Tag Archives: boxing

Local business owner will go three rounds for charity


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

A local entrepreneur will exchange blows to donate bucks for charity.

Steven East, president and CEO of Caring People Home Healthcare Agency, which has a branch in Forest Hills, is training to compete in the Long Island Fight for Charity boxing event on November 25 at the Hilton Long Island hotel.

The 10th annual event is a way for local business professionals to network and fundraise for charities through sacrificing their bodies in fun, competitive matches.

“It’s pretty easy to write a check, it’s a little more challenging to actually do something,” East said.

“We’re all doing it because we want to show that we believe in this cause more than just raising some money.”

There will be 11 matches of three, one- minute rounds for each fight between the business men and women during the event. East will be fighting against Scott Zuckerman, CEO of consulting firm Wexford Financial Strategies.

Although East has no prior boxing experience, for about a year he has been training at Mendez Boxing Gym in Manhattan.

He travels to the gym around 6 a.m. on most days to train. He runs about four miles daily, does condition training and practices boxing with his trainer, Aldo Uribe. Together they practice techniques and spar for about two hours a day.

Uribe said when East first came to the gym, the CEO was about 15 pounds overweight and a “little pudgy,” but now he only has about four percent body fat and is a more refined boxer.

“Little by little it started clicking and before we knew it he was able to really control some of the guys he was sparring, whereas before he was having trouble with them,” Uribe said.

Proceeds from the boxing event will be donated to The Long Island Community Chest, The Genesis School and the National Foundation for Human Potential. Long Island Fight for Charity had donated $700,000 to Long Island charities since 2003.

East knows a lot about helping others. His company, Caring People, has been providing home aides to assist people with daily living activities since East’s grandmother founded the company in Flushing in 1987.

But even though the boxing event is for a good cause, East doesn’t plan on pulling any punches against Zuckerman.

“Everyone is saying ‘oh it’s just for charity,’” East said. “But I guarantee when each person steps into that ring it’s not about charity for those three rounds, it’s about winning and I’m not going into this not to win.”

For more information or to purchase tickets for the event visit www.lifightforcharity.org.

 

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Monument honors former site of Sunnyside Garden Arena


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Where once stood a beacon of the sweet science a mecca of fast food sits in its stead.

Boxing fans, officials and legends gathered outside a Wendy’s along Queens Boulevard to dedicate a monument at the former site of the Sunnyside Garden Arena.

Originally built as a tennis club in the 1920s, the arena was sold in 1945 and turned into an arena that staged boxing matches as well as wrestling, roller derby and kick-boxing until it was shut down in 1977.

Emile Griffith and Gerry Cooney are among the boxers that fought at the 2,000-seat arena, as well as the actor Tony Danza.

The Sunnyside arena was often used as a stepping stone by New York area fighters before they moved on to larger venues — like Madison Square Garden.

“Ring 8 was proud to remember Sunnyside Garden Arena in this fashion and also honor the many boxers who fought there as professionals or amateurs,” said Ring 8 president Bob Duffy. “Sunnyside Garden Arena will never be forgotten.”

The plaque, which is visible to passers-by, reads, “This monument is in honor and dedicated to those men who fought in the amateurs and professional bouts.”

Army reserve officer, boxer fights for a cause


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

As Army Reserve Captain Boyd “The Rainmaker” Melson walked toward the ring, there was probably only one thing on his mind.

The middleweight pro boxer was laser-focused on his impending match against Yolexcy Leiva at Resorts World Casino New York City.

During the first five rounds of the Brooklyn-born, West Point graduate’s bout against Leiva, Melson meticulously calculated every punch. Somewhere in the third round, he delivered a right to Leiva that seemed to stun the Cuban-born boxer.

Then, the sixth bell rang and the final round started: Melson looked like a new man. He danced around the ring, followed through on his punches and began to take over.

Now boasting a pro record of 10-1 since 2010, Melson wasn’t just fighting for money, or to add on his record. Melson donates all of his winnings to justadollarplease.org. The charity raises money for stem cell research through umbilical cords to benefit wheelchair bound people who have suffered serious spinal cord injuries.

Melson also made clear that this was not a charity he “just jumped on,” but instead something extremely near and dear to his heart. Melson’s friend Christan Zaccagnino became paralyzed as a young girl following a diving accident. The pair met when he was still a cadet at West Point and since then Melson has donated a great deal of his time to helping find a cure for Zaccagnino.

