Former New York State Athletic Commission Chairperson Ron Scott Stevens has been an all-purpose performer in boxing for five decades and the Brooklyn native has direct connections with most of the other 22 Class of 2018 inductees heading into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF).
The seventh annual NYSBHOF induction dinner will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), April 29, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
“This is a great honor,” Stevens said about his induction into the NYSBHOF. “When I look back, which this award forces you to do, it dawned on me that I’ve spent more than a half-century in the world of professional boxing. More importantly, I met and worked with many terrific, interesting people who colored my life, filling voids where many existed. Boxing is an enormous family of like-minded people, all desirous of winning but most gracious in defeat.”
Many years ago, Stevens rolled the dice, giving up his job as a waiter and deciding to go all-in in terms of boxing, and over the course of time he has served in almost every conceivable area of boxing as an administrator, promoter, matchmaker, editor, writer, ring announcer, blow-by-blow TV announcer, producer, and radio show host.
“I figured boxing was the sport of underdogs and I was an underdog,” Stevens explained. “So, why not try boxing? The great thing about boxing is it allows somebody like me an open spot. Nobody is really born into boxing, other than the son of a boxer or, somebody like that/. It’s the beauty of boxing.
Living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF include (Spring Valley) IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Al “Ice” Cole (35-16-3, 16 KOs), (Long Island) WBA light heavyweight Lou “Honey Boy” Del Valle (36-6-2, 22 KOs), (Central Islip) IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Jake Rodriguez (28-8-2, 8 KOs), (Brooklyn) world lightweight title challenger Terrence Alli (52-15-2, 21 KOs), and (Buffalo) undefeated world-class heavyweight “Baby” Joe Mesi (36-0, 29 KOs).
Posthumous participants being inducted are NBA & NYSAC World Featherweight Champion (Manhattan) Kid “Cuban Bon Bon” Chocolate (136-10-6, 51 KOs), (New York City) 20th century heavyweight James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett (11-4-3, 5 KOs), (Williamsburg) World Lightweight Champion Jack “The Napoleon of The Prize Ring” McAuliffe, (Kingston) WBC Super Lightweight Champion Billy Costello (40-2, 23 KOs), (Beacon) NYSAC Light Heavyweight World Champion Melio Bettina (83-14-3, 36 KOs), (Brooklyn/Yonkers) world-class middleweight Ralph “Tiger” Jones (52-32-5, 13 KOs) and (Port Washington) heavyweight contender Charley “The Bayonne Bomber” Norkus (33-19, 19 KOs).
In addition to Stevens, living non-participants heading into the NYSBHOF are (Troy) Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter Dave Anderson, (Brooklyn) trainer/advisor Pete Brodsky, (Rockaway) boxing historian/editor Herb Goldman, (Bronx) matchmaker Bobby Goodman, and (Ardsley) NYSAC chairperson/judge Melvina Lathan.
Posthumous non-participant inductees are (Brooklyn) ring announcer Johnnie Addie, (Brooklyn) matchmaker Johnny Bos, (Bronx) boxing publicist Murray Goodman, (New York City) boxing writer/historian Bert Randolph Sugar and (Lower East Side) radio & television announcer/journalist Sam Taub.
Stevens has direct connections with many NYSBHOF inductees, particularly those going in as part of this year’s class.
“I love Bobby Goodman and I knew his father,” Stevens remarked. “I was promoting shows at the Pennsylvania Hotel and right across the street Bobby was the Madison Square Garden matchmaker. We became very close. I promoted shows or did matchmaking for Al Cole, Luis Del Valle and Jake Rodriguez, Herb Goldman acted in my play about boxing, I promoted two of Pete Brodsky’s fighters, met Dave Anderson through Gerry Cooney, and knew when I assigned Melvina Lathan as a judge that she would reflect what went on in the ring because she was an excellent judge. I’m thrilled to be inducted into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame with members of this class.”
Each attending inductee (or direct descendant of) will receive a custom-designed belt signifying his or her induction into the NYSBHOF.
The 2017 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF nominating committee members: Jack Hirsch, Bobby Cassidy, Jr., Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Don Majeski, Ron McNair, and Neil Terens.
All boxers needed to be inactive for at least three years to be eligible for NYSBHOF induction, and all inductees must have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their boxing careers or during the prime of their respective career.