January 26, 2009- Longtime New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame & Ring 25 member and a wonderful friend of all who knew him, Bert DeWitt passed away today at the age of 76. Bert attended a Ring 25 meeting on Tuesday, January 13th and within a week he was in the hospital fighting for his life. Members of Ring 25, including President Don McAteer and Henry Hascup visited him last Thursday and Friday. The doctors told him that he had pancreatic cancer. Bert got his introduction to boxing as a 10 year old boy. After several years away from the sport Bert particpated in the 1949 and 1950 New Jersey Diamond Gloves Championship and was the 1950 featherweight champion. Bert turned pro in 1951 and over the next six years he fought preliminary bouts around New Jersey and New York. The rangy DeWitt developed an excellent left jab and a willingness to mix it up if facing a brawler. Because of his skills as a boxer, Bert soon found himself in demand as a sparring partner for leading East Coast fighters. “Fitzie” Pruden, Carlos Ortiz, Vince Martinez, Georgie Sinclair and Stefan Redl were some of the big names who employed his services. In fact, his association with Redl developed into a 50-year friendship. Every year they travel to the Boxing Hall of Fame together, sharing their experiences in boxing with fans from all over the country. When asked about his career, Bert has no regrets. He’s proud of his efforts and the friendships that formed as a result of these experiences. In 1997, Ring 34 in Vernon, NJ, honored Bert along with Chuck Wepner and Carlos Ortiz for their years of service to boxing. After retiring from boxing, Bert worked as a dockman for Consolidated Freightways for 30 years. After retiring he would enjoy his grandchildren and talking boxing with follow enthusiasts of the sport.