His charitable efforts brought him to Dr. Wise Young, a researcher at Rutgers University who has been working on stem cell research in umbilical cords for years.

Tied to these efforts are veterans, who hold a special place in the heart of the still-ranking officer.

“You become a prisoner in your body,” he said, referring to soldiers who have returned home due to spinal cord injuries suffered in combat. “You just start watching people leave you because you’re a burden to them.”

Based out of Fort Totten, Melson juggles his duties as a reserve officer along with working at Johnson & Johnson and training as a professional boxer. In essence, it’s time management, the 5’10” middleweight says, and credits his boss, David McEntire, for being understanding.

In order to keep himself fit, Melson said he will normally pack his training clothes with him, run during his lunch break and get back to work. He’ll then sleep on the train ride home before going to work out and spar.

Before enrolling in West Point, Melson had no experience with the sweet science, he said.

Dr. Ray Barone, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, has taught boxing courses — required for male cadets — at West Point since 1999. It was in one of the required boxing classes that he saw potential in Melson.

“I saw him in class and said you might want to go out for the West Point boxing team,” Barone said. “When I saw him in class, he obviously had talent and picked up quick.”

Barone went on to say that Melson developed a dedication to the sport, which he developed rapidly since he trained any time possible.

“He was a quick learner, a quick study,” Barone said. “When you weren’t working with him he was working on his own.”

Melson said his inspiration to move forward with boxing though, was the personal standards a fighter has to hold him or herself to.

“The idea of relying on yourself, the idea that you’re competing in boxing…I think in one-on-one competition you have a chance to compete with yourself much more frequently than almost any other sport,” said Melson, who is admittedly his own harshest critic. “Even though it’s against other opponents, you’re always trying to see how much better you can do for yourself.”

But what Melson says is one of the driving forces to his fighting is what he’s really fighting for: raising money and awareness to help those in need.

“I think about, when I’m getting ready to walk down the aisle to the ring, ‘I have to win for this trial to happen, I have to win for this trial to happen,’” he said. “I know the more successful I get, the more exposure you get towards [this cause].”

FDNY boxers take the ring for charity


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

This time, instead of their gear, they donned boxing gloves.

Several FDNY firefighters took part in the “Battle of the Badges” on Friday, September 14 at Resorts World Casino New York City — the first-ever boxing match at a city casino.

The action in the ring started with the first match of amateur boxers Ali Salem and Omawaie Adewale.

The night really began, however, when Todd Velten, a firefighter in Lower Manhattan, took off his robe — fashioned after an FDNY service jacket. Every blow from the boxer resulted in cheers from his fellow firefighters. Nearly every spectator from the FDNY became a coach, yelling advice for Velten as he took on opponent Angel Castro.

When the referee lifted Velten’s arm to officiate his victory, the cheers from the scores of firefighters and FDNY supporters could be heard throughout the third floor of the Racino.

Velten’s match was followed by super heavyweight and fellow FDNY John Phillips, who faced John Rosales from Universal Boxing Organization. Though the two tired as the match went on, the energy from the crowd only continued to grow.

Eddie Brown, the Bronx trustee for the Uniformed Firefighters Association, sat ringside and was one of those cheering on the FDNY boxers. A former fighter and trainer on the FDNY team, Brown said it was amazing how dedicated some blaze battlers were to another kind of fight during their downtime.

“These guys work hard,” Brown said. “They’re going to fight fires, and then they’re training on their days off.”

The matches were intended to be primarily against members of the New England Law Enforcement team, whom the FDNY fought at Foxwoods in Connecticut earlier this year, said Bobby Maguire, who organized the event. Because of problems with the northeastern team, only a few were able to fight, including Jose De la Rosa, who sparred off against Shariff Farrow from the FDNY.

Most of the money raised by ticket sales to the event, after costs to organize the matches are handled, will go toward a number of charities to help veterans and fellow firefighters, Maguire said. Along with ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle raised about $2,600 to go toward the Wounded Warriors Foundation, which helps disabled veterans get new homes.

