBA and WBC World Super Lightweight champion Frankie ‘The Surgeon’ Randall, 59, Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia Pugilistica, who was in nursing home care in Tennessee for 10 years.
Angelo Rottoli, 61, former European Cruiserweight champion and WBC world title challenger, died of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus along with his mother and brother, in Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy. Rottoli was considered a small heavyweight in the 1980s, fighting mostly in the 193 to 198 pounds vicinity, which is currently categorized by the newly created Worfld Boxing Council Bridgerweight boxing weight class today.
Other Causes or Cause of Death Undisclosed Boxing Passages
Mahmoud Fadel, 58, heavyweight who was one of Muhammad Ali ‘s sparring partner in the 1970’s, died of Lewi Body Dementia. Fadel was being treated for Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewi Body Dementia at a Michigan care facility.
Hedgemon Lewis, 74, former New York State Athletic Commission World Welterweight champion, boxing trainer, real estate agent, cause undisclosed. Unrelated to Panama Lewis.
Carl ‘Panama’ Lewis, 74, boxing trainer convicted of cheating in the Luis Resto-Billy Collins Jr. glove tampering and plaster handtape scandal, died of an undisclosed illness.
Roger Mayweather, 58, former WBA World Super Featherweight champion, former WBC World Super Lightweight champion and former IBO World Welterweight champion known as ‘The Black Mamba’, and trainer, died after suffering from diabetes and declining health for a number of years, Flloyd’s nephew, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alan ‘Boom-Boom’ Minter, 69, southpaw 1972 Olympic bronze medalist, and later the European and World Middleweight champion Alan Minter died, cause undisclosed, in Crawley, Sussex, United Kingdom.
Brother Naazim Richardson, 54, boxing trainer at Shuler Gym, of Bernard Hopkins, Steve Cunningham, Shane Mosley and many others, after a long illness of several years, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.