Tony Mazzarella, a board-member of the Ring 8 Club, a New York group formed in 1954 to help and honor former boxers, has been trying to get a HOF for years. He’s offered space at his restaurant, the Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City, for plaques and memorabilia. A physical location is being hunted down.
Here’s the first class of honorees to be inducted. It includes 12 boxers and eight non-boxers:
“Sugar” Ray Robinson; “Iron” Mike Tyson; Jake “Bronx Bull” LaMotta; Carmen “Upstate Onion Farmer” Basilio; Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe; Carlos Ortiz; Mike “Bodysnatcher” McCallum; Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney; Benny “The Ghetto Wizard” Leonard; and Tony Canzoneri.
Also included are: judge/HBO analyst Harold Lederman; coach/instructor Steve Acunto; trainer/cut-man Jimmy Glenn; posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel; Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer; New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo; and referee Arthur Mercante Sr.
Ring 8 president Bob Duffy announced plans for the kickoff dinner. “We plan to do this every year,” Duffy said. “Our first introduction dinner will be at Russo’s on The Bay in March of 2012. We have a wall at Waterfront Crabhouse, which will list our Class of 2012 and another at the New York State Athletic Commission. We started this to honor New York fight people.”
The inductees were selected by a six-member NYSBHOF nominating committee made up of Boxing Writers Association president Jack Hirsch, Steve Farhood, Henry Hascup, Bobby Cassidy Jr., Ron McNair and Neil Terens.