Undefeated New Haven light heavyweight prospect Charles Foster has been selected as the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) 2019 Professional Boxer of the Year.
Other award winners include Felix Parilla, Amateur Boxer of the Year; Glenn Feldman, Professional Official of the Year; Sherman Cain, Contribution to Boxing; Kevin and Rona Smith, Amateur Officials of the Year.
The award recipients will be honored at the 15TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, November 9, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The new CBHOF inductees are boxers Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, “Bad” Chad Dawson, Delvin Rodriguez, Eddie Campo and Teddy “Redtop” Davis, as well as referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.
“Our Hall of Fame honorees this year are most deserving,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. “Glenn Feldman was an easy choice for Professional Official of the Year as he judged the biggest pro fights of the year. Amateur Officials Kevin and Rona Smith have rapidly risen through the ranks of amateur officials. Felix Parilla continued to reach the highest levels of amateur boxing again this year. Our professional Boxer of the Year, Charles Foster, is and up-and-comer who currently holds a major title and will certainly capture more. I couldn’t be happier for Sherman Cain, who has humbly toiled for decades as one of the top sports writers in Connecticut.”
The 29-year-old Foster (19-0, 9 KOs), ranked No. 7 in the world by the WBA, has made two successful title defenses of his NABA light heavyweight title in 2019. He scored a TKO victory over Mike Jimenez (22-1-2) in March. In August, Foster captured a unanimous decision over Denis Grachev. Foster earned the NABA title last November with a victory over Israel Duffus. Prior to that win, Foster traveled to Philadelphia to hand unbeaten Alvin Varmall Jr. (15-0-1) his first defeat. Foster has fought nine times in Connecticut, including four appearances at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Yet another standout fighter from New Haven with a promising future, Parilla was named the Outstanding Boxer at the New England Tournament of Champions for the second straight year. Fighting in the 123-pound division, Parilla took part in the 2019 National Golden Gloves Tournament. He reached the championship final of the 2018 National Gloves. He was beaten in the second round this past May at The Nationals, but the fighter he lost a 3-2 decision to, Rajon Chance, of New Jersey, made it to the finals before losing 4-1 to Asa Stevens of Hawaii. Parilla is also a two-time Western New England Golden Gloves champion.
Cain was on the boxing beat for 40 years as a sportswriter for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He covered world championship fights involving Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr., Marlon Starling, Mark Breland, Roberto Duran, Chad Dawson, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Marvin Hagler among many others. Cain has received awards for his writing from the Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists and the New England Associated Press News Executive Association.
A member of and founder of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, Feldman has had a busy 2019. The most notable of the title fights Feldman has judged this year was the Manny Pacquiao–Keith Thurman WBA super welterweight championship bout in July. In May, Feldman was one of the judges for the WBA, WBC, IBF middleweight title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Saul Alvarez. In demand because of his abilities, Feldman has judged more than 1000 bouts and 175 world title fights during his 30-year career spanning 20 countries.
It was just more than two years ago that Kevin and Roma Smith attended an amateur show. The husband-wife duo was hooked. They became officials for USA Boxing and quickly advanced through the ranks, becoming the first two Connecticut officials to achieve Level II status. The Smiths, married for 23 years, attend nearly every amateur show in Connecticut and have become respected members of the boxing community.
Tickets for the CBHOF 15th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, are on sale and available to purchase by calling Ann Murphy at Mohegan Sun (1.860.862.8846) or Sherman Cain at 1.860.212.9029. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET, followed by a full sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. ET.
Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 15th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or past CBHOF inductees.