I recently called up Augie Scimeca, now 81 years young and living in Willamstown, NJ, about his fighter Charles “The Hatchet” Brewer who I was doing a story on. We talked for over two hours and still could have talked but I had to meet someone in a gym.
Scimeca besides working with Brewer along with Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts worked with Tyrone “Butterfly” Crawley, Calvin Groves, Earl Hargrove, Buster Drayton (7 or 8 fights), Ramon Santana and a group of Russian boxers sent to him. He was with Brewer when he won the IBF super middleweight title.
When Scimeca got out of the Army in 1954, he helped Mickey Rosati get his gym started on Chadwick Street in South Philly bringing him a ring and other equipment from the Upper Darby Gym thanks to Joe Murray. He would move on when Rosati didn’t want any professional boxers in the gym. He went to the Passyunk Gym for 15-20 years and then the Juniper Gym when it was about to close. He closed the gym in 2005 and got away from boxing for some time. Our talk brought back many memories for him.
While working with future world champion Calvin Groves for Bob Spagnola and the Abercrombe Group in Houston, Spagnola called him and said “you made him a hell of a fighter.” Scimeca told him “no, he was always a good fighter.”
While having Ramon Santana in the ESPN tournament in the summer of 1985 in Atlantic City Scimeca had him in the semi-final against Bruce “Sugar” Williams who I put in the tournament. I even brought Manny Steward in the day of the fight to work the corner. Santana had beaten Steward’s Joe Johnson in the first round. The fight ended up in a draw with Williams so they had to go eleven rounds with Santana winning and going onto win the championship in Las Vegas over Canadian Jaime Ollenberger.
In Santana’s last fight against Philly’s tough Brian McGinley Santana just before the opening round asked “why is McGinley smiling at me?” Scimeca had to think fast and he said “he doesn’t like Puerto Ricans.” Though he just made it up Santana was furious and went on to stop McGinley in 8 rounds.
Scimeca has spent some 50 years in boxing. He was one of the most underrated manager/trainer’s in the business. Since joining the PA HOF committee this year I nominated him for the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in December for the 2015 inductions. Let’s hope he gets inducted into where he belongs!
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