In Studio City, the California Boxing Hall Of Fame held it’s last ceremony, as legendary Mr. Boxing, Don Fraser will now retire.
Bill and Linda Dempsey-Young of the National Boxing Hall Of Fame, hosted the event which SOLD OUT as many wanted to be there to honor Mr. Boxing. Don Fraser gave 77 years to The Sport and now wants to enjoy everyday life with his daughters and great-grand children. New Jersey Hall Of Fame as well as International Boxing Hall Of Fame sent gifts to Mr. Fraser, but there was a special moment in the ceremony with WBC fighters and Champions present, numbering about 25, to crown Don Fraser, Honorary WBC Champion.
The smile on Don’s face while being given the message WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman sent…was priceless.
The day continued honoring all inductees present. Chango Carmona shed tears on stage. Guty Espadas Sr. and Guty Espadas Jr are the first ever Father and Son duo to enter the California Boxing Hall Of Fame. Sr. was very proud to say the WBC helped him so much in his career. Then there was the President of Golden Boy Boxing, Eric Gomez and Sportscaster Jim Gray, currently with Showtime and FOX.
Michael Carbajal reminded us of the great wars with Chiquita Gonzalez. Super Middleweight Frankie Liles. Heavyweight Dee Collier. Salinas` own, Jose Antonio Celaya, el Cuate. Well known Souther California historian, Gene Aguilera. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth. Trainer Jimmy Montoya who helped produce 17 World Champions. Timekeeper Mike North and finally but not least World Boxing Council had inductees, Judges Alejandro Rochin plus Benjamin Rendon and Public Relations expert Nancy Rodriguez. Jimmy Lennon Jr. won the Don Fraser Lifetime Achievement Award, but unfortunately was unable to attend due to work.
The Induction Gala was beautiful to experience, many went to Don Fraser’s table to give him a hug, to say thank you for the lifetime he`s dedicated to Boxing. Many called him Ambassador of Boxing. A whole host of Champions and fighters were there to support…the Ruelas Brothers, Paul Banke, Ruben Castillo, Herman Montes, Danny ‘Little Red’ Lopez, Armando Muniz, Arturo Frias and many more.
California has a huge Boxing Community, but everyone knows each other. So when there`s an event like the California Boxing Hall Of Fame, it`s definitely a big celebration among Champions and Boxing Family. Thank you Don Fraser, Thank you Bill and Linda Dempsey Young for bringing the Boxing Community together, honoring a legend.
PHOTOS by Lina Baker