Madonna Badger spared details of fire that killed her 3 daughters & parents


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Madonna Badger spared details of fire that killed her 3 daughters & parents

The marketing executive whose three daughters and parents died in a Christmas morning fire was spared the horrific details of the tragedy, her brother said Tuesday. Madonna Badger was “as devastated as you could imagine,” Wade Johnson said. “Like any mother and child would be. She’s largely unaware of many of the details … She’s resting.” Badger, who escaped the inferno at her Connecticut mansion, wasn’t told that her father died trying to save one of his granddaughters. Their bodies were found just inches apart on either side of an open window amid the rubble. Read More: Daily News

 

Off-duty firefighter saves elderly couple from blaze on Staten Island

An elderly Staten Island couple and their beloved pet cat were rescued from the balcony of their burning apartment by an off-duty firefighter driving home on Christmas night. Steven Carl, a seven-year FDNY veteran, was heading back to his South Beach residence on Sunday after celebrating the holiday at his parents’ home when he spotted flames at 11:45 p.m. above the roofline not far from his block. With his wife and their two kids in the car, Carl followed the trail of black smoke to Atlantic Avenue and discovered a two-family home engulfed in flames. Read More: New York Post

Tidal crime wave hits Rockaways

The Rockaways are getting rocked by crime! Felonies in the 100th Precinct in Queens, which blankets Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel and other western areas of the peninsula, have gone through the roof, according to the latest police statistics. Burglaries have jumped 144 percent, from 54 last year to 132 this year. Felony assaults have soared 66 percent, from 78 to 130. Robberies have gone up 31 percent, from 63 to 83. Grand larcenies are up 26 percent over last year. The crime wave is so pervasive that a local deli is even offering pamphlets that warn customers, “Do You Feel Safe and Secure? We Hope You Do … But Maybe You Shouldn’t!” Read More: New York Post

 

Knicks claim former Harvard guard Lin

The Knicks have claimed former Harvard PG Jeremy Lin off waivers, according to a league source. Lin spent his rookie year in Oakland, but was waived by the Warriors, and new coach Mark Jackson, on Dec. 9. The Rockets picked Lin up, but waived him Sunday to clear roster space in order to sign Samuel Dalembert. Lin, 23, was undrafted out of Harvard but appeared in 29 games for the Warriors as a rookie last season, averaging 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest. Read More: New York Post

 

Registration open for Golden Gloves

The crown jewel for boxing aficionados, the Daily News Golden Gloves, is increasing its reach and accepting jabs from a wider population. For the first time in Golden Gloves history, the tournament will be open to all entries from the state of New York when registration opens for 2012. “After 85 years of world-class competition, it’s about time that we expand the reach of the Daily News Golden Gloves to include all of New York,” said Gloves director Brian Adams. “As the oldest and largest boxing tournaments in the world, we want to set a positive example for the youth of New York state, not just those representing the metropolitan area. It’s a chance to follow in the footsteps of the many boxing greats that got their start in the Daily News Golden Gloves.” Read More: Queens Courier

 

Conn. mayor: Fire that killed 5 not foul play

A Christmas Day fire that killed three children and their grandparents was a tragic accident related to a fireplace in the home, not the result of foul play, the mayor said Tuesday. Investigators were expected to reveal the cause of the fire later Tuesday, but Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia told The Associated Press described the cause as “fireplace-related.” He could not provide more details. “The preliminary information is it was just a tragic accident,” he said, adding that foul play had been ruled out. Neighbors said they were awakened by screams shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and rushed outside to help but could do nothing as flames devoured the large Victorian home. Read More: New York Post

 

Bronx tot dead, dad under arrest after fight with girl’s mother

Police say a 3-month-old Bronx girl is dead and her father is under arrest following an altercation with the child’s mother and grandmother. Police said Tuesday that 20-year-old Kevin Palmer was arrested on assault charges after a physical confrontation with the 19-year-old mother of his child and her 43-year-old mother. Neither woman received major injuries. Read More: New York Post

 

Public Advocate Releases City’s Worst Landlords Watch List

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio on Tuesday released his latest list of what he says are the worst landlords and buildings in the city. Some 358 buildings are on the list, owned by 317 landlords. “1071 Home Corp” ranks at the top of the list, with 753 hazardous violations and five buildings on de Blasio’s “watch list”. Three of the top five landlords have buildings in the Bronx, and two have buildings in Brooklyn. Read More: NY1

 

Straphangers Stranded In December Blizzard File Suit

A group of passengers is suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority one year after they were stranded on an A train in Queens during the post-Christmas blizzard. About 25 people trapped for eight hours on the A train are named as plaintiffs in the suit. They were left without heat, water or food when the train got stuck in several feet of snow between Aqueduct and Rockaway Boulevard. New York City Transit President Thomas Prendergast told the City Council earlier this month MTA officials “forgot” about the train. Read More: NY1

 

