Leading the way for a record 15 inductees in 2015 in the PA HOF is cut man Milt Bailey. “I believe I can stop any cut in two rounds,” said Bailey. Working the corner of heavyweight champions like Sonny Liston and “Smokin” Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali Philadelphia’s Bailey was one of the best!
“He’s right up on top, one of the best ever in Philadelphia,” said Eddie “the Clot” Aliano. That’s from one of the best cut men ever. “He’s certainly been a low-profile guy, but he’s been one of the 10 best of his time,” said J Russell Peltz. Bailey was tops among the Non-Boxers.
Leading the Modern boxers was welterweight Tony “Pound for Pound” Martin, 34-6-1 (12), who scored wins over Livingstone Bramble and Mickey Ward. In his final bout he went the distance with Julio Cesar Chavez ending a 12 year career. Unfortunately Martin was shot to death in 2013 at the age of 52.
Next up in the Modern boxers was two-time world champion John David “Action” Jackson, 36-4 (20). He held the WBA Middleweight, WBO Super welterweight and PA Super welterweight titles. He is the current trainer of Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles and in his last bout defeated Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins whom Jackson not only boxed, but served as a sparring partner and trainer of Hopkins. He also trained Shane Mosley, Randall Bailey and Nate Campbell. He lived for a time in Lansdale, PA.
Leading the Vintage boxers was Super featherweight Jerome Artis, 27-27-4 (9), of Philadelphia. He was the 1972 National AAU Featherweight champion and the first to defeat “Sugar” Ray Leonard in the amateurs. He started his record off 16-1-4 before being stopped by Alexis Arguello. He was in with the likes of world champions Cornelius Boza Edwards, Gene “Mad Dog” Hatcher, Frankie “the Surgeon” Randall, Barry Michael, Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, Patricio Oliva, Maurice Blocker, Jimmy Paul, Antonio Cervantes and Arguello. He passed away in 1999 at the age of 45.
Three of the best trainers ever out of Philadelphia were Sam Solomon Bouie Fisher and “Slim” Jim Robinson. Solomon worked with heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali, Leon Spinks, Sonny Liston, Trevor Berbick and Ernie Terrell. He was 83 when he passed in 1998.
Fisher was long time trainer of Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins. He was 83 and passed in 2011. The Boxing Writers of America voted him “Trainer of the Year” in 2001. Robinson trainer of light heavyweight champion Mike “The Jewish Bomber” Rossman and Eddie Mustapha Muhammad along with heavyweight champion’s “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon and Razor Ruddock. He also trained Cruiserweight champions Dwight Qawi, Alonzo Radcliff, Ricky Parkey and “King” Arthur Williams. During his fighting days he fought Muhammad Ali. In 2004 he was inducted into the NJ BHOF.
Boxers heavyweight Roger Russell, 14-18-2 (5) of Philadelphia and light heavyweight Tommy Yarosz, 81-10-1 (17), of Monaca, PA, were the other two from the Vintage boxers. Russell was 13-1-2 starting off his career as a heavyweight. He fought champions Floyd Patterson and “Big” George Foreman. Also, Roy “Tiger” Williams, split with Leotis Martin, Jeff Merrit, Zora Folley, Mac Foster, Duane Bobick and Richie Kates. Yarosz joined his brother Teddy into the PA HOF, and started his career 26-1. He fought Randy Turpin, Jake LaMotta, Charley Zivic and Dave Sands. He passed at 84 in 2006.
Modern boxers middleweight Steve Traitz, Jr., 21-1 (19), of Trooper, PA, joins his father Steve Traitz. Traitz won his first 16 fights and was a former PA GG champion with his father’s Montgomery County Boy’s Club. Light heavyweight Anthony Witherspoon, 19-7 (13), joins his brother Tim. He won the PA state title in 1987. He fought world champion “Prince” Charles Williams and Jeff Lampkin. Also, in the Modern boxers was Hank Quinn, 11-1-2 (6), from the Kensington section of Philadelphia. He had an amateur win over Meldrick Taylor.
In the non-boxers was well known cut man Joey “Eye” Intrieri also boxing and MMA promoter. You can recognize him in the corner with the “eye” on his back. Also, he has appeared in movies like “Rocky!”
In the Old Timers there is flyweight “Wee” Willie Davies, 121-21-17 (8), of Roscoe, PA. He fought from 1924 to 1933. He won the PA State title in 1923. He passed in 1968 at age 61. Joining him is James “Baron” Dougherty, of Leiperville, PA. He has a book by Rich Pagano called “The Baron of Leiperville – the life and times of James F. Dougherty”. He was a promoter, manager and referee.
All 15 will be inducted on Sunday May 16th at Romano’s Caterers in North East Philadelphia provided by the VBA Ring One.
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com