PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                              May 15, 2011


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Boxing stars past and present came out to Romano's Caterers on Sunday, May 15, to celebrate the annual Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame inductions. Leading the pack this year were a pair of outstanding light-heavyweights, Richie Kates and Jerry Martin.  Both men were world title challengers during  a golden era of 175-pounders. Also inducted Sunday were Tommy Marciano, Charlie Cummings, promoter/match maker Don Elbaum, Olympic champion David Reid, fight manager Joe Gramby, and heavyweights George Godfrey and Al Ettore. Kates, Martin, Marciano, Cummings, and Elbaum were all in attendance. David Reid was not present, so ring announcer and former VBA President Hank Kropinski accepted for him. 

Margaret Stull, the ninety-year-old daughter of local boxing icon Jim "Baron" Dougherty, spoke for deceased heavyweight legend George Godfrey. Dougherty was the boxer's manager. Godfrey trained and lived with the family during much of his career. He was very much a part of the family explained Ms. Stull. 

Promoter Russell Peltz accepted the honor for the deceased Gramby, saying "if Joe Gramby wasn't the greatest Philadelphia fight manager, I don't know who was." 

Vince Ettore, the son of West Philly star Al Ettore came from his home in Florida to accept his father's award. 

The quiet and classy Kates accepted his Hall of Fame plaque and thanked his family, manager Joe Gramby, promoter Russell Peltz and all his supporters.  Kates mugged with his old rival Matthew Saad Muhammad on his way off the dais.

Jerry Martin held his award high which delighted his large cheering section.  Martin was the top ticket seller for this year's event.  Martin acknowledged his trainer Leon Tabbs, who was there supporting him. 

Tommy Marciano said that during his fighting days he always dreamed of being a champion. "That never happened, but when I look at my family, I really feel like it did." 

Charlie Cummings thanked his large family as well as his trainer, the late great Wesley Mouzon, manager Marty Kramer, Joe Gramby, and ring rival-turned-friend Carmen Bartolomeo. 

Don Elbaum said that he felt proud to be included in such a strong class of inductees, and remarked that he'd love an opportunity to promote Al Ettore and Tommy Marciano today. Elbaum recapped the merits of each of his fellow inductees before accepting his own plaque. 

Former Cement Masons Union President Mike Fera and Cheese Steak King Joey Vento were both honored as the Veteran Boxers Association's "Men of the Year" in 2011 for the role each played in the Joey Giardello Statue Project. Artist Carl LeVotch presented a plaque to Mike Fera while Carmen Bartolomeo accepted for Joey Vento.

Also on hand for the event were Stanley "Kitten" Hayward, Mike Rossman, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Gabriel Rosado, Garrett Wilson, Leon Tabbs, Vic Diamond, and many others. 

VBA President Charles Sgrillo, Vice President Bill Abel Sr., and Treasurer and HOF Chairman John Gallagher presided over the ceremony.  Nino Del Buono was the Master of Ceremonies.  

Hall of Famer Jerry Martin

Richie Kates and fellow Hall of Famer Mike Everett

Charlie Cummings

Tommy Marciano

Don Elbaum

Vince Ettore (son of Al Ettore)

Margaret Stull, daughter of George Godfrey's manager Baron Dougherty

Light-Heavyweight Mt. Rushmore (left to right):
Mike Rossman, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Jerry Martin & Richie Kates

Matthew Saad Muhammad with Jerry Martin

Richie Kates with Margaret Stull

Matthew Saad Muhammad, Joe Mathis, and Richie Kates,
with Charles Sgrillo in the background

Promoters J Russell Peltz and Don Elbaum

(Left to right) Writer George Hanson, VBA President Charles Sgrillo, Mike Rossman, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Jerry Martin
and Richie Kates

Tommy Marciano and Charlie Cummings

Jerry  Martin

2011 Program Cover




John DiSanto - Northeast Philly - May 15, 2011