IBRO http://www.ibroresearch.com International Boxing Research Organization Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:58:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 86346599 Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame announces 2016 Inductees http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/09/illinois-boxing-hall-of-fame-announces-2015-inductees/ http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/09/illinois-boxing-hall-of-fame-announces-2015-inductees/#respond Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:34:55 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11006 PRESS RELEASE – September 19, 2016 – Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame announces 2016 Inductees

Chicago, IL – Mike McNamara, the Co-Director of the Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame, announced the Hall’s 2016 class of inductees today.

As was the case with the Hall’s first class in 2015, this year’s inductees include a wide range of participants and contributors to boxing in Illinois.  They are:

Muhammed Ali – The Greatest!  Ali was a resident of Chicago during his most productive professional years and was a huge contributor to the local boxing community.

Jesus Chavez – AKA Gabriel Sandoval, “The Matador” was the former IBF World Lightweight Champion and a 44-8 pro.

Johnny Coulon – Undisputed World Bantamweight Champ and owner and head trainer at Chicago’s famous Coulon’s Gym

Sean Curtin – former head of the Illinois Boxing Commission, top official, amateur and pro boxer, and author of two books about Chicago Boxing History.

Rocky DiFazio – Top Middleweight contender who went 19-2-2 and fought all comers

Mike Glienna – One of the top judges in the world, Glienna judged more than 70 WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO World Championship fights and scores of International, Regional, and US State title fights.

Andrew Golota – Olympic Bronze Medalist and a 41-9-1 top contender who fought for the World Heavyweight title four times

Clarence Griffin – Legendary Chicago trainer, owner of the famed Windy City Gym in Chicago and father and trainer of World Light Heavyweight Champion Montel Griffin

Johnny Heard – Chicago-based Light heavyweight who fought many of the world’s best in his 64 fight pro career.

Fred Houpe – Heavy handed heavyweight who fought many of the best of his era on some of the world’s biggest stages.

James Kaulentis – Manager of top boxing talent including James “Quick” Tillis, who fought relentlessly for his fighters

Primo La Cassa – a 17-5-2 pro, La Cassa went on to become one of the country’s top trainers, training Rocky DiFazio, Lenny LaPaglia, Luke Capuano, Luis Mateo, Joey Adelfio, and many, many others.

Jeff Lanas – Slick 17-4 Middleweight who fought many of the world’s best, including a split decision loss to Roberto Duran

Tony LaRosa – accomplished pro fighter who fought all comers, including many champions and former champions

Vinny Letisia – Hugely popular, hard punching 16-0-1 Super Lightweight with 15 KO’s who tragically died at 21 years old in a motorcycle accident, just as his career was about to take off.

The Fighting O’Shea Brothers – Brian, Mike, Rory, and Tom O’Shea – top amateur and pro competitors and trainers.

Alfonso Ratliff – Former WBO World Cruiserweight Champion with a 25-9 pro career, whose only losses were to the best of the best.

Genaro Rodriguez – International referee who has worked scores of world championship fights

Barney Ross – Legendary multi division champion ranked as one of the greatest Lightweights and greatest Junior Welterweights of all time as well as a decorated war hero.

Henry Sims – Solid Chicago-based Cruiserweight who fought most of the best in the division and was ducked by many of the rest.

Jim Strickland – Top trainer (World Champion David Diaz and many others) and sought after cutman (Evander Holyfield, Cory Spinks, and many, many more).

James “Quick” Tillis – The Fighting Cowboy was a four time AAU national champion.  Based in Chicago for his pro career, Tillis fought for numerous titles and fought nearly all of the top fighters of his era.

The inductees will be read into the Hall Friday, November 4 at the Hall’s Second Annual Banquet and Ceremony at Abbington Banquets, 3S002 IL-53, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 near Butterfield Road and Route 53, in suburban Chicago.

The Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame is an outgrowth of the successful 13-year-old Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  McNamara, an accomplished kickboxer, tournament fighter, and trainer of former ISKA World Cruiserweight Kickboxing Champion Rob Salazar, is also Director of the Martial Arts Hall.

This year marks the second year of the Hall’s existence, following its first hugely successful event last year.

According to the Hall’s Co-Director, Mike McNamara “there was obviously a lot of pent up demand for a Boxing Hall of Fame in Illinois to honor accomplished individuals who have contributed so much to the state’s vibrant, 150-year-old boxing scene.

“Last year we sold out the event at 400 seats and could have easily sold 200 more if we’d had the space.  As it was we had to change venues three times to accommodate the demand for tickets” said McNamara.  “We expect a similar crowd this year.  It will be a great evening!”

The genesis of the idea for the Hall came when the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame began to induct boxers, as that Hall’s Directors considered boxing a fighting art.  Those boxing inductees were extremely appreciative but they also pointed out that despite the rich history of boxing in Illinois, there was no Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame and “they suggested to us that we start it and run it,” says McNamara.

