PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                     October 07, 2012


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By John DiSanto
Photos by Gary Purfield


World champion Danny Garcia accepted the Briscoe Award as "2011 Philly Fighter of the Year" Sunday at the 5th Annual Briscoe Awards. The event, presented by Philly Boxing History .com, was held at the VBA Club in Port Richmond. Garcia took the top annual honors of the Philadelphia fight scene. 

2011 Philly Fighter of the Year - Danny Garcia

"First of all," Garcia said, "I want to thank God. (I want to) thank my family, because without their support you wouldnít make it far in boxing because you need a lot of family support. Itís a hard sport, a lot of sacrifices, and I want to thank my dad, my trainer, for getting me focused since I was a little kid. (He) never let me go the wrong path. I want to thank my promoter Golden Boy, my manager Al Haymon for giving me the big fights and giving me the opportunity to shine."

"All the great fans of Philadelphia," Garcia continued. "You know itís hard for fighters from Philadelphia getting the exposure. You know itís a tough city but you know things like this make us so happy to feel like a Philadelphia fighter. I want to thank John (DiSanto). I want to thank the whole of Philadelphia. I want to thank all the great fighters from Philadelphia that have a great legacy and Iím just gonna keep on defending my world titles man. We got the WBC, we got the WBA, we got the Ring Magazine, and they gonna be here in Philly for a long time. This is what Iíve been working for my whole life."

Garrett Wilson, Winner for "2011 Philly KO of the Year"

A special Briscoe Award went to Garrett Wilson for the "2011 KO of the Year". On November 19, 2011, Wilson  saved his USBA cruiserweight title with a stunning one-punch knockout of Chuck Mussachio in the 12th and final round. Wilson was hopelessly behind on the scorecards, and used a big right hand bomb  to win the fight. 

ďI just want to thank everyone for coming out to support this event," Garrett Wilson said. "(I) thank John DiSanto for giving me an opportunity win this award. Just pleased, extremely pleased, to finally win one. I was here when Steve (Cunningham) won two. Iím extremely pleased to just have one of my own.  I want to thank everyone that is involved including John DiSanto, Greg Hackett, Juan Rodriguez, Danny Garcia, Jeff Chandler.  Thank you everybody.Ē

2011 Philly Fight of the Year Winners - Juan Rodriguez & Greg Hackett

The Briscoe Award for the "2011 Philly Fight of the Year" went to a small Philly club fight between Juan Rodriguez and Greg Hackett. Some felt the fight wasn't "big" enough to win the award, but win the "Briscoe" it did. Rodriguez took the six-round decision over Hackett in a memorable battle between the two. Philly fans have been craving a rematch ever since.

"Being a Philly fighter boxing for 14 years, and to be honest, I've never won anything big that I wanted to win. Not because I never worked hard enough, but situations in my life didn't produce the breaks. But for me to win this, the Bennie Briscoe Award... all the other stuff I could have won, this gotta be the best. It's (from) my hometown. Two other ten rounders had to pull out, and this was a six-round main event. We had to fill it, and me and Juan, we stepped up." 

"I thank Greg (Hackett) for the fight," Rodriguez said. "We put on a great show. I want to thank everybody for coming out. This is my first time accepting an award like this - for anything, and I'm happy about it."

In addition to the annual awards, former world bantamweight champion, Jeff Chandler was presented with a new WBA championship belt and honored with a museum exhibit dedicated to his career. 

Joltin' Jeff Chandler holds his new WBA belt high

The Jeff Chandler Exhibit was filled with posters, photos, fight-worn wardrobe & equipment, trophies, original artwork, and Chandler's two original WBA belts. 

Championship belts and a painting by David Levinson

A view of the exhibit room

Three of Chandler's robes were on exhibit, as well as a paining by John Frohlich

Chandler with a pair of his championship boxing gloves

Jeff Chandler with a painting by Michael Ajero

The Veteran Boxers Association clubhouse, where the Briscoe Awards were held, was packed with fans and fighters that included Steve "USS" Cunningham, Stanley "Kitten" Hayward, Henry "Toothpick" Brown, Sidney "Sweet Pea" Adams, Richie Kates, Charles Brewer, Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts, Curtis Parker, Mike Everett, Bryant Jennings, Nate Miller, Ivan Robinson, Todd Unthank-May, Marty Feldman, Damon Feldman, Simon "One Punch" Carr, Darrell Jones, plus Harold Lederman, Stan Hochman, J Russell Peltz, Billy Briscoe, Brittany Rogers, Angel Garcia, Joey Eye, and many others. 




John DiSanto - Port Richmond - October 07, 2012

Photos by Gary Purfield