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Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend Becoming a Staple for the City

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  • Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend Becoming a Staple for the City

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    By Luis A. Cortes III

    On the weekend when most boxing fans around the world most likely saw the last championship level performance of a living legend, Manny Pacquaio, thousands of fight fans from all over the country flocked to Atlantic City for a three-day weekend. Since its inception in 2017 the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) has become something that not even a global pandemic could knock out. "With everything that has happened since last year, I'm blessed to say that we have actually survived and are now thriving, while other organizations weren't so lucky," said Ray McCline, the president and founder of the ACBHOF.

    When speaking with McCline during day two of the event one could see that he has taken plenty of time to reflect on just how lucky he is. "We had a pause year like everyone else did in 2020, so to come out of that and move the ceremony to a bigger venue (Hard Rock Hotel and Casino) is just unbelievable.

    "The outpouring of support from the boxing community, not only from the east coast, but from all over was tremendous last year, but due to the pandemic the festivities were put on hold. Merging both the class of 2020 and 2021 into one major weekend on the boardwalk created a big demand for access and tickets.”

    It also didn't hurt to have boxing superstars like Roy Jones Jr. and Felix Trinidad headlining the class of 2020 and 2021. Other notable inductees were former world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, the late Pernell Whitaker, Ivan Robinson, and former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik.

    One thing that the ACBHOF also does well is their commitment to honor not just the big names, but also boxing lifers along with dignitaries from the sport that didn't trade punches inside the ring.

    Respected judge Steve Weisfield, who has been a part of the sport for 30 years, finished judging Pacquaio-Ugas before jumping on a last-minute plane to make the ceremony on time. Longtime broadcaster Al Bernstein who called hundreds of fights in Atlantic City since the late 1970s when A.C. boxing boomed, was also inducted. Others like Joey Eye, a long time cutman, and publicist Marc Abrams were also honored for their tireless contributions to the sport.

    So, while fans were able to purchase tickets and attend the formal ceremony on Sunday to close out a great weekend, it was some of the other events that made the weekend special as a whole.

    On the opening night a birthday party was held in honor of Michael Spinks that was more than affordable for the general public. Free events highlighted the second day, including a fan-fest and memorabilia showcase at the nearby Claridge Hotel. An amateur boxing showcase and a Sunday brunch were all free to the general public. It allowed fans the opportunity to meet their heroes and share some moments as they spoke to them about their careers and just what the fighters meant to them as fans.

    "It's really cool to see families attend these events,” stated McCline. “Being able to see legends the older generations loved watching and following with the newer generations from their families is just incredible to see. It's one of the big joys I get from doing this each year."

    With 2020 and 2021 now officially in the books for the ACBHOF. what comes next as we head towards 2022? "All of our sponsors have been fantastic and have talked about wanting to continue our relationship moving forward. Next year it looks like we should be moving the entire event, and not just the ceremony, to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino," says McCline.

    “Eventually one of the goals is to have a brick-and-mortar facility that could function year-round to honor all of the inductees from the past years.”

    For now, though, the ACBHOF in just five short years has grown from a vision to a reality, and now to a staple for the beachfront resort city in need of events like this for its financial future.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    President Donald Trump is in the ACBOF right?

    All he did was put the town the map for boxing.

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      No. He is in the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame

  • #3
    Then the ACBHOF is a complete and total joke.

    DONALD TRUMP IS ATLANTIC CITY BOXING.

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      It's fairly new......

  • #4
    And you’re wrong.

    President Trump is an ACBHOF member.

    How could he not be??

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      My bad. He is.
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