Pro trainer Sam Colonna, international championship referee Pete Podgorski, pro trainer Pete George, International Boxing Organization founder John Daddono, top amateur knockout artist Robert Beal, and former World Heavyweight Champion, the late Ernie Terrell were all Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductees who were also inducted into the Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame last year.  They were joined by Stanley Berg, Craig “Gator” Bodzianowski, Luke Capuano, John Collins, David Diaz, Rita Figueroa, Mike Garcia, Frank Glienna, Montel Griffin, Bobby Hitz, Mike Joyce, Edmund Kelly, Nate Jones, Pat La Cassa, Mike Landini, Lenny LaPaglia, Johnny Lira, Louie Lomeli, Louis Mateo, Martin McGarry, Lee Roy Murphy, Danell Nicholson, Eddie Perkins, Marc Randazzo, Jim Ryan, and Tony Zale.

The Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring people from Illinois and/or who participated in or contributed to Boxing in Illinois.  Its Second Annual banquet and induction Ceremony will be held Friday, November 4, 2015 at Abbington Banquets, 3S002 IL-53, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 near Butterfield Road and Route 53.  The event starts at 6PM with a social hour, followed by dinner at 7PM, and the ceremony at 8PM.

For tickets and more information about the event, contact Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame Director Mike McNamara at 708-473-0682 or at macveg3@aol.com

For information about sponsoring the event, including advertising in the printed program, contact Co-Director Pete Hoffman at 708-267-8154 or petehoffman@hotmail.com.

Visit our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/IllinoisBoxingHallOfFame

Directions to the Abbington can be found here:


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Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame 26th Annual Banquet and Awards http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/09/rochester-boxing-hall-of-fame-26th-annual-banquet-and-awards/ http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/09/rochester-boxing-hall-of-fame-26th-annual-banquet-and-awards/#respond Sat, 17 Sep 2016 16:18:09 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11626 Welcome

Welcome boxing fans to our 26th Anniversary Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame 2016 Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Our club motto is “Giving Back”. This year marks our 3rd anniversary of the RBHOF “Carmen Basilio Scholarship Award”, with tonight’s award being given to a city high school senior, of a plaque in honor of Carmen Basilio-presented by Mrs. Josie Basilio. Also, a $1,000 check to be presented to a college of their choice.

Our organization has grown from a small group of boxing enthusiasts who gathered a quarter-century ago to over 100 members and growing!

We would like to give a special thanks to all our honored guests, officers, trustees, and club members who spent their time to make tonight’s event a success. To all gathered here tonight we thank you for celebrating our club’s 26th Anniversary boxing event with us!

Officers and Trustees,



Integrity Award Winner Michael Spinks, Guest Speaker Steve Smoger and Courage Award Winner Fitz Vanderpool

Hall of Fame Inductee Johnny McCoy (posthumously)

Courage Award Fitz Vanderpool

Integrity Award Michael Spinks

Carmen Basilio Scholarship Award Kyrren Love



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CONNECTICUT BOXING HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016 http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/08/connecticut-boxing-hall-of-fame-class-of-2016/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 21:02:04 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11619 ANNOUNCEMENT – August 25, 2016 

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has announced its six-member Class of 2016 to be inducted during the 12th annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Friday night, November 4, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.

The new CBHOF inductees are Stamford amateur coach/boxer Orlando Montalvo, Newington former ESPN boxing director Bob Yalen, Wallingford boxer Sean Malone, Jr., New Bedford (MA) boxer “Sucra” Ray Oliveira, Waterbury judge John “Duke” Lawson and Mashantucket Pequot Game & Athletic commissioner Kenny Reels.

“The Board of Directors of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame is very excited to announce this incredible class of inductees for 2016,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. “We anticipate a great crowd for our honorees at the induction ceremony on November 4th at Mohegan Sun. As always, our dinner is a wonderful coming together of the boxing community, friends and family.”

Montalvo and his wife, Sandra, moved to Stamford in 1980, training amateur fighters for the first 20 years in parks and in their backyard until relocating at the Union Memorial Church for seven years.  Orlando was an amateur and professional boxer in his native Puerto Rico, traveling around the world to compete.  He won 110 of 125 amateur matches and 22 of 29 as a professional with 18 knockouts, reaching a No. 10 rating in the junior middleweight division.

Yalen is best known, perhaps, as boxing director for ESPN and its popular Friday Night Fights series.   He has also been a consultant for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and Showtime.  A recipient of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcasting, Yalen was associate editor of the Ring Record Book and FightFax.  He was also Director of Sports & Entertainment at Mohegan Sun while one of the original CBHOF board members, contributing much to the success of its inaugural awards dinner.

