His induction into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) on Saturday night, October 28, as part of the six-member Class of 2017, will cap the boxing career of retiring judge Clark Sammartino at 13TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The other new CBHOF inductees are pioneer boxer “Professor” Charles Hadley, ring physician Dr. Tony Alessi, referee/judge Dick Flaherty, boxing writer Dan Parker and boxer/boxing contributor Hugh Devlin, Sr.
A graduate of Brown University, the now 80-year-old Sammartino has enjoyed two other careers as an oral surgeon and investment advisor at Blue Fin in Providence, in addition to his role as an international boxing judge since 1985.
“I first got into boxing because Joey Angelo married my cousin,” Sammartino explained. “He fought back in the early forties. Joey fought Willie Pep twice and Sandy Saddler. That’s what got me started. We used to have the great Monday Night Fights at Rhode Island Auditorium and I remember watching Rocky Marciano fight “Tiger” Ted Lowry there.”
Because he was a successful oral surgeon, Clark could take long weekends to judge fights all over the world. His first and most memorable world title fight was Vinny Paz-Greg Haughn I. Through his long career, Sammartino judged more than 400 pro fights, including 50 major world title fights.
The list of boxers whose fights Sammartino judged reads like a Who’s Who of Boxing during the past 32 years: Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Julio Cesar Chavez, Johnny Tapia, Naseem Hamed, Chris Eubank, Marco Antonio Barrera, Mark Johnson, Wayne McCullough, Wladimir Klitschko, Gennady Golovkin, Anthony Joshua, Sergey Kovalev, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Lopez, Nonito Donaire, Acelino Freitas, Ivan Calderon, Felix Trinidad, Tommy Morrison and many more.
Sammartino, who proudly says he never missed a day of work in 40 years, has decided to retire, although he’ll remain a boxing fans for the rest of his life. “I started slowing down at my age, doing local shows and maybe three or four world title fights a year, mostly WBO and IBF,” Sammartino remarked. “I had a tough bout with pneumonia the past 5-6 months and that made working difficult.”
His CBHOF induction is a fitting ending and tremendous tribute to Sammartino and his career in boxing. “I’m humbled to be inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame,” he said. “This is a great way to end my career.”
Limited tickets for the CBHOF 13th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, are still available to purchase by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails from 6:00- p.m. ET (cash bar), followed by a full sit-down dinner.
Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 13th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or past CBHOF inductees.
ABOUT CBHOF: The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame was founded in 2004 to honor and celebrate the careers of outstanding individuals involved in the sport of boxing. Its inaugural Induction Ceremony & Dinner was held in 2005. Connecticut’s rich boxing history could never have flourished if it weren’t for the achievements of those enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The CBHOF’s new location is in the Sky Casino at Mohegan Sun.
As a non-profit organization, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame is deeply committed to keeping the fighting spirit of Connecticut thriving through various charitable contributions.