Historic Site of Sunnyside Garden Arena is Dedicated by Ring 8 Veteran Boxers Association with a Monument to Boxers
OurLIC Contributor: John Edebohls, Member of Ring 8, Long Island City. Also see Ring 8 Background and History by John Edebohls
(L) Bob Duffy, President Ring 8 (R) Tony Mazzarella, Director of Ring 8 and Owner of The Waterfront Crabhouse.
John Edebohls, Sponsor of Commemorative monument to Sunnyside Gardens with Ring 8
Original Fight Bell from Sunnyside Garden Arena being held by New York State Athletic Commissioner, Melvina Lathan (C) and two Boxers, (L) Lenny Mangiapane and Bobby Bartels (R)
Full video coverage and follow up Q&A are available in the left column in 2 segments of approximately three to five minutes each.
Ring 8 Veteran Boxers Association of New York Dedication of Sunnyside Garden Arena. Commemorative Monument placed on Queens Blvd at Wendy's 20121006
Long Island City, NY October 6, 2012 -
Ring 8 Veteran Boxers Association dedicated a Monument to Old Sunnyside Garden Arena October 6 , 2012 at 12:00 noon at Wendy's 45th and Queens Blvd, Sunnyside. The site is now the location of a Wendy's Hamburger location, who graciously donated the use of their property for the historical Monument to commemorate the boxer.
The event was attended by several boxing dignitaries as well as the New York State Athletic Commissioner, Melvina Lathan. New York Assembly Member Cathy Nolan and City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer spoke about the importance of the history of Sunnyside Garden Arena and the importance of the sport of Boxing.
OurLIC participated in the event and presents full video coverage and photographs as part of this OurLIC NEWS article.
Recognition for the Monument was given to Ring 8 Veteran Boxers Association, to the Sponsor of the Monument, John Edebohls, and to Leonore Lanzillotti whose persistence helped to gain the ultimate commitment from Wendy's.
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN ARENA
Originally built in 1926 as a private tennis club by the son of Jay Gould a railroad Baron. It was sold in 1945 and became a public arena.
Over its 32 years it hosted amateur and professional boxing fights, wrestling, roller derby and kick boxing. Also several films were made there including "Mr Universe" in 1951 starring Vincent Edwards. President John F. Kennedy did his political campaigning in 1960 in front of Sunnyside Garden Arena.
Boxing was its main venue and main attraction. It had a 2,000 seating capacity. General admission was $4.00 and ringside was $8.00 in those years. But before television Sunnyside Garden Arena was like the minor leagues of the sport, once said by our lifelong and departed Ring 8 member Bill Gallo and Daily News cartoonist and whose father reported fights for the New York Sun.
Fighters who won consistantly at the Sunnyside Garden were promoted to the Mecca in Manhattan, "Madison Square Garden". Some of the notable fighters who fought there were Emile Griffith, Bob Cassady, Gerry Cooney, Jose Torres, Oscar Bonevena Sr, Eddie Gregory and Jimmy and Joey Archer. Other ring 8 members also who fought there were Henny Wallitsch, Bobby Bartels, John Colon, Tommy Englehardt and Lenny Mangiapane.
Sunnyside Garden Arena was and still is a meaningful memory to many of our Ring 8 members past or present. Ring 8 still continues to support those fighters in need. In 1977 it was razed and torn down to build the Wendy's franchise what is there now.
Ring 8 ~ The Veteran Boxers Association Annual Awards..PLUS NEWS ITEMS.
ANNOUNCEMENT: New York State BOXING HALL OF FAME to be located in Long Island City at the Waterfront Crabhouse. Joe Frazier is its first inductee.
Over 500 Boxing Fans and Boxers gathered for the Annual Veteran Boxers Association - Ring 8 Holiday Awards Dinner on Sunday December 19, 2010.
The room was packed to honor some of the most famous boxers in history, trainers, and officials, and professionals of the sport.
Under the direction of its Board, and the New York State Athletic Commission, Ring 8 provides boxers with basic health benefits and aupport for boxers who have fallen on hard times. Most of the members are retired former professional boxers and avid fans. One third of the members are fighters. The group meets monthly at The Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City on the third Tuesday of each month. The restaurant displays the finest collection of boxing memorabilia.
For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about OurLIC Ring 8 ~ The Veteran Boxers Association Annual Awards..PLUS NEWS ITEMS. to Arthur@CityEntree.com
BOXING HALL OF FAME Announced for Long Island City
Veteran Boxers Association Ring 8 and New York State Athletic Commissioner announced The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame at the Ring 8 Annual Awards Dinner.
Amid all of the art, music, and theater making Long Island City a destination; amid all of the the real estate development and business development that has lifted LIC as a new 'hot' area to live, work, an play; there lies an underbelly of BOXERS and BOXING FANS.