Malone is the son of CBHOF inductee Sean Malone, Sr., who was inducted in 2011.  He had a 23-6 (21 KOs) record.  In 1992, he had one of his most notable victories against Greg Cadiz for the Nevada State light welterweight title.  He also defeated Pat Ireland in 1993 for the New England welterweight crown.

Oliveira was an all-action fighter who set a record in a fight with Zack Padilla, in which they threw more than 1,000 combined punches. During his outstanding 15-year professional career, Oliveira defeated the likes of Vince Phillips, Vivian Harris, Tracy Spann and Charles Murray twice.  Completing his career with a 47-11-2, Ray had a great chin and he wasn’t stopped prior to his loss to WBU light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton in 2004.

Involved in boxing for 60 years, Lawson was one of only 10 referees and judges selected by Willie Pep and Chico Vejar to work sanctioned bouts when boxing returned to Connecticut in the 1970s.  Lawson was a judge for a world heavyweight title fight in Germany between Wladimir Klitschko and Francesco Pianetta.  He was also involved in fights featuring world champions such as Roy Jones, Jr., “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Joe Calzaghe, Chad Dawson, Antonio Tarver and Zab Judah.  Lawson served 20 years with the Waterbury police department.

Reels was appointed by the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming & Athletic Commission in 2009 to oversee boxing and MMA at Foxwoods.  Known for his caring about the health and safety of boxers, Reels followed CBHOF inductee Peter Timothy.  Reels has received countless awards and honors for his humanitarian work and commitment to human values, interests and concerns.

Tickets for the CBHOF 12th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, will soon go on sale and be available to purchase by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET (cash bar), followed by a full sit-down dinner.

Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 12th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or past CBHOF inductees.

ABOUT CBHOF:  The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame was founded in 2004 to honor and celebrate the careers of outstanding individuals involved in the sport of boxing. Its inaugural Induction Ceremony & Dinner was held in 2005. Connecticut’s rich boxing history could never have flourished if it weren’t for the achievements of those enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

As a non-profit organization, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame is deeply committed to keeping the fighting spirit of Connecticut thriving through various charitable contributions.

BLACK INK http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/08/black-ink/ Thu, 11 Aug 2016 20:21:57 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11546 BLACK INK: A Story of Boxing, Betrayal, Homophobia,

and the First Latino Champion

By Jose Corpas

amazon frontBlack Ink is the long overdue biography of Panama Al Brown, a fighter so unpopular, fans stormed the ring and nearly killed him in an attack that might be considered a hate crime today. Outside the ring, he faced a boxing establishment so determined to deny him his championship status, they stripped him of his first title without explanation. Despite the efforts of some, nothing could keep Panama Al Brown from becoming boxing’s first Latino world champ.

This book covers it all, from Brown’s early struggles growing up in Panama as the son of a former American slave, to his final days as a forgotten and homeless ex-champion found unconscious and near death on a cold street in New York City.

The book has a foreword by Springs Toledo and is available now through online retailers and a select few stores.

Jose Corpas is the author of New City’s Greatest Boxers (Arcadia, 2006)

Product Details

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Win By KO Publications (August 1, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0990370380

ISBN-13: 978-0990370383

2016 New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame awards dinner http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/08/2016-new-mexico-boxing-hall-of-fame-awards-dinner/ Sun, 07 Aug 2016 19:05:01 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11566 by Colleen Aycock     – Photos by Dave Wallace

Neil Wallace-Bagpipes

Neil Wallace on bagpipes to open the hall of fame ceremony

The 2016 New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame awards dinner was held August 6 at the VFW Post 401, 2011 Girard in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Master of Ceremonies was Juan Nunez who fought under the name of Johnny Brito. Juan is the current Chairman of the Boxing Hall of Fame and will be next year’s president for the NM Golden Gloves.

Attendance was at 102, full capacity for the hall, with guests coming from as far away as Oklahoma, Texas, and Michigan. Special Las Cruces guests were HOF Boxer/Trainer Louie Burke and his mother Alba Burke, of the Sammy Burke family.

The night opened with the entrance of the bagpipes played by Neil Wallace, member of the award-winning High Desert Pipes & Drums and current medical student at the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine. The Colors were posted by veterans John Van Sickler and Art Aragon, Jr., followed by the singing of the national anthem led by the multi- talented Art Aragon, Jr.

The dinner, gourmet by any standard, was provided by Juan Nunez’ son, Ernest Nunez, current manager of the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center, one of Albuquerque’s most popular attractions for food and culture.

John Van Sickler presented a special award to VFW Post 401 on its 50-year anniversary in Albuquerque and for its 50-year sponsorship of the New Mexico Golden Gloves. Juan Nunez presented a check for $400 to the NM Golden Gloves, followed by a special award to John Van Sickler for 50 years of outstanding service to the Golden Gloves.


