2005 "NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS" SCORES "KO" FOR HALL OF FAME
Boxers Fullmer, Basilio, Antuofermo, Torres and Backus joined by
Basketball Hall of Famer Schayes for "Night of Champions"
CANASTOTA, NY – NOVEMBER 21, 2005 - On November 18th, the International Boxing Hall of Fame hosted a "Night of Champions" featuring middleweight champions Gene Fullmer, Carmen Basilio, Vito Antuofermo, light heavyweight champion Jose Torres and welterweight champion Billy Backus at the New York State Fairgrounds Empire Room in Syracuse. The fun-filled night was a "knockout" for all who attended.
"The Hall of Fame was so happy to again host a 'Night of Champions,'" said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. "It was a memorable night for everyone."
A capacity crowd of fans mingled with the stars who graciously obliged photograph and autograph requests. The evening also included a buffet, silent and live auctions and fight highlights of the celebrity guests.
The 2005 Central New York Boxing Appreciation Award was presented to Ithaca's Danny Akers for his contribution to the sport of boxing in Central New York.
Also, the Hall of Fame celebrated two 50th anniversaries. In 1955 Basilio won the welterweight title from Tony DeMarco and Dolph Schayes lead the Syracuse Nationals to the NBA title.
"Carmen and Dolph mean so much to the tremendous sports heritage of Central New York, it was a thrill to pay tribute to both of them," said Brophy.
Sincere thanks to event sponsors HBO Sports, SHOWTIME, WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, Madison County Tourism, Turning Stone Resort & Casino, McCadam Cheese, Basilio-Buda Sausage, Miller Lite, Everlast, Aramatic Refreshment Services, Twin Trees Too, Visual Technologies and The Empire Room.
Also, thank you to the program book sponsors, all Hall of Fame committee members who helped coordinate the event and committee chairperson Don Hamilton. A special thank you goes to Peter Cappuccilli, Jr., director of the New York State Fair, for hosting the "Night of Champions" event.
All proceeds from the event benefited the Boxing Hall of Fame.