Pittsburgh’s middleweight Charley Burley, 83-12-2 (50), who never got a title fight will be inducted into the PA HOF May 19th along with 9 others. He had wins over Fritzie Zivic, Billy Soose and Holman Williams while losing to Ezzard Charles and Jimmy Bivins. He defeated Cocoa Kid, 98-26-5 for “colored” welterweight title. “Was one of the best middleweights in the world and is long overdue,” said John DiSanto, Chairman of the PA HOF.
Steve “Double SS” Smoger, one of the top referee’s in the world said “It’s a tremendous honor to be inducted into the PA HOF especially with the history of Philadelphia boxing. I have worked in several Philly venues and when I was able to work with certain referee’s like Vic’s Cappuccino at his brother’s gym, the Cambria. I once worked with Zach Clayton at one of the venues and got some advice from Zack. The first bout I did in AC at the beginning of the casino area involved all Philadelphia fighters. I have always had a great connection with PA but Philadelphia boxing most particularly”.
Fred Jenkins, Sr., who has been one of the top trainers of amateurs from day one at the ABC Rec Center in North Philadelphia such as IBF lightweight champion Charley “Choo Choo” Brown and IBF light middleweight champion and Olympic Gold medalist David Reed. Currently he has unbeaten heavyweight Bryant “Bye-Bye” Jennings. “Patience is a virtue. I expected to get it years ago. It’s not on our time it’s on His time. It wasn’t just boxers I developed, but coaches, TV networks like USA (Sean & Al), ESPN, and Fox. It’s an honor”, said Jenkins.
Historian Chuck Hasson, a member of the Ring One, VBA has always been one to go to when it comes to the history of boxing. “Being elected to the PA HOF is very special. I have been involved in boxing my whole life and especially interested in Philadelphia’s boxing history. To be recognized this way is an unexpected honor. I was raised in Chester, PA, which has a great boxing history and tradition. I started watching the fights on TV in 1955 and saw my 1st live show in 1960 and saw many live shows until I was drafted in 1966. I served on river boats in the Mekong Delta in 1969 and retired from Teamsters Union in 2003. My biggest thrill in boxing was when my dad and I watched my idol, Joey Giardello, win the middleweight championship at Atlantic City Convention Hall in 1963 from Dick Tiger”, said Hasson.
From the Frankford section of Philadelphia was Roy “Tiger” Williams, 30-6 (22). He faced some tough boxers such as Jeff Merrit, Jimmy Young and Larry Holmes. The highlight of his career was when he faced Earnie Shavers, then 52-5-1. He gave Shavers a standing count in the 10th and last round before Shavers came back to stop Williams with 14 seconds left in the fight. In an interview I had with Shavers he said “Roy Williams was my toughest fight”!
1984 Olympic Gold medalist Tyrell Biggs said “that’s great.” He won his first 15 fights defeating the likes of Tony Anthony, James “Quick” Tillis, Jeff Sims, Renaldo “Mr.” Snipes and Philly’s David Bey. In October of 1987 he would get a title shot losing to Mike Tyson, 31-0, for the WBC, WBA and IBF titles. In 1991 he suffered back back to losses to future champions Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis.
“Mighty” Ivan Robinson, 32-12-2, won his first 23 fights before losing to Philip Holiday, for the IBF lightweight title. He defeated Arturo Gatti in back to back fights including the Ring Magazine’s 1998 Fight of the Year. Near the end of his career he lost a 10 round decision to Julio Cesar Chavez.
Mario Saurennann, 20-21-7, was the PA welterweight champion and a stablemate of “Smokin” Joe Frazier. He was only stopped one time in his 48 fights and that in Kingston, Jamaica.
Trainers John Mulvenna and Norman Torpey Sr will also be honored for their work in the amateurs and professionals. The banquet and induction ceremony will be held at Romano’s Caterers in Philadelphia at 4pm on May 19th. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or John Gallagher at 215-920-8791.
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