Extra Points: Local among new Atlantic City, NJ Boxing Hall of Fame inductees
Former welterweight boxer Shamone Alvarez has long been considered one of the best local boxers.
The Egg Harbor Township High School graduate and longtime Galloway Township resident will be rewarded for his exploits later this year. The 46-year-old is among 24 former fighters, trainers, executives and media members who were chosen for induction into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
The sixth class of the ACBHOF will be honored on September 29-October 1 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
"We are extremely excited about this newest class of inductees selected for the "2023" Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame," ACBHOF president Ray McCline said in a statement.
"We're very much looking forward to honoring this esteemed group of individuals who have helped make Atlantic City a recognized boxing Mecca known around the world."
Alvarez fashioned a 21-6 record with 12 KOs during a 10-year career from 2002-12. Sixteen of his bouts were in Atlantic City, which served as home base for so many local and regional boxers.
That group also included former heavyweight Darroll Wilson, who is also a member of the newest Hall of Fame class. Like Alvarez, Wilson, 56, also fought 16 times on the boardwalk while posting a 27-10-2 record with 21 KOs.
Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall was the site of his biggest victory. On March 15, 1996, Wilson took on unbeaten Shannon Briggs as part of HBO's "Night of the Young Heavyweights." Wilson registered one of the year's biggest upsets via a third-round knockout. Wilson fought on the series two more times, losing via first-round knockout to David Tua in Miami, then recovering from two knockdowns to stop Courage Tshabalala in a fourth-round KO in Philadelphia.
Both Tua and Briggs are also being inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame this year. Ironically, they both registered their biggest career wins at Trump Taj Mahal, which is now Hard Rock.
Tua (52-5-2, 42 KOs), had 14 fights in town over the course of his 21-year career. The 50-year-old scored his major victory on August 17, 2002 with a first-round knockout over former world champion Michael Moorer.
"Atlantic City is where I started my humble boxing career," Tua said in a statement. "Atlantic City showed me love and will always have a place in my heart."
Five years earlier, in 1997, Briggs earned a controversial, 10-round, majority decision over former world champ George Foreman, who is also being inducted this year, at the Taj Mahal. It was among 10 fights in Atlantic City for Briggs, 51, during his 22-year ring career.
The Briggs fight was among five in Atlantic City for Foreman, who also had epic bouts against Gerry Cooney and Evander Holyfield at Boardwalk Hall en route to becoming boxing's oldest heavyweight champion at age 45.
"So many historic fights were in Atlantic City," Foreman said in a statement. "I'm very proud to be inducted into the A. C. Boxing Hall of Fame."
Alvarez, Briggs, Foreman, Tua and Wilson are among nine fighters in this year's class, along with Doug Dewitt, former Atlantic City resident Jamillia Lawrence, Tracy Harris Patterson and former heavyweight champ Pinklon Thomas.
Atlantic City-based trainer Arnold Robbins and Absecon advisor Matt Howard are among the honorees in the Contributors category with referees Rudy Battle and Benjy Esteves Jr., promoter Joe Hand Sr., publicist Lee Samuels and journalist Joe Santoliquito.
The late Buster Drayton and the late Marty Feldman were picked in the Posthumous category.
The Hall of Fame created a "Pioneers" category this year. The inaugural honorees are fighter/official Rocky Castellani, fighter Horace M. Leeds, promoter Joe Miller, manager Becky O'Neill and her trainer husband Willie O'Neill, and fighter Frankie Polo.