Bernard Fernandez

Boxing Hall of Fame: 25 years and counting

RING_JULY14_COVER_HOF.inddThe July 2014 issue of THE RING Magazine, which is on newsstands now, includes a preview package for the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

It began as a vague notion that morphed into an intriguing idea, then a focused project and, finally, into an amazing reality.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame, located in the tiny Village of Canastota in central New York, will commemorate its 25th anniversary from June 5 through 8. That the IBHOF has endured so long and so successfully – or that it came into existence at all – would be described by some as a bigger upset than Buster Douglas’ knockout of Mike Tyson.

But Ed Brophy, who has served as executive director of the IBHOF since its inception, doesn’t believe it’s any kind of upset at all that the shared dream of he and a lot of other Canastota residents eventually was fulfilled just off Exit 34 of the New York State Thruway. Isn’t boxing largely about underdogs with an unconquerable fighting spirit who somehow beat the odds and rise to the occasion? Guys, for instance, like Canastota’s most famous son, the late former welterweight and middleweight titlist Carmen Basilio?

Carmen didn’t have the physical gifts of some of the other great champions, but he had the desire,” Brophy said in recalling the revered “Upstate Onion Farmer,” who was 85 when he died on Nov. 7, 2012, in Rochester, N.Y. “But he had that burning desire. He worked hard, he was dedicated, he had a big heart. We (the small army of volunteers who were and continue to be the driving force behind the IBHOF) always remind ourselves in difficult times, ‘This is how Carmen accomplished his goals.’

If you truly believe in something and you work very hard to make it happen, you surely have a much better chance of it actually happening.”

To read the rest of this story and other articles in the July 2014 issue of THE RING Magazine, please purchase the issue at a newsstand near you. Don't know where to find it? Just go to http://www.wheresmymagazine.com, or scan the QR code, which will indicate what newsstands in your area sell THE RING. Or subscribe to the magazine — both the print and digital versions — by clicking here. You can also purchase the current issue on that page.

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