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  • HOF Weekend

    I am back from another Hall of Fame weekend in Canastota and as always have come away with memories that will last a lifetime. I can't post everything about my experience or what I witnessed this weekend because that would be way too lengthy but here are some highlights.

    Teddy Atlas and Jorge Arce really stood out this weekend for being extremely accommodating to fans. Teddy was very approachable. Similar to what I witnessed from Shawn Porter a few years back, the first day Teddy was brought in to sign autographs he signed until there was nobody left in line. And if someone wanted a picture, gladly stepped down from the podium to pose for a photo. That first day, he was on stage nearly two hours. This continued all weekend with him.

    Arce was likewise very approachable and just loved talking to the fans. Though fighters are accessible in Canastota, most do not go into the crowd on there own. Well Arce did. If you wanted to talk to him, you could. He actually talked to me and my wife for about 20 minutes on Friday talking about his father and how he inspired him to be a champion. And like Teddy, if you wanted a photo op or autograph Arce was very accommodating always doing so with a big smile on his face and thanking you for coming to see him.

    This is not to say others wern't accommodating this weekend (most are) but these two clearly stood out.

    I was honored to meet Lee Samuels Saturday at the golf outing for the first time. He is just such a nice guy. I did bring up Arne's name and that put a big smile on Lee's face. He told me about his experience working with Arne and without my prompting praised TSS. He told me that this is one of the only boxing website that he visits on a regular basis due to the quality of the content.

    Among the fighters I met this weekend were Ray Seals (let me wear his gold medal), David Benavidez, Michael Moorer (had a great experience with him), Buddy McGirt, Mark Breland, Mickey Ward, Dick Ecklund, Junior Jones (who still remembered hanging out with me at Dunkin Donuts two years ago), Michael Spinks and Paulie Ayala. They were all tremendous people to meet. Ayala actually talked to me and my wife for about ten minutes after the Turning Stone card on Friday in the lobby. Well actually more to my wife. She does work in something he is involved and asked him a question while he was on stage Friday. He remembered and told her he appreciated her question as well as work in the field.

    Again, 2019 was another year full of memories in Canastota. I am already counting down to 2020. HOF weekend is always an incredible experience and I highly encourage anyone who hasn't attended to give it a try one of these years. I guarantee if you do then you will want to come back every year.

  • #2
    That sounded just great Matt. Did you go to the memorabilia event because as I recall, that is a great place to meet people. Also, how about the cocktail party.? And what was the weather like? Every time I went, it was hot and humid. Where did you stay? Did you visit Graziano's?

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    • #3
      I had a blast. As for the memorabilia event, I did the golf outing instead this year. The Hall of Fame runs the golf outing at the same time at the memorabilia event so have to pick one or the other. And the cocktail party I missed as well. I wanted to watch the DAZN card. Funny story though. I went to Turning Stone after golf and after losing a few bucks in the casino headed to the main lobby. I grabbed some coffee at the little stand there and took a seat. Soon after I sat down (my father in law was with me), I saw Shane Mosley headed my way. He was all alone and as he came by me I said hi and he stopped to chat with me. Very nice guy and after we talked offered to do a photo as well. He even checked the photo that was taken to make sure it came out well before heading on his way.

      Graziano's was very busy. Generally I go there on Thursday of HOF weekend but this year my wife had an assignment in Utica that night so didn't make it to Graziano's this year. She will probably have more assignments up that way in the summer so hoping to make a stop when it is a little less busy later in the summer.

      We stay in Syracuse which is about 20-25 minutes from the Hall. And yeah, it was hot and humid again this year. I ended up getting sunburned pretty good this year (faulty planning on my end).

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      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        I used to stay in Uitica

    • #4
      Glad you had a nice Induction Weekend Matt. I used to really enjoy those. It's been a while since I've gone. So Donald Curry is finally a Hall of Famer! And Boston's Tony DeMarco too! Cool. Weather wise it would almost always rain on my parade there even if Sundays were actually dry.

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      • #5
        Thanks for sharing that Oubobcat. You could live to be a thousand years old and you would never hear anyone say a bad word about Lee Samuels.

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        • #6
          Many writers there? Any in particular? Did DeMarco have a large bunch of fans?

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          • #7
            There were some writers there but honestly not a lot. I did have to leave earlier on Sunday so maybe more showed up for the induction speeches. Lee Groves was the one writer I recognized (he was present all four days). He actually sat next to me at Turning Stone for the fights. Like so many people I have met in this sport, Lee is an incredibly nice guy and we talked throughout the evening not only about the fights at Turning Stone but so many aspects of the sport. It was a true joy for me and Lee is truly an encyclopedia of knowledge on the sport.

            DeMarco did have a nice contingent. There was a rumor (I cannot confirm) that Peter Marciano was there and touring the Hall with DeMarco on Sunday morning. I met some of the folks who came for DeMarco including a Petronelli (I think it was Tony).

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            • Kid Blast
              Kid Blast commented
              Editing a comment
              Ring 4 had a bus go with Tony's contingent. I didn't go because I had a cataract operation but they all had a good time from what I can tell on Facebook. The Tony was Tony Petronelli from Brockton who was a very fine fighter and is in Ring 4"s Boxing Hall of Fame.

            • oubobcat
              oubobcat commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes that must have been the group I spent some time on Sunday. We were all standing by the Hall as the inductees were coming in to get their private tour. Good people, talk quite a bit about boxing in the New England area.

          • #8
            Lee is from a friendly town called Friendly.

            He has to be nice. 😎

            Being from Brockton, Mass offers no such guarantees.

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            • Kid Blast
              Kid Blast commented
              Editing a comment
              Absolutely true...................

          • #9
            Obviously I wish it wasn't!

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