Art Aragon, the Original Golden Boy

Art Aragon, Jr

Art Aragon, Jr. accepts his Father’s HOF plaque

The first Hall of Fame award was presented to Art Aragon, deceased (HOF 2015) whose son Art, Jr. was unable to accept the award for his father last year. This year Art, Jr. introduced his father with a touching story about his boxing coach, Henry Anaya, Sr. reuniting young Aragon with his father who was so pleased to learn that his son had become an international boxing champion.

Arthur Anthony Aragon was born in Belen, New Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles to become a fixture in the boxing and entertainment business of Los Angeles.

A tall lightweight, orthodox fighter at 5’8,” Aragon entered the LA and Hollywood boxing rings wearing a golden robe and gold trunks. He was one of those renowned fighters who never won a title, but who could pack the Olympic Auditorium and Legion Stadium with his charismatic personality and exciting style.

Amazingly, Aragon was ranked in the Top 10 by The Ring magazine from 1949 – 1958. He had the whole package: he was a boxer-puncher, he was an excellent counter-puncher, and he used the ring as a complete dance floor. When other good fighters of his era averaged 60-70 total bouts, Aragon compiled a record of 90 wins, 20 losses, and 6 draws for a total of 116 bouts from 1944 to 1960.

Aragon had to fight during one of California’s most notorious scandal-ridden eras. He fought contender Tommy Campbell in 1950. Later Campbell testified that he was ordered by Olympic matchmaker Babe McCoy to lose to Aragon. McCoy was banned for life by the California Athletic Commission.

Aragon fought many ring notables during his illustrious career: Redtop Davis, World Lightweight Champion Jimmy Carter and Carmen Basilio.

Around Hollywood, he was the man to be seen with. He dated Mamie Van Doren and was friends with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. He acted in the Audie Murphy pictures, To Hell and Back (1955) and World in my Corner (1956). His other credits include Off Limits (1953), a boxing comedy with Bob Hope, and John Huston’s Fat City (1972). He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and the NMBHOF in 2015. He died at age 80 in Northridge, CA on March 25, 2008.


Elias “Neffie” Quintana

Neffie Quintana

Ellias Quintana reads poem that he had penned about Holly Holm.

Neffie Quintana was introduced by his son. Mr. Quintana, an Albuquerque lawyer, definitely inherited his father’s sense of humor. Both men kept the audience entertained.

Born March 18, 1927, Neffie Quintana is almost 90 years young and still actively serving New Mexico. He has been a boxer, coach, and referee, and has been a member the past 3 years of the New Mexico Athletic Commission. (He previously served on the Commission from 1983-1987.)

He has judged and refereed both amateur Golden Gloves and professional fights for 50 years. He refereed Tony Tubbs and judged Evander Holyfield’s last 15-round fight. He has judged 30 world title fights. He continued officiating boxing until 2004. As a boxer he had 9 amateur fights, one of which was with Willie Hall. He had one pro fight.

Mr. Quintana received his BA and MA in Physical Education and School Administration from the Univ. of New Mexico and was accepted as a doctoral candidate.  Most of his life was spent teaching and coaching in both high school and college. “Mr. Q,” as he was known, coached baseball and softball (40 years), basketball (45 years), football and boxing (50 years).

In addition to teaching, he was also an APD Policeman. Neffie is also a lifetime member of the VFW, having served in the United States Army from 1945-1951, during World War II and the Korean conflict. He worked in Los Alamos for the University of California handling classified material.

After retiring from APS in 1981, Mr. Quintana managed and sold Real Estate. Upon his wife’s death in 2008, he became active in missionary work. He has served 18 missions in several countries including the Philippines. His advice to others: “You don’t start living until you start giving.”

Neffie told the audience that now he wanted to write poetry; so he read us his poem that he had penned about Holly Holm. If that poem was any indication of talent, he has a future in writing.


Danny Romero, Sr.


Danny Romero, Sr., Elba Burke, Danny Romero, Jr.

Danny Romero, Sr. was introduced by his son, 3-Time World Champion and NM Boxing Hall of Fame (2012), Danny Romero, Jr.  Danny Sr. had trained many of the fighters present in the room Sat. night.

Danny Romero, Sr. is one of the all-time great amateur and professional boxing trainers of New Mexico, training beginners through champions for over 30 years. From 1979 to 1986 he coached boxing at the PAL gym in Albuquerque. In 1986 he started his own gym, the Hideout, where he trained state, regional and national amateur champions, as well as professionals.

