Tickets are going fast for the upcoming 2014 California Boxing Hall Fame. As a past recipient myself (2007), I would like to encourage your support to a wonderful afternoon honoring current and past personal for their accomplishments in boxing. President Don Fraser does a terrific job hosting this annual event!
By David Martinez
On Saturday, October 19, 2013, I attended the California Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California. It was a spectacular event hosted by President Don Fraser and his staff.
I was honored and humbled to be there to represent my good friend Harold Lederman for his induction. Harold could not attend because of his commitment with HBO World Championship Boxing to cover the Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov WBO junior welterweight fight card in Denver, Colorado on that same date. It was special to me because it was Harold himself who requested I be there for him, to speak along with his long time friend Larona Ganaway.
I don’t think anybody in the house could say that they don’t know who Harold is, as Harold is certainly one of the best judges in our era of boxing. He knows the sport as well as anybody; he is fair, honest, and non-biased with his positive expertise on the air with HBO.
On a quarterly basis I always want to take the time to say thank you to a group of people that help make this website the success that it has become since I brought it to you in July 2007.
These people are: John Boitnott (Web Master), Bob Quackenbush (Proof Reader & Photo Editing), Rusty Rubin (In Rusty’s Corner), Dave Wilcox (Glove2Glove), Jim Amato (Senior Boxing Writer), Tom Donelson (Member Boxing Writers Association), Kathy Kraft (Proof Reader), Phyllis Vincent (Proof Reader) and the many others who have contributed input with their article features and comments to this site. Johnny Ortiz and Steve Corbo are personal friends who offer their views and I respect both as they are pure boxing experts to the highest degree.
A thank you is also in order to John Palminteri (KEYT Newschannel 3 ABC-TV) for his outstanding photos and coverage on the recent Henry Calles professional fight at the Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California on August 16, 2013.
With the recent passing of Ken Norton, I want to acknowledge that he was trained by the legendary Eddie Futch, who also trained 21 other world champions. Eddie trained four of the five boxers that beat the great Muhammad Ali; they were Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. The anniversary of Eddie’s death is next week on October 10th; we lost Eddie in 2001. I would like to offer a prayer for a man that I consider the best trainer in boxing in my lifetime, Eddie Futch.
Tickets are going fast for the annual California Boxing Hall of Fame 2013 induction ceremonies. This year’s gala event will be held on Saturday, October 19th at 11am. The location is the Sportsmen’s Lodge, 12833 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA, tickets priced at $50.00, with lunch served.
Inductees include: George Foreman, Harold Lederman, Andre Ward, Abel Fernandez, Joey Giambra, Wayne McCullough, Loui Loy, Ron Sandate, Lamon Brewster, Chris Arreola, Wayne Thornton, Jack Hawn, Abner Mares, Tiger Smalls, Jose Portillo Lopez, Dr. Paul Wallace, and Frankie Santillan.
Posthumous inductees are: Carmen Basilio, Kenny Davis, Emanuel Steward, Fabela Chavez, Gil Clancy, and Ace Hudkins.
For information you may call Don Fraser (818) 761-4887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking forward to seeing you there and feel free to please introduce yourself as that would be my pleasure!
David Martinez / California Boxing Hall of Fame class 2007
By the end of WWII, a new era in Los Angeles boxing had taken life. In the eyes of California boxing historians, such as Gabriel “Hap” Navarro, former promoter and matchmaker at the legendary Hollywood Legion Stadium, the post war years thru the 1950′s, are considered the “Golden Era” of Los Angeles boxing.
At the time, L.A. headliners such as Enrique Bolanos, Manuel Ortiz, Art Aragon and dozens more, set box office records at the Olympic Auditorium, Hollywood Legion Stadium and Wrigley Field. In addition, the “City of Angeles” had a number of smaller clubs putting on regular shows, such as Ocean Park in Santa Monica, South Gate Arena and San Bernardino, to name a few.
A couple years after the war, a skinny 12-year-old would get his first taste of boxing from inside the ropes. This would be the birth of a life long journey for young Frank Baltazar, and it would take it’s first breath at the beginning of Los Angeles boxing’s toughest, most competitive era.
Today, six decades later, the skinny kid isn’t quite as skinny, and the thick black hair not quite as dark, as when we first met, however, Frank Baltazar Sr. looks pretty much the same. Frank’s handsome latino features contradict his seventy-plus years.
The first time I saw Frank was in the mid-1960′s, shortly after he’d hung up the gloves, after a sixteen year amateur career. Frank’s education in prizrfighting took place during the sports most glorious period in California, lessons learned in countless gyms, arenas and clubs thruout the Southland. His teachers were hardened “old school” veterans, and he practiced his skills in the ring, trading blows with some of the greats of the era
Last year in a conversation with Don Fraser, President of the California Boxing Hall of Fame, I mentioned to him, “Why isn’t Ray White in your select group of inductees?” Don’s reply was simple, “I have thought of that, but I have no idea how to reach him.” My reply to that was simple, “Don, because of my involvement with USA Amateur Boxing, I see and talk with Ray at various southern California shows and I will gladly take care of this for you.”
So late last year at a boxing show, I made that connection for Mr. Fraser, and now the rest of the story will take place later this month when Ray White will officially be inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame.
My memories of Ray White are fun ones, as I watched him box several times at Southland venues. He was a colorful light heavyweight in the 60′s and early 70′s.
A carpenter by trade, White took up boxing in 1958. His flamboyant clowning style included his unique “rooster” with others being the behind the back punch and the back hand bolo punch. Those antics gave him the nickname of “Windmill.” He was also referred to as the “Clown Prince of Boxing.”
For those of you that are one the west coast – next month – on Saturday, September 26, 2009 will be the next boxing venue of interest in the southern California area, which is, the annual California Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies 2009.