Legendary Blue Horizon has “Night of Legends” Ceremony for Philadelphia Boxing Museum By Ken Hissner at ringside (Dec 14, 2009) DoghouseBoxing
This past Saturday night at the Legendary Blue Horizon Vernoca L. Michael, CE/President and co-owner of the facility welcomed “Night of Legends” in order to help create a Philadelphia Boxing Museum. Bill Vargus did a great job in hosting over a dozen former boxers, one active former world champion, two officials and the Boxing commissioner. Attendees paid a donation that would help create a fund for helping boxers in need.
Each participant was asked to enter the ring with Vargus and have several minutes to go down memory lane pertaining to their experiences at the Blue. Temple University law student Joe Berk gave a history of the Blue with some additional information from Ms Michael. Marc Abrams was in attendance serving as publicity relations director for Ms Michaels.
Anthony Boyle was the first to enter the ring. “I still hold the record for the biggest gate at the Blue”, said Boyle. In his 18 appearances at the Blue he would pack them in. The “Kensington Kid” was a big draw and is now involved with the Golden Gloves.
Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, first person to defeat Marvelous Marvin Hagler, entered the ring with his usual 10 gallon cowboy hat on. He pointed to 3 former world champions at the head table whom he trained. They were former IBF Featherweight champion Calvin Grove of Coatesville, former IBF light middleweight champion Buster Drayton and former IBF Super middleweight champion Charles “Hatchet” Brewer. Ms Michael reminded all that Brewer picked defending his title at the Blue over New York. Watts also pointed to Eugene “Cyclone Hart whom he took to the 23rd PAL to start his career and would later fight. Hart reminded the crowd of his 19 straight knockouts at the start of his career. One of those victims in attendance was Stanley “Kitten” Hayward who challenged for the WBC/WBA light middleweight title. Dapper Hayward reminded everyone he was 70 years young. Drayton as usual was in his tuxedo with that million dollar smile saying he is still open to exhibitions.
Former IBF light middleweight Rob “Bam Bam” Hines entered the ring reminding Drayton he beat the man who beat the man (him) in Matthew Hilton. One of the “uncrowned champs” Richie Kates from Vineland, New Jersey, entered the ring and was reminded how he dropped Matthew Saad Muhammad face first and his handlers carried him back to the corner. He “woke up” and kayoed Kates in the next round. Former WBA Cruiserweight champion Nate “Mr” Miller entered the ring (only one to bring his championship belt) after Lionel Byarm earlier stated “he got lucky when he knocked me out”, as Miller rolled his eyes.
Mike Everett reminded everyone he was the brother of the late Tyrone Everett and how he “went to Thailand in 100+ weather to fight for the title” and lose from heat exhaustion. Former IBF Super middleweight title challenger Marvin Mack came in looking sharp doing a “commercial” for his clothing line and proclaiming “I had to work hard because I didn’t have the natural ability of these boxers”. Former PA State middleweight champion Jimmy Sykes had the crowd cracking up with his humor and how “Bad” Bennie Briscoe he was still a killer when he beat him. Former boxer from the 70’s Larry Holland shared about making his debut at the Blue.
Former IBF Cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham vowed that someday he will fight at the Blue before retiring as he prepares for another shot at his former title. Official’s Lynne Carter and Rose Vargus were also in attendance. Carter told how she had traveled the world as a judge. Vargus who is a PA judge was acknowledged by her brother from the ring. PA commissioner Rudy Battles wrapped things up about his days as a referee. Several photographers and memorabilia seekers were present. In all it was a great night especially for old timers like me to share stories and laughs with some of the past great boxers who have fought at the Legendary Blue Horizon.