Danny was a featured coach and administrator at all levels of the Golden Gloves organization. He served as Regional (4-state) Golden Gloves Coordinator in 1984, ‘85, ‘88, and ‘90. He trained National Golden Gloves Champion Ronnie Rentz in 1981, and both Rentz and Steve Hindi for the National PAL Championships in 1983. He took Ronnie Rentz and his son Danny Romero to the Olympic Trials. In 1986 he was head coach for the Olympic Sports Festival, coaching the East Team to victory.  As head coach in 1988, he took the National Junior Olympic Team to Canada. He was voted Team Coach by the Olympic Committee for USA international bouts in Ireland, England, and Tahiti from 1989-1991.

His professionals during the ‘80s and ‘90s included national title holders, world contenders and champions. He worked with Tony Tubbs, Jaime Garcia, Joe Mercanti, Johnny Tapia, Primo Ramos, Sam Houston, Ray Sanchez, and his own son Danny Romero, Jr.  In 1994 Danny Romero, Sr. was voted Trainer of the Year by ESPN and Top Rank.

Perhaps Danny Romero’s greatest testament and legacy to boxing is his own son. Beginning in 1994, he coached Danny, Jr. to the NABF championship and managed him through 3 world titles. But during the year Danny won his 3rd title, “Big Danny” was diagnosed with a crytogenic disease, a genetic blood disorder that attacks the body’s organs. At that point, Danny, Jr. became caregiver and took over his father’s training responsibilities. By 2005 Danny Sr. received a liver transplant and his daily life has been challenging. He has met those challenges with the same fighting spirit and dignity that he taught his young boxers.

His son Danny continues his father’s legacy at the Hideout Gym, a not-for-profit organization that takes kids off the streets, in a program that has as many as 600 students a year, and gives them a vision for their own future.


Colleen Aycock


Colleen Aycock telling her hard-boiled stories about her father’s travels to Mexico and New Orleans in search of fights.

Colleen Aycock was introduced by Dr. Pat Trainor, retired Assoc. Dean of the UNM Law School and the first female on the New Mexico Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Pat is also a sorority alumna sister (Alpha Delta Pi) with Colleen. Many of the sorority sisters were present at the event.

Colleen Aycock was born Nov. 7, 1951 in the Texas Rio Grande Valley of Edinburgh with boxing history flowing through her veins. Her father C.N. “Ike” “Wildcat” Aycock had been a Depression-era fighter out of Harlingen, Texas, telling her hard-boiled stories about his travels to Mexico and New Orleans in search of fights and San Francisco to spar with Heavyweight Champion Max Baer. She saw him devote hours in his later years training young boxers in San Antonio, Alice, and South Texas.

While most of the HOF honorees started their careers with boxing, her career culminated with boxing. She received her B.A. from Northern Arizona University, M.A. from California State, Dominguez Hills, and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She taught writing at universities in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.

She is married to Dave Wallace and has two grown sons, Jason (with wife Sara) and Neil both graduates of the University of New Mexico. Before moving to Albuquerque, the family lived outside the Beltway, Washington, D.C. where Colleen wrote biographies for the U.S. Capitol, Statuary Hall (during and post-911). While in Maryland, Colleen researched material in Baltimore on the life of Joe Gans, the first African-American world boxing champion.

She has written encyclopedia entrees; book reviews and articles on boxing for history, university, and sports magazines.  She has co-authored and co-edited four books on boxing with Texas writer Mark Scott.

She currently serves as Co-Editor for IBRO, the International Boxing Research Organization.


Rick Wright

Rick Wright

Rick Wright telling the audience the most exciting event he has covered was the fight between Freddie Roach and Tommy Cordova in July 1984 at the Showboat Hotel in Las Vegas.

Rick Wright was introduced by Austin Killeen, a NM Hall of Famer (2015). Austin humorously commented on Rick’s elementary playground pugilistic (or lack thereof) skills which caused Rick to pursue writing instead. Austin also distributed samples of some of Rick’s excellent columns.

Rick Wright was born on Dec. 9, 1947, in Albuquerque. He never boxed, having learned early in life on the playground that he had no talent for the pugilistic arts. But his first sports hero was Floyd Patterson, and Rick has never lost his respect for the Sweet Science and his admiration for those who pursue it.

Rick attended Sandia Base and Mark Twain Elementary schools and is a graduate of Monroe Junior High, Manzano High School and the University of New Mexico. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies in 1969, then served three years in the U.S. Army.

While stationed in Germany, Rick picked up a little German. Later, he briefly studied French. As a result, he is able to say “Where is my dog” in six different languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, German, French). Unfortunately, he is not fluent in any of the foreign tongues, and some of his readers have even questioned his fluency in English.

Rick began his journalism career in 1975 after earning a second bachelor’s degree from UNM. He worked as a sports intern at the Albuquerque Journal, then as the sports editor at the Alamogordo Daily News and the Los Alamos Monitor. He was hired full time by the Journal in 1977. Though he’s been fortunate enough to cover eight Super Bowls and three Olympic Games, he’ll tell you the most exciting event he has covered was the fight between Freddie Roach and Albuquerque’s Tommy Cordova in July 1984 at the Showboat Hotel in Las Vegas.

