PHILLY BOXING HISTORY  -  March 18, 2024  
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The Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame announced the latest group to be inducted as part of the 2024 class. The new class includes seventeen members - seven boxers and ten non-boxers - five trainers, along with one promoter, one ring announcer, one referee, one commissioner, and one writer. The new class will be honored and officially inducted on October 13, 2024 at the Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall in South Philadelphia (1301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19147). This is the 66th annual induction class for the PABHOF. Tickets for the event are priced at $100 each and include admission, food, drinks, an official program. Event tickets, sponsorships, and program ads will be available for purchase shortly. For more information, please call 609-377-6413.





Jay Anderson was born in Philadelphia but fought his professional boxing career out of Patterson, NJ. As a welterweight, Anderson made his pro debut in 1951 and was named the "Rookie of the Year" by the Newark Sports Writers. He won his first 22 bouts, including victories over Chick Alexander, Joey Greco, and Ralph Cervantes. Later he topped Joe Brewer,  Rinzy Nocero, Larry Baker, Tommy Hatcher, and Bob Provizzi. He lost to excellent fighters like Chico Vejar, Gene Johns, and Italio Scortichini. He made six appearances at Madison Square Garden and another six at St. Nicholas Arena, both in New York. Thirteen of his fights were held in Pennsylvania. Anderson's nine-year pro career ended in 1960 with a record of 30-13-4, 13 KOs. Anderson died in 1987 at age 53. He will be inducted posthumously.



Born in South Bend, Indiana, Leroy Haynes began his pro career in 1930, in California, where most of his early fights occurred before he relocated to Philadelphia in 1935. Over the next several years, Haynes experienced his prime as a fighter. He engaged in the biggest and most important bouts of his career while in Philly, fighting primarily for promoter Herman Taylor. During his heyday, Haynes posted wins over Primo Carnera (TKO3, TKO9), Willie Reddish (D8, TKO2), Salvatore Ruggirello (KO2), Natie Brown (KO2), Unknown Wilson (W10), Abe Feldman (KO2), Buddy Knox (TKO3), Bob Olin (TKO6), drew with Arturo Godoy (D10), and lost to Maxie Rosen Bloom (L10, L10), Al Ettore (L10, L12, L15), and Tony Galento (TKO3). Beginning in 1939, Haynes's career began to slip, and he lost 11 of his final 13 fights. He retired in 1941 with a record of 50-25-3, 37 KOs. He died in 1990 at age 78. His induction, long overdue, will come posthumously. 



Born in Youngstown, OH, Mike Koranicki was a heavyweight contender who fought professionally between 1973 and 1983. He won his first 11 bouts before suffering his first defeat against Rochell Norris in 1974 (L6). He went 9-4-2 in his next 15. Then, in an upset, Koranicki knocked out Kallie Knoetze in the tenth and final round of their bout in South Africa. This, the biggest win of his career, propelled him into the number 10 spot in the world heavyweight rankings. In his next fight, he fell to Gerrie Coetzee, the other top South African heavyweight of the time. He followed with a points loss to James Tillis (L10), which more or less ended Koranicki's days as a ranked contender. He married his second wife, Suzette, in South Africa, where his only child, daughter Theresa, was born. He remained in South Africa for his final seven bouts, winning five. He finished with a 27-9-2, 15 KOs, record in 1983. Koranicki died in 2012 at age 60. Koranicki will be inducted posthumously.




Hard-punching Philly heavyweight Terrence "KO" Lewis fought 48 times in a 12-year career (1992-2004). He won 21 (17 by knockout) of his first 22 fights, and scored 32 victories overall (22 by knockout). His best career victories came against Al Cole (W10), Darroll Wilson (TKO5), Robert Davis (TKO9), Frankie Swindell (W10), William Morris (TKO2), and Levi Billups (W10). Lewis went undefeated in his 15 starts at the legendary Blue Horizon in North Philadelphia (15-0, 11 KOs), but lost to top-notch opponents like Michael Moorer, Hasim Rahman, Andrew Golota, David Izon, and Greg Page out of town. His final record was 32-15-1, 22 KOs.


Brain "The Beast" Minto was born, raised, and fought out of Butler, PA. He turned pro in 2002 with a second round KO over Leroy Loscar. This was the beginning of an 18-bout winning streak. During this stretch, Minto won the West Virginia State heavyweight title with a TKO8 of Jeremy Bates. In 2004, Minto lost his belt to former WBA heavyweight champ Tony Tubbs by 10-round decision. He rebounded with nine straight wins including a TKOs of Vinny Maddalone (TKO7) and   Axel Schulz (TKO6). After losing a 12-round decision to Luan Krasniqi in a fight for the WBO intercontinental heavyweight belt. Seven wins followed including a first-round KO of John Poore for the PA state title, a quick knockout over Byron Polley (KO1) for the WBA Fedecentro title, and a four-round technical decision over Donnell Holmes to win the NABO heavyweight title. Two defeats followed, TKO losses to Chris Arreola and Marco Huck. In his final chapter, Minto went 8-7 and finished 42-11, 27 KOs, in 2016.  



