Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) Inaugural Induction weekend held on May 26, 27 and 28th 2017, was a smorgasbord of boxing royalty, celebrity guests and legions of boxing fans. ACBHOF mission is to create visibility and awareness through annual inductions ceremonies; boxing champions, as well as the boxing community at-large will have their names enshrined into immortality by being inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
“Watching my vision come together with the assistance of Rodrick Green, the VP of Business Strategy, and Angela Crockett our Communications Director, along with the rest of my team and countless other supporters and fans across the country, who’ve embraced this endeavor has been overwhelmingly impressive.” – Ray McCline, Founder & President
The trio of events, which were sponsored by the Claridge – a Radisson Hotel, kicked-off May 26th with a pre-reception and welcome address in the VÜE Rooftop Bar. The 150 guests included: Red Carpet Host Whitney Ullman, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Councilman Frank Gilliam, Dr. Nina Radcliff, Flo Anthony, Aaron Snowell, Lillo Brancato, Alan Goldberg, Ray Mercer, Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Iceman John Scully, Tracy Patterson, Milton Luban, Chuck Zito, Grandy Twins, sponsors and stakeholders alike.
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“The Claridge – a Radisson Hotel was proud to have hosted Atlantic City’s first Boxing Hall of Fame induction class. It’s events like this that make hospitality and history come to life in this city. From the Fight Fan Expo to the Gala it was a pleasure to see new faces and passion throughout a weekend of exceptional events. We look forward to hosting the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame events for years to come at The Claridge – a Radisson Hotel.”- Cem Erenler, V.P. of Hotel Operations & Business Development
On May 27, the festivities continued into the Fight Fan Experience, a festive boxing themed environment that included a Boxing Fantasy Camp, Pop-Up Barber Shop, Jack Johnson Exhibit Icons of Boxing, The Legacy Exists Joe Frazier Scholarship Fund, James O’Neal Sculptures, The Press of Atlantic City Exhibit, Food vendors and music by DJ Young Hitta.
The evening of May 27th concluded with an Honoree Gala in the Art Gallery celebrating “Women in Boxing.” Host for the evening, Nino Del Buono. Honorees included: Cathy Burke, Marian Muhammad, Joan Pierce, Renee Aiken and Althea “Vern” Saunders.
The culminating Induction celebration concluded Sunday, May 28th with a little over 500 guests. The master of ceremonies for the ceremony, President of NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, Henry Hascup. The star-studded Charter Class members included: Don King, Michael Spinks, Larry Hazzard, Steve Smoger, Mike Rossman, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, J Russell Peltz, Dave Bontempo, Ken Condon, Robert Lee, Sr., Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate Mr. Ray McCline, Roy Foreman, Rodrick Green, Angela Crockett and all of the wonderful people responsible for the great Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend which took place on May 26th, 27th, and 28th. The event was an astounding success and it allowed many of us, who attended, the opportunity to relive some of the exciting moments of our past boxing history. The establishment of the ACBHOF will also ensure that the great legacy of Atlantic City Boxing, will be remembered and celebrated for many years to come!! Once again congratulations and I look forward with great anticipation to next year’s celebration. God Bless!!” – Commissioner Larry Hazzard, NJ State Athletic Control Board
Posthumous Inductees: Arturo Gatti (received by Sofia Bella Gatti); Leavander Johnson (received by his Son); Mathew Saad Muhammad (received by Mustafa Ameen); Lou Duva (received by Dino Duva); Jack Obermayer (received by his daughter Ellen Kaplan); Bert Sugar; Dennis Gomes (received by his daughter Danielle Gomes and Mrs. Gomes); Mike Hall, Sr. (received by his son Mike Hall, Jr.) and Dr, Frank Doggett (received by his daughter Yvonne “Missy” Doggett).
“It was such an incredible honor to be part of such a historic event. We had a blast at the HARD Kickoff party with Michael Spinks and Ray Mercer. It was so amazing to see all the young kids enjoying the Boxing experience. They are the new generation of Atlantic City Boxing. The Highlight of the weekend for us was the Gala, it was truly a memorable evening. Congratulations to Ray McCline and the inductees on a successful Inaugural Induction. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame will be a staple destination for Boxing Fans in the years to come.” – Gregory V. Posella, President & Co-founder HARD Beverage
Former Miss America, Suzette Charles, Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Band and saxophonist Parris provided entertainment for the evening. Entertainment was coordinated by Kevin Crump.
Title Sponsors: Hard Lifestyle Beverages and Hammer Fiber Optics. The Atlantic City Police Athletic League is ACBHOF’s charitable arm. Keebler Media was the official ACBHOF videographer.
Other sponsors and supporters: City of Atlantic City; Designer Wraps; Triax 57; 2300 Arena; FantaSea Resorts; Adams Boxing; Rumble TV Network; Tina Davido Promotions; Abrams Boxing, Adams Boxing, Plush Vodka, Punzoné Organic Vodka, House of Genesis and WBC.
While the menus consisted of scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres and signature drinks, the Honoree cake designed by Cake King of Queens and the unveiling of Commemorative Paintings by Nicolosi were stunning show stoppers.
Another extraordinary highlight from the weekend was when Arturo Gatti’s 11-year old daughter Sofia Bella Gatti accepted her father’s award alongside his longtime friends Chuck Zito and Mike Sciarra.
Photo credit: 1) Dr. Nina Radcliff, and guest. 2) Sofia Bella Gatti. 3) Gldbergm Chuck Zito and Mike Sciarra. 4) Mrs. Gelb, Mrs. Doggett, Honoree Frank Gelb.4-8) Larry Hazard, Don King, Dr. Nina Radcliff, and Ray. –9)