By Ken Hissner: The Sixth Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Class was held at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Friday through Sunday, with inductions on Sunday night.
Ray McCline is the founder and President of the ACB HOF. Other members are Rodney “Dark Child” L. Green, Vice President, Angela Crocket, Rob Scott, Roxanne Passarella, and Aaron Snowell.
People being inducted include former heavyweight champion and Olympic Gold medalist Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 41-2-1 (32), whose award was received by Harold “Shadow” Knight. Knight said “John Davenport was Lennox’s first trainer (1989-92) and Lennox was the first Canadian to be inducted into the IBHOF. Al Gavin was also part of the team. He was 5-0 in Atlantic City.
Former 3-division world champ Julio “J.C.” Cesar Chavez, 107-6-2 (85), was mentioned as being inducted but not there.
In attendance being introduce was Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, 103-16 (70) who was 3-2 in Atlantic City. He was embraced by one who defeated him there by former IBF Lightweight and WBA Light Middleweight champion Vinnie “The Panzanian Devil” Pazienza, 50-10 (30). He was 16-3 in Atlantic City.
Former IBC Middleweight champion Dave ‘TNT” Tiberi, 22-3-3 (7), from New Castle, Delaware, received his award getting the loudest ovation among the inductees. In his final fight against IBF Middleweight champion James “Lights Out“ Toney. He lost a highly disputed decision and retired from the ring. He said, “If God is for me, who can be against me”. He thanked his manager Mark Konrath and promoter Top Rank. He was 11-2-1 in Atlantic City.
Former 3-division champ James “Lights Out” Toney, 77-10-3 (47), received his award. While on the stage, Tiberi was asked to return with the two meeting for the first time since meeting in 1992 in Atlantic City and did a face off before embracing one another and both did an individual dance to the pleasure of the audience.
Philly USBA middleweight champ Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, 18-6-1 (12), had his award received by IBHOF Promoter from Philadelphia who promoted Fletcher. Peltz said, “Frank Fletcher was never in a bad fight. When Bob Arum was running shows on ESPN. I did the matchmaking and put Fletcher, 4-2-1, in with Ben Serrano, 1-2-1, in 1980 in Atlantic City, and he questioned if I knew what I was doing until the fight was a thriller. Fletcher had boxing brothers Anthony and Troy, along with boxer and an uncle Dick Turner also a trainer, but the toughest in the family was the mother Lucille, who was always at ringside with a stuffed animal tiger.” He added “Fletcher won the vacant IBF USBA Middle title by stopping Norberto Sabater, (19-0).
Normally two southpaws fighting one another is not a good match, but until he fought (76’ Olympian) Clint Jackson, 18-1. He was 12-3 in Atlantic City.
Former Wildwood, New Jersey boxer Chuck “The Professor” Mussachio, 19-4-2 (5), received the second loudest reception with the band playing “Fly Me to the Moon,” which Mussachio had as his ring entrance song by Frank Sinatra. At Lock Haven College, he was a 2-time collegiate champion and also attended Northern Michigan University. It was mentioned about his classic IBF Cruiser title fight in Atlantic City with Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (losing in the 12th and final round). He also beat former world champion Carl Daniels, 50-16-1.
Mussachio said in receiving the award being very emotional “I want to thank my mother for not killing my dad Albino Mussachio for making me a boxer who is my best friend (who was in the audience) and she never attended one of my fights. He was 14-3-1 in Atlantic City.
Former IBF super light champ Kathy “Wildcat” Collins-Globuschutz, 14-4 (3) received her award. She said, “boxing, as one of the first females, was against things in 1995 by most. I ended my career fighting world champion Christy Martin, 42-2-2 by majority decision in my final fight. I won the IBF Female world title from Leah Mellenger, 6-3-1.” She was 7-1-2 in AC.
Promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events from 1980 to 2020 received her award and went on to mention boxers she promoted mainly in Arturo “Thunder” Gatti as one of the all-time most exciting boxers fighting in Atlantic City. She mentioned Gatti’s daughter Sofia being in the audience. She mentioned how her husband and manager, Dan Duva got her into boxing, doing mostly club shows at first on the USA network every other Tuesday.
Referee and boxer Randy Neumann, 31-7 (11), received his award. He refereed some 333 fights. He said, “I worked as a referee almost every Tuesday at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.”
Manager Pat Lynch received his award thanking those he managed.
Photographer Tom Casino received his award by thanking his wife Kathleen for putting up with him managing boxers.
Boxer-Trainer Kevin Rooney, Sr., 21-4-1 (7), had his award received by his son Kevin, Jr. who mentioned his dad having dementia in a nursing home. “It would not be good for him to be hear but be remembered how he was when active in boxing when he trained Mike Tyson and Vinnie “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza (who was on stage with Rooney).
Boxing judge Lynne Carter (1984-2022) received her award and said “I want to thank New Jersey commissioner’s Larry Hazzard and Bob Lee for helping me. I went to Joe Frazier’s gym to learn about boxing for three months. My father moved us to Margate, New Jersey, and would walk up and down the boardwalk in Atlantic City talking to fans which were like his second home.
Posthumously boxer James “Broad Axe” Broad, 23-10 (15), had his award received by fellow boxer Kevin Watts. He said “James Broad and I were like brothers”.
Cut-man Eddie “The Clot” Aliano’s award was received by PAB HOF by popular cut-man Joey Eye (Intrieri) who said “Eddie ran the Passyunk Gym in Philly and after his passing, I would inherit those he worked with. In a corner, he would be very calm and saying a cut to the boxer was just a scratch.”
Judge Harold Lederman (1967-1999 423 bouts) had his award accepted by his daughter and judge Julie who talked about how her dad got her into the business.
Also in attendance were 5-division champ Roberto Duran 103-16 (70), along with former heavy champ Ray “Merciless” Mercer, whose name was mentioned more than anyone’s by award recipients than anyone.
Also in the audience was Former world heavy champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, 55-13-1 (38) along with former middleweight champ Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, 40-2 (34), 1-2 in Atlantic City, former IBF Middleweight and WBA Super Middleweight champion Michael “Second to” Nunn, 58-4 (38) 1-0 in Atlantic City and 3-division world champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley, 43-19-1. He was 10-2 in Atlantic City, former IBF Cruiserweight champion Al “Ice Cole” 35-16-3 (16), who was 16-1 in Atlantic City, and former Cruiser champ Steve “USS” Cunningham, 30-9-1 (13), 1-0 in Atlantic City.
Dr. Dominic Coletta received his award giving credit for though working 12 hour shifts as a doctor would work as a ring physician in New Jersey, thanking his wife for putting up with that and saying ring physicians make less than ring card girls. He thanked God, former New Jersey ring physician Frank Doggett (1982-1996), and being nominated by writer Dave Weinberg.