Philadelphia heavyweight Gerald "The Jedi" Nobles, won Golden Gloves and Diamond Belt titles as an amateur before turning  professional in 1995 against Juan Carlos Antonio (TKO1). Nobles stretched this KO streak to eight straight and won his first 24 bouts. Early wins came against Maurice Harris (KO3), Mitchell Rose (TKO3), Sedrick Fields (W10), Curtis Taylor (TKO1), and in the biggest victory of his career, former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon (TKO9). Nobles lost his only pro fight by disqualification against future WBA heavyweight champion Nkolai Valuev, on November 20, 2004. Nobles was disqualified for hitting the  seven-feet-tall fighter with repeated low blows. Nobles won the last two fights of his career by knockout and retired in 2007 with a professional record of 26-1, 21 KOs.



Philly-born boxer Billy Peacock was a national AAU amateur champion as a flyweight. He also won Mid-Atlantic AAU, Philadelphia Golden Gloves, and Philadelphia Diamond Belt championship during his amateur career. He turned professional in 1951 and fought 78 times through 1961. His first five bouts took place in Philadelphia followed by a long stretch of fights in California where flyweight and bantamweight opponents were more plentiful. He won the California bantamweight title in 1953 (TKO2 Oscar Torres) and took the NABF bantamweight title later the same year (W12 Pappy Gault). He regained the CA bantamweight championship in 1957 (TKO8 Frankie Campos). Other key victories for Peacock came against Raul Macias (KO3), Johnny Ortega (TKO8), Rudy Garcia (TKO6, W10), Nate Brooks (KO1), Mario Macias (W10), and Oscar Torres (KO2), and a revenge knockout of Raul Macias (KO3), who had stopped in seven rounds the previous year. Peacock died at age 67 in 2000. He enters the PABHOF posthumously.



Trainer Shar'ron Baker dreamed of being one of the pioneers of female boxing - as a boxer. She began training at Joe Frazier's Gym to fight professionally during the 1970s. However, the lack of competition among female boxers dampened her plans. Instead, Baker began apprenticing with trainer Sam Hickman around 1979 and Hickman helped direct Baker toward a new direction as a trainer. Later she completed her apprenticeship with trainers Bouie Fisher and Naazim Richaedson. Shar'ron became a staple at the James Shuler Gym and began working directly with fighters and trained or co-trained many good ones along the way, including Jamaal Davis, Atif Oberlton, Wilson Santos, Steve Cunningham, Karl Dargan, Mike Dargan, Rock Allen, and Rasheed Johnson. Currently, Baker is the head trainer at the Pivot Boxing Academy in Philadelphia. Shar'ron Baker is considered the first African American female boxing trainer in Philadelphia. She becomes just the fourth woman elected to the PABHOF (after Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, Lynne Carter, and Carol Polis).



Camden, NJ native, Nino Del Buono is well known by the local fight community as a one of the key emcees and ring announcers on the local boxing scene. He has worked for numerous promoters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey over the past two decades. The longtime owner and proprietor of the famous Del Buono Bakery in Haddon Heights, NJ,  has announced fights for Peltz Boxing, Rising Star Promotions, and has severed as host and emcee for the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame, New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame, the Briscoe Awards, and many other boxing-related events. Del Buono was himself inducted into the NJBHOF in 2009 and the ACBHOF in 2021. He now adds the PABHOF to his list of honors. Nino is also a stage and film actor and has appeared in movies including Witness, American Gangster, and Gotti.



During his long association with boxing, Willie Folk trained, co-trainer, or assisted many professional boxers. He is best remembered as the first head trainer of middleweight stand-out James "Black Gold" Shuler. Folk worked at North Philly's Joe Frazier Gym in his early training days, especially while Shuler was alive. Later after Buster Custus opened the James Shuler Memorial Boxing Gym, Folk moved over to the West Philly facility and became a fixture there until his death in 2012. While at Shuler's, Folk worked in some capacity for most of the fighters training there. Folk trained, co-trained, assistant trained, worked cuts, or wrapped hands for many fighters including Gee Culmer, Jamaal Davis, Yusaf Mack, Dhafir Smith, Tim Witherspoon Jr., Tony DuBose, and others. Folk will be inducted posthumously.  



