The first father-son combination of Floyd Patterson and Tracy Harris Patterson highlight the announcement of the Class of 2014 inductees heading into the third-year New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF).
The third annual NYSBHOF induction dinner was held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), March 30, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York. The NYSBHOF is sponsored by Ring 8
“This is another very strong class of inductees,” Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said. “We are honoring New York’s finest in our sport. This is all about recognizing great fighters, as well as others involved in boxing, from the state of New York.”
Two-time World Heavyweight Champion Patterson (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn, will be inducted posthumously along with his adopted son, boxing trainer Tracy Harris (63-8-2, 43 KOs), the former WBC/IBF Super Featherweight Champion from New Paltz.
Other living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF are former WBC/WBA Welterweight Champion Billy Backus (49-20-5, 23 KOs), of Canastota; former WBC Featherweight Champion Kevin Kelley, of Flushing, Queens; former WBC Featherweight Champion Juan LaPorte (40-17, 22 KOs), of Brooklyn; Huntington’s World Heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney (28-3, 24 KOs), Brooklyn’s two-time World Middleweight title challenger Mustafa Hamsho (44-5-2, 28 KOs) and Glen Cove’s Howard Davis, Jr. (36-6-1, 14 KOs), a 1976 Olympic gold medalist as well as Outstanding Boxer, and a three-time World Lightweight title challenger.
Other posthumous participants being inducted along with Floyd Patterson are World Lightweight Champion Lou Ambers (91-8-7, 28 KOs), of Herkimer; three-time World Welterweight Champion Jack Britton (239-57-44), of Clinton; and World Featherweight Champion Terry McGovern (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn.
Living non-boxer inductees are ESPN boxing commentator and trainer Teddy Atlas, of Staten Island; promoter Lou DiBella (DiBella Entertainment), of Brooklyn; boxing historian and Showtime analyst Steve Farhood, of Brooklyn; trainer and Sunnyside Gardens matchmaker Gene Moore, of Queens; and boxing writer/historian Angelo Prospero, of Rochester.
Deceased non-boxers in the Class of 2014 are trainer/cutman Whitey Bimstein, of Manhattan’s Lower East Side; legendary trainer Cus D’Amato (Bronx and Catskill), who launched the career of “Iron” Mike Tyson as well as Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres; trainer William Muldoon (Belfast/Caneadea and Westchester County), who was also the first Chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission; and manager Tom O’Rourke, of New York City.
Each inductee will receive a custom-designed belt signifying his induction into the NYSBHOF. Plaques are on display at the New York State Athletic Commission and Waterfront Crabhouse. Ring 8 also plans to build a monument in Long Island City with every NYSBHOF inductee’s name inscribed.
The 2014 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Jack Hirsch, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Don Majeski, Henry Hascup, Ron McNair and Neil Terens.
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years, in order to be eligible for NYSBHOF induction, and all inductees must have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their boxing careers.
About Ring 8: Formed in 1954 by an ex-prizefighter, Jack Grebelsky, Ring 8 became the eighth subsidiary of what was then known as the National Veteran Boxers Association – hence, RING 8 – and today the organization’s motto still remains: Boxers Helping Boxers.
RING 8 is fully committed to supporting less fortunate people in the boxing community who may require assistance in terms of paying rent, medical expenses, or whatever justifiable need.
For more information about RING 8, the largest group of its kind in the United States with more than 350 members. Annual membership dues is only $30.00 and each member is entitled to a buffet dinner at RING 8 monthly meetings, the third Tuesday of every month, excluding July and August. All active boxers, amateur and professional, are entitled to a complimentary RING 8 yearly membership.