PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 10, 2021  
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Obituary by John DiSanto


We received a call from J Russell Peltz on Tuesday with the sad news that Erie, PA promoter Mike Acri had passed away in his sleep on Sunday, January 10th, after an extended illness. His death was not Covid-related. Acri was 63.

Acri promoted his first boxing show in 1982, and promoted or co-promoted approximately 162 shows in his career. Many of these were nationally televised on Pay-Per-View, HBO, ESPN, USA, CBS, SportsChannel, and Univision.

In 1987, Acri began working with legend Roberto Duran and was involved in many of his key fights, including Duran’s WBC middleweight title win over Iran Barkley (Acri’s first champion), and his fights with Sugar Ray Leonard (III), Vinny Pazienza (I & II), and Hector Camacho. Under Acri’s guidance, Duran went 17-6.

In the 90’s Acri began promoting full-time. Between 1993 and 2003, Acri promoted 109 shows.

From 1994 to 2000, became the exclusive promoter of Hector Camacho, who compiled a record of 29-1-1 with Acri. This run included his bouts with Leonard, Duran & Oscar De La Hoya. Recently, Acri appeared in the 2020 HBO documentary, Macho: The Hector Camacho Story. He also served as an Executive Producer on the film. 

In 1995, Acri started promoting Pittsburgh lightweight Paul Spadafora, and in 1999 Spadafora won the IBF lightweight title. Under Acri, Spadafora went 45-0 between 1995 & 2010, including nine title bouts and four appearances on HBO.

Overall, Acri has promoted or co-promoted twenty one world title fights. He also promoted WBA champion Robert Daniels, #1 contender Angel Hernandez, Victoriano Sosa, Angel Manfredy & Razor Ruddock.

In 2014, Acri began working as a consultant for boxing managers and fighters.

Acri, a prolific talker who enjoyed telling stories of his distinguished career, was elected into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame in 2018 as a promoter. He was one of those rare boxing lifers who did not seek the spotlight. Thus, he did not attend the Hall of Fame ceremony, but said via telephone, that he was happy to be included. Luckily he was honored before his untimely death. Our hope is that he understood that he was appreciated for his many contributions to the sport he loved.

“I love the sport of boxing and all the great experiences that come with it,” Acri said just before his PABHOF induction. “I knew from a young age that I would be involved in boxing, and I have been able to make some of my dreams come true.“




John DiSanto - Erie, PA - January 10, 2021