That’s also the year he met and married his wonderful wife. He and Barbara have no kids but love Ginger, their 12-year-old Shetland Sheepdog.

Rick is deeply honored to be inducted into the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame.


Steve “The Tiger” Hindi

Steve Hindi

Steve Hindi recalls many postponed Thanksgiving meals because of PAL tournaments.

Steve Hindi was introduced by John Van Sickler and Juan Nunez (Johnny Brito), both speaking to Steve’s amazing amateur record in New Mexico and some of his specific fights. Sadly, if America had not boycotted the 1980 Olympics (protesting Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan) as John recalled, Steve Hindi would have undoubtedly been an Olympian.

According to Jim Boggio, New Mexico boxing historian, Steve Hindi holds the most amateur titles in the history of New Mexico. Hindi’s boxing career spanned 20 years, with an amateur of 172 – 52 and a 4-year professional career of 13 – 2. He turned pro in 1991.

Hindi was born July 31, 1962 and recalls, “Every year we would watch for the billboard on the north side of I-40 just before we got to I-25 (before the Big I) announcing ‘The Gloves are Coming.’ And we would go to the boxing matches.” When Steve was 14, he said, “I think I could do that.” He asked his Mom to check with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to see what he needed to do, and as they say, “the rest is history.” For the next 20 years his life became: go to the gym, run, train, watch what he ate, and run some more. (He still does that.) He was always watching his diet so he could make weight and stay in shape. Weekends were taken up at boxing matches, either in Albuquerque or in one of many cities, big or small, around New Mexico, and then later, around the country. He would eventually travel to Finland, Denmark, and Yugoslavia.

Steve recalls many postponed Thanksgiving meals because the PAL tournament was always held during Thanksgiving’s long weekend. John Van Sickler recalls one of Steve’s fights in Hobbs when his coach, Danny Romero, Sr. couldn’t attend because he was coaching a USA team out of the country, so John had to corner him. John had Steve’s towel stuffed in his mouth so he wouldn’t yell from the corner. What a sight!

Steve is now retired after being a police officer for 33 years. He stays busy raising his 12-year-old daughter Sasha and spending time with family, friends, and traveling.

There are lots of stories and 20 years’ worth of great memories. Steve earning this award is going to be another great memory.

Steve Hindi’s Amateur Record

  • State and Regional Golden Gloves: 1979,’ 80, ‘81, ‘82, ‘83, ‘84, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, and ‘90.
  • Junior Olympics: 1979-1980
  • AAU: 1980
  • State and Regional PAL: 1980, ’81,’82, and ‘84
  • Sugar Ray Leonard 4-State Invitational: 1980
  • Olympic Trials: 1980 Bronze Medal
  • State and Regional ABF: 1981, ’82,’84,’85,’ and ‘87
  • PAL Sports Festival: 1985
  • Police Olympics: August 1986
  • World Police and Fire Olympics: 1987
  • John Anthony Lopez Sportsmanship Award: two years consecutively


Henry “Riley” Anaya, Jr.


Riley Anaya thanked his mother and father for all of their support.

Riley Anaya was introduced by his son and ring announcer Zack Anaya. Zack said he had always wanted to announce his father’s name, and the audience was completely enthralled with his slow deep, anticipatory announcement…”and Now, moving out of the white corner, weighing a little more than he did a few years ago…”

Considered a legend in New Mexico, Henry Anaya, Jr., born March 19, 1965 in Albuquerque, was one of the finest boxers to come out of the state. Tonight he joins his father, Henry Anaya, Sr. in the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame.

Henry’s nickname “Riley” originated from the early TV show “The Life of Riley,” and was given to him by his father because of his gentle easy-going demeanor—except in the ring. As an amateur he fought 293 with 250 wins, was a teammate of Johnny Tapia and Mike Tyson, and traveled to and won as a U.S. boxer in Finland and Ireland.

After an amazing amateur career lasting 17 years, he turned professional on February 7, 1987.  His professional record was 17 – 4, 11 by knockout, 52% KOs.  He fought 15 – 1 before losing his right middle finger in an accident.

Coming up through the professional ranks, Anaya was a popular fighter in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a winning record of 16 – 1, with 10 Kos. His only loss in those three and a half years was to Joe Hernandez (on the undercard of Thomas Hearns and Iran Barkley). That loss was avenged in a rematch that Anaya won with a swift first-round KO. His winning record earned Anaya a spot to fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight title. On August 20, 1990 against former World    Champion “Lightning” Lonnie Smith (25-2-1, 12 KOs) Henry was stopped in the 10th round. His final professional bout occurred on June 10, 1991 against former World Champion Mark Breland (28-2-1, 21 KOs) at the Meadowlands, Secaucus, NJ. (Because of the injury to his hand, it has been said that “he fought those guys one-handed.” Riley told me that before his finger was amputated, he had to fight with excruciating pain in his left hand, an impediment that would be career-ending today. )

Before retiring, he was ranked #4 in North America and #12 with the WBC.