Born in 1941, John Gallagher was a dedicated trainer at the Harrowgate Boxing Club for 46 years (1971-2017), a gym that he established, co-managed, and operated with his then-partner Charles Sgrillo. Gallagher worked with many boxers early in their careers including Danny Garcia, Joey Dawejko, and Gennaro Pellegrini, as well as countless unheralded young boxers. He impacted many young lives in the process. Gallagher also served as the vice-president and treasurer of the Veteran Boxers Association - Ring One for 16 years. In addition to these duties, Gallagher was also the chairman of the PABHOF for 10 years. In his professional life, Gallagher worked as a school principal. He retired from Harrowgate in 2017 and the VBA administration in 2019. 



Working under his legendary father, Joe Sr., Joe Hand Jr. paved his own path in boxing and the family business. He became the president of Joe Hand Promotions in 1987. In this role, he began taking over the daily operations of the company which specialized in the distribution of closed circuit (Pay-Per-View) events and the promotion of live boxing events. During his tenure as president, Hand Jr. either promoted or co-promoted nearly forty live boxing shows and significantly expanded the closed circuit business, delivering major boxing and MMA telecasts in public-view locales like bars, taverns, and restaurants. Joe also established the latest Joe Hand Boxing Gym facility in 2020.



Ken Hissner played a number of roles in the sport of boxing through the years. He promoted three professional boxing events in Allentown, PA, Easton, PA and the Poconos. He was also a matchmaker for promoter Bob Connelly. For a period, Hissner also managed or advised boxers including Fred Pendleton, Bobby Johnson, Bruce Williams, Chris Organtini, Willie Torres, Stanley Ross, and Dennis Hasson. However, Hissner's biggest impact came as a writer. He contributed written pieces for boxing websites including Boxing Tribune, Doghouse Boxing, Fighters of Faith, Brick City Boxing, and Boxing News 24. Hissner has made a nearly lifelong effort to document the sport, interviewing and writing about countless boxers for decades.



Trainer James Robinson has dedicated more than 50 years of his life to the sport of boxing. He is best known for work developing and training his sons Ivan Robinson, Iamaine Robinson, and Kareem Robinson. Ivan was his most accomplished student and James guided him to numerous amateur titles (Pennsylvania Golden Gloves, Goodwill Games (Silver Medal), USA National ABF Championship as well as participation in the 1991 World Championships and the 1992 Olympic Trials). As a professional, Ivan won the USBA, NABF regional titles, and earned a shot at the IBF world lightweight title in 1996. James Robinson worked with other boxers, but his success with his son Ivan provided the highlights of James Robinson's career.



Gary Rosato was a professional referee for 24 years. He was one of the busiest and most respected referees on the local fight scene. He stopped working as an official in 2020 due to health-related issues after the COVID pandemic. BoxRec credits Rosato with 880 professional bouts, which is an incomplete record. Included in those assignments were 13 world title fights, 59 regional title fights, and 12 Pennsylvania state title fights. He refereed bouts featuring Daniel Jacobs, Tomasz Adamek, Sergey Kovalev, Steve Cunningham, Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, Kermit Cintron, Tim Witherspoon, Charles Brewer, Hasim Rahman, and others. Rosato has also occasionally served as a boxing judge.



Greg Sirb joined the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission in 1990 and served for 33 years. He retired from the commission on September 29, 2023 as the Executive Director. In that role, Sirb oversaw all boxing, wrestling, and MMA events throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He served for seven Pennsylvania governors and 14 secretaries of the commonwealth. He also worked with US Senator John McCain on the Professional Boxing Safety Act in 1996 and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act in 2000. During his career, Sirb regulated approximately 2,000 boxing events and 1,100 MMA events in Pennsylvania and other states. In 2019, Sirb won the Boxing Writers of America Association's Farley Award for honesty and integrity.



Hired by the City of Philadelphia Department of Recreation in 1971, Stanley Williams helped to develop the Rec Center Boxing Program in Philly. He organized city amateur competitions and tournaments, and eventually started the boxing program at the North Philly Recreation Center at 25th & Master Streets. That gym was later named the ABC Boxing Gym. Williams helped to launch the training career of Fred Jenkins Sr. who worked with him at the ABC Gym, and eventually succeeded Stanley as the head trainer there. Williams worked with boxers Nate Miller, Prince Charles Williams, and others. As a young man, Williams was an amateur boxer, trained by Duke Dugent and Yank Durham. In 2023, Williams was honored with the VBA "Legacy Award" for his lifetime in boxing.





John DiSanto - Philadelphia - March 18, 2024