New dirt on pervy UWS super

Shocking, newly released court documents describe the ordeals of alleged victims of a former Upper West Side building super accused of pressuring cash-strapped female tenants to pay their rent with sexual favors. “He told me to take my clothes off really slowly so that he could watch,” one of the women said in a deposition about William “Billy” Barnason. “He had sex with me for about probably a minute . . . He slapped me on the ass and said, ‘Now we’re even.’ ’’ The woman and her roommate were allowed to move into another apartment the next day, owned by the same elderly landlord, Stanley Katz. Read More: New York Post

 

Al Qaeda in Iraq says it was behind Baghdad blasts

An al Qaeda front group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks that ripped through markets, cafes and government buildings in Baghdad on a single day last week, killing 69 people and raising new worries about the country’s path. The coordinated attacks struck a dozen mostly Shiite neighborhoods on Thursday in the first major bloodshed since U.S. troops completed a full withdrawal this month after nearly nine years of war. They also coincided with a government crisis that has again strained ties between Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites to the breaking point, tearing at the same fault line that nearly pushed Iraq into all-out civil war several years ago. Read More: New York Post

Registration open for Golden Gloves


| smosco@queenscourier.com

GOLDEN GLOVES 01-22 004w

The crown jewel for boxing aficionados, the Daily News Golden Gloves, is increasing its reach and accepting jabs from a wider population.

For the first time in Golden Gloves history, the tournament will be open to all entries from the state of New York when registration opens for 2012.

“After 85 years of world-class competition, it’s about time that we expand the reach of the Daily News Golden Gloves to include all of New York,” said Gloves director Brian Adams. “As the oldest and largest boxing tournaments in the world, we want to set a positive example for the youth of New York state, not just those representing the metropolitan area. It’s a chance to follow in the footsteps of the many boxing greats that got their start in the Daily News Golden Gloves.”

In previous years, the tournament was only open to city and Long Island residents — but now, every amateur boxer in the state will get a chance to fight for the state’s greatest amateur prize on the grand Madison Square Garden stage.

“We’re opening the door to upstate which is a good thing,” Chief of Officials Mike Rosario said. “It’s the New York Daily News Golden Gloves. What else can you say?”

The deadline for registration is December 31. To become a part of New York boxing history this January, participants are encouraged to sign up for the Daily News Golden Gloves as soon as possible. The easiest and quickest way to enter is through the Gloves web site at www.nydailynews.com/goldengloves. Forms can also be found in the Daily News.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/08/2011: Boxing legend Joe Frazier dies, 67


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Severed Foot Found On Front Lawn In Rosedale; Turns Out To Be Bear’s

There’s relief in Rosedale this morning after a gruesome discovery rattled nerves. A man taking out the garbage Sunday night found what appeared to be a severed child’s foot on his front lawn. Police responded to the scene to investigate. On Monday morning, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the foot was that of a bear. Read More: CBS News

 

 

Man Arrested For Alleged Groping Of Shayne DeJesus On Train

Police in Queens say they’ve arrested the man who allegedly groped Shayne DeJesus at the Union Square subway station. Froylan Andrade, 39, is charged with sex abuse after cops were able to identify him from a photo DeJesus snapped on the train. Read More: WPIX

 

 

Feds forced to return nearly $1 million to Gallagher’s 2000, a Long Island City strip club 

The feds have been ordered to return nearly $1 million seized from a Queens strip club after a judge cleared the owner of civil charges of financial improprieties. Robert Potenza, the pistol-packing owner of Gallagher’s 2000 in Long Island City, ran afoul of government agents who suspected the strip club king had made more than 100 bank deposits in amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal reporting requirements. Read More: Daily News

 

 

Graffiti legend was also an NYPD cop

Police have discovered the identity of one of New York City’s most prolific graffiti vandals — and he’s one of their own. Steven Weinberg, 43, of Flushing, a patrolman who retired from the NYPD in 2001 after hurting his leg, is the notorious “Neo” — one of the peskiest subway taggers of the 1980s. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Boxing legend Joe Frazier dies, 67

In another era, Joe Frazier—”Smokin’ Joe” to anybody who cared about boxing—might have perched serenely atop the heavyweight boxing division for a decade, his powerful punches and stolid visage epitomizing pugilistic grace. Mr. Frazier, who died Monday at age 67 after a brief bout with liver cancer, was small by heavyweight standards. But he was a warrior who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights early. Read More: Wall Street Journal