During his ring tenure he trained many boxers, including Johnny Tapia.

Now an entrepreneur, he owns KO Construction, and on occasion, helps his Dad, Henry Anaya, Sr. (also a New Mexico Boxing Hall of Famer) at the gym.

He thanked his mother and father for all of their support.

We especially want to thank the SPONSORS of the 2016 New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame.

Please visit them at their physical or internet locations and remember to thank them, because these programs and the donations made to the Golden Gloves would not be possible without them.

Arthur Aragon, Jr., Honoring his father Art “Golden Boy” Aragon, 2015

Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Honoring Colleen Aycock, 2016, and Pat Trainor

K & I Diner, Open 7 Days a Week, 7am-3pm, 2500 Broadway Blvd., SE

Austin Killeen, 2015, Boxing News, www.KilleensKorner.com

Knock Out Sheds, KO Construction, Inc., www.knockoutsheds.com

MRG, Marketing, 2501 Alamo Ave SE, (505) 246-0125

McFarland Publishers (see a full line of boxing books at) www.McFarlandBooks.com

The Wallace family

Jose Becerra: The Guadalajara Cobra http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/08/jose-becerra-the-guadalajara-assassin/ Sun, 07 Aug 2016 17:39:38 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11584 Jose Becerra: The Guadalajara Cobra

by Dan Cuoco

becerrajose7590Jose Becerra was born on April 15, 1936 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was the second oldest of five children (two brothers and two sisters). Jose became interested in boxing through a friend. He started in the Mexican Golden Gloves and had thirty amateur fights, winning all but two. Coming from a poor background, he decided to turn professional to earn a few pesos to help feed the family. At the time he turned professional, he had no thoughts of big purses or titles. Boxing was just a means to earn a meager living.

Young Jose came under the tutelage of Pancho Rosales, who for over thirty years had been Mexico’s leading developer of ring talent. On August 30, 1953, 17-year-old Jose Becerra made his professional debut with a fourth round knockout victory over Ray Gomez in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Jose quickly established himself as a comer by winning his first eighteen fights (all six rounders) over credible opposition. Most of his fights took place in Guadalajara, and he was quickly becoming a favorite because of his damaging punch. Nine of his eighteen opponents were knockout victims.

Jose tasted defeat for the first time when the more experienced Luis Ibarra outpointed him in six rounds on October 3, 1954. Fifteen days later Jose started another winning streak that saw him go undefeated in thirteen fights, with only a ten round draw with featherweight Danny Bedolla marring the streak. Eight of his victories were by knockout. Claudio Martinez put a temporary halt to Jose’s rise when he outpointed the 19 year-older on February 18, 1956 in Guadalajara.

Less than a month later Jose locked horns with another 19-year-old up and coming bantamweight named German Ohm. Trailing on points, Jose was able to cut Ohm’s eyebrows and escape with a sixth round technical knockout. The fight was the toughest of Jose’s career. Jose won five more fights before being matched with Ohm again. This time he wasn’t so lucky. Since their last fight, Ohm had knocked out Baby Ruiz in one round and was rated ninth in the world ratings. The rematch took place on October 18, 1956 before a packed arena. Ohm was better than Jose that night and gave him a boxing lesson en route to a unanimous ten round decision.

In 1957 Jose hit his stride as a big timer. Early that year he ended the winning streak of the veteran Cuban bantamweight Manuel Armenteros, who for many years had been among the top men in the division. At the time Jose defeated him, Armenteros was a big favorite in Mexico, successfully touring from city to city. He followed this victory with two easy ten round decision victories over another up and coming Mexican bantam named Jose Medel, who was one month shy of his 19th birthday, had turned pro at 17, and had already met and held his own with most of Mexico’s toughest flyweights and bantamweights. He entered the ring with Becerra sporting a record of 20-4-3, with 14 kayos.

His victories over Armenteros and Medel moved him into the world ratings on April 17, 1957. He entered as the number ten bantam in the world. Ahead of him in the ratings from Mexico were his idol Raul Macias at number one and German Ohm at number five.

After going undefeated in twelve fights since his loss to Ohm, Jose came to Los Angeles to fight Dwight Hawkins. The date was November 16, 1957. It was going to be a big night because Mexican ring idol Raul (Raton) Macias holder of the NBA bantamweight title was meeting Alphonse Halimi for the undisputed world title. All of Mexico was worked up over the fight. Thousands of Mexican fight fans made the trek from Mexico and joined those already living in LA in making a Mexican holiday of the event.