Queens is the home of some of the greatest boxers in the world. Madison Square Garden, as an outdoor area, was first built in Queens on 48th Street and Northern Blvd in 1932. It had seating for 72,000. [ Timeline 1880-2010: Boxing's history in Queens. ]
For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about OurLIC Tony Mazzarella - Appointed Honorary Deputy Commissioner of the New York Athletic Commission to Arthur@CityEntree.com
Statue Commemorating the Famous March 8, 1971 Ali vs. Frazier Fight for Long Island City?
March 8th 2011 is the 40th Anniversary of the famous Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier Fight, fought in Madison Square Garden.
Bill Gallo wrote in his Sunday, February 20, 2011, THE GALLO PAGE for the Daily News "The one man who always comes through in this city, Mr. Donald Trump, called me in response to the suggestion I made in last weeks column for an Ali-Frazier Statue. I am pleased to tell you that he is interested in the project and is studying it."
Gallo's prior article, "Ex-boxers pledge help with monumental task", shows a drawing of a statue and states that Ring 8 is ready to get behind the project.
When it comes to Boxing, Tony Mazzella is the qualified expert. Tony is Deputy Commissioner of Athletics, an active Board member of Ring 8, and the owner of The Waterfront Crabhouse. He points out that the Statue project actually began in 2006 when he and the Ring 8 Board began seeking help from a marketing organization to pursue the Ali / Frazier Statue.
For questions, comments, and feedback please use our Optin Form or send an email about OurLIC Statue Commemorating the Famous March 8, 1971 Ali vs. Frazier Fight for Long Island City? to Arthur@CityEntree.com
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The Waterfront Crabhouse was the regular meeting spot for Ring 8 until a fire in early 2009 forced it to close. It has now re-opened.
Legendary boxer Smokin’ Joe Frazier is in the final fight of his life.
Frazier, who gave the boxing world the “Thrilla in Manila,” and many other classic memories, is deathly ill with advanced liver cancer, The Post has learned.
“He’s in serious shape, we’re looking for a miracle,’’ said a source close to the former heavyweight champ. “They’re only giving him a short time to live. We need to have as many people as possible praying for Joe right now.’’
A fierce and smothering fighter with a devastating left hook, Frazier, 67, is considered one of the great gentlemen of the sport outside of the ring. His captivating bouts with Muhammad Ali put boxing in the spotlight for a new generation of fans as the sport truly became The Main Event. The “Thrilla in Manila,” the third fight of their epic encounters, was one of the greatest fights of them all.
Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
PUNCHING BACK: Legendary boxer Smokin’ Joe Frazier, seen here knocking down Muhammad Ali during his March 8, 1971title defense at the Garden, is fighting for his life, suffering from advanced liver cancer,The Post has learned.
Both boxers were near exhaustion when Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, ended the fight in Ali’s favor after 14 punishing rounds. Ali entered the ring thinking he was fighting a washed up Frazier, and insulted Frazier often leading up to the fight, calling him a “gorilla.’’ Deeply hurt by the comments, Frazier came at Ali with a vengeance. At one point Ali, gaining new respect for Frazier, whispered in his ear: “Joe, they told me you was all washed up.’’
Ali could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Frazier was the ultimate brawler, yet in his own way, he could turn a phrase too. His response to Ali was classic: “They told you wrong, pretty boy.’’
Throughout those middle rounds, Frazier continued to come at Ali with vicious body blows. After the fight, Ali, who now suffers from Parkinson’s disease, admitted, “It was the closest I’ve come to death.’’
Frazier retired shortly after that battle and became an ambassador for the sport and more, including starting a singing career, billed as Joe Frazier and the Knockouts.
“Joe is one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet,’’ a friend told The Post. “Sometimes we’d be driving down the highway and see a car broken down and we would have to go out and help somebody. That’s Joe Frazier.’’
Frazier is a champion in and out of the ring.
The son of a South Carolina sharecropper, Frazier was on the 1964 Olympic team and won a gold medal. Over his career, he won 32 fights, 27 by knockout. He had four losses and one draw. He won his first 11 fights by knock out. In 1968, he beat Buster Mathis for the New York State world title at Madison Square Garden. He made six title defenses after that over the next several years and on March 8, 1971 fought Ali at the Garden in the incredible “Fight of the Century.’’
Over 300 million reportedly watched on closed-circuit TV. Ali-Frazier is what boxing was all about.
Frazier came into that first fight at 26-0 with 23 knockouts. Ali came in 31-0 with 25 knockouts. Ali was vehemently against the Vietnam War and refused to be inducted into the Army, causing him to be stripped of his title. Frazier was a symbol for the conservative moment.
This was a boxing war.
In the 15th round, Frazier landed a vicious left that knocked Ali down for a four-count. All three judges gave the fight to Frazier and the first of three battles was in the books as an instant classic, a big payday, a big production and a big finish.
After the “Thrilla in Manila’’ Frazier was never the same boxer. In 1973, George Forman knocked Frazier down six times in the first two rounds of their bout in Kingston, Jamaica, with Howard Cosell yelling what became a signature call for the broadcaster: “Down Goes Frazier!’’
Joe Frazier is down again. He always said, “What makes a champion is heart.’’
“Joe needs everyone’s prayers at this time,’’ said the friend.