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USA Boxing Alumni Association Membership Drive Month off to knockout start

USA Boxing’s “Alumni Association Membership Drive Month” got off to a knockout start this past weekend in Canastota, New York, at the annual International Boxing Hall of Fame Class induction ceremonies, as nine high-profile boxers, featuring an incredible accumulate pro record of 365-51-7 (239 KOs) and 24 major world titles, joined the growing USABAA ranks as proud, new members.

Chris Cugliari and John Scully represented USA Boxing Alumni Association, manning tables at the IBHOF golf tournament and Memorabilia Show, to increase USABAA awareness and recruit new members.

“The spirit of amateur boxing was alive and well throughout the International Boxing Hall of Fame weekend,” explained Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “Information about the new USA Boxing Alumni Association was well received by the weekend’s guests, and esteemed alumni such as Jesse Vargas and Reggie Johnson mentioned that they are excited to become more involved. The Alumni Association thanks the support provided by many this weekend, particularly Micky Ward and Antonio Tarver, who continue to spread our mission.”

“The fact is that the vast majority of professional boxers who attend the Hall of Fame weekend at Canastota each year were at one time amateur boxers and knew each other well before they ever even turned professional,” added invaluable USABAA advisor Scully, who recruits boxers for group-sponsored events like this. “At some point in the conversations between boxers across the grounds, the topics frequently will eventually turn to their amateur days together.”

“The amateurs, for me, was about fighting for respect,” two-division world champion Junior Jones (50-6, 28 KOs); noted. “To go to different places and make it very far (as an amateur), you have to learn how to conduct yourself and transact with others.”

Other new USABAA members are six-time, two division world champion Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs); four-time, two division world champion, as well as 1976 Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Famer, Michael Spinks (31-1, 21 KOs); Irish heavyweight who retired Mike Tyson, Kevin McBride (35-10-1, 29 KOs); two-time, two division world champion Jesse Vargas (28-2-1, 10 KOs); five time world champion and 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Antonio Tarver (31-6-1, 22 KOs); two-time, two division world champion Reggie Johnson (44-7-1, 25 KOs), three-time, three division world champion James Toney (77-10-3, 47 KOs); and world heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney (38-3, 24 KOs).

“I think this is great,” Jones talked about the formation of the USA Boxing Alumni Association. “Fighters who turned pro were great amateurs, but there are also a lot of amateurs who didn’t turn pro. Everybody doesn’t become champion, but they tried and gave their best, and that’s why this organization is good because all boxers are appreciated.”

“Although Hall of Fame weekend tends to focus on the professional careers of many fighters,” Cugliari concluded, “it was hard not to notice the effect that amateur boxing has had on the lives of many of these great champions. The USA Boxing Alumni Association wants to thank Ed Brophy for his generosity and support for boxing, and we look forward to a long partnership with the International Boxing Hall of Fame.”

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