Even Jose got caught up by the occasion. He found it hard to keep his mind on his own fight that night, even though he knew Hawkins was a dangerous, murderous puncher. Macias lost a decisive fifteen round decision to Halimi – and all Mexico mourned. Because of television scheduling, Jose’s fight came on after the championship fight and Becerra too was in mourning. He later said, “I was so upset by Macias’ loss I didn’t care.” An unmotivated Becerra was stopped in the fourth round.

Jose stayed out of the ring for three months and came back a much more dedicated fighter. During the next year and a half he ran off fifteen consecutive victories, thirteen by knockout, to find himself the mandatory challenger for Alphonse Halimi’s bantamweight crown. Among his kayo victims were Dwight Hawkins (ko 9), Willie Parker (ko 2), Little Cezar (ko 4), Jose Luis Mora (ko 3), Ross Padilla (ko 1), Mario D’Agata (tko 10), and Billy Peacock (ko 1). His most impressive victory was when he fought Mario D’Agata, former world bantamweight champion in Los Angeles on February 5, 1959. D’Agata proudly boasted that he had never been floored in his life. D’Agata, like Jake LaMotta before him when he fought Ray Robinson, could continue that boast after the fight. But Becerra pounded him so relentlessly D’Agata was forced to call it quits in ten rounds. The stoppage was the only time the ex-champion failed to finish a fight in a career that spanned twelve years and 67 fights.

During this eighteen-month stretch, Jose had demonstrated an overwhelming persistency to cause all his opponents to fight his kind of fight. With a damaging right hand and a powerful sneak left hook, opponents were becoming wary because they knew that Becerra could capitalize on any mistake and take them out with one punch. It had been a long time since the bantamweight division had seen such a force as this devastating 23-year-old knockout artist.

On July 8, 1959 Jose prepared to enter the ring for the biggest fight of his life. In the opposite corner was bantamweight champion Alphonse Halimi, who had beaten his idol Raul (Raton) Macias 21 months earlier. Becerra had a lot of pressure on him. He wasn’t just fighting for himself—he was fighting for Mexico. To add to his pressure, in a meeting with Mexico’s President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Jose had promised that he would bring the title to Mexico.

The title fight was held in the new Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. On hand to witness an unforgettable brawl were 15,110 spectators. The fight was action packed every second of the way.

Halimi got off to a good start by taking the first two rounds with his superior boxing skills. In round three Becerra picked up the pace and tore into Halimi relentlessly. He backed the champion into the ropes where he whaled away with both hands. But Halimi wasn’t champion for nothing. He stood his ground and met Becerra punch for punch. The fight turned into a see-saw battle without let-up. The pace was terrific. Every now and then one or the other would land a hard punch that would bring the already hysterical crowd to its feet. Hopes rose and fell, but champion and challenger remained upright. It was obvious, however, that the fight was not going to go the full 15 rounds.

halimibecerra9129The end came in the eighth round. After a minute and a half of give-and-take, Halimi hurt Becerra with a hard right to the head. But instead of backing off, Becerra came forward and exploded a left hook, followed by a right hand to the head of Halimi, sending him to the canvas. Halimi was on his feet at the count of four. He instinctively tried to protect himself. But Becerra was not to be denied. He attacked recklessly and scored with hard body punches which sapped the last remaining strength in Halimi’s body. Becerra then switched to the head and landed a beautiful left hook followed by a right hand that dropped him on his face for the full count. He didn’t move a muscle as the referee counted him out.

Bill Miller of Ring magazine aptly summed up the emotions of the moment after the knockout when he reported: “That was when the grandfather of all demonstrations took place. Pandemonium broke loose. Frenzied fans screamed hysterically. It was contagious. Even this hardened veteran of ring activity found himself cheering. Later a friend of mine, sports-writer of a Spanish daily published in Los Angeles, told me that he had a wire from Guadalajara, Becerra’s home town – a city of 400,000 – that the city had gone stark mad. Thousands of people crowded around radios and when they heard about the first knockdown, people started to embrace each other and weep for joy. When the end came – well, try to picture it: You’ve seen Mexican fans!”

Similar excitement took place in Mexico City, where a few days later Jose received a hero’s welcome.

beccera_ingramTragedy struck Jose on October 24, 1959 in his hometown of Guadalajara. Jose was making his first start as champion in a non-title fight against Walt Ingram. Jose was battering the gallant and brave Ingram so badly that the referee stopped the carnage in the ninth round. While the fans were acclaiming Jose’s victory, the unfortunate Ingram suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

On December 12, 1959 Jose had his first fight since the tragic fight with Ingram and won a ten round decision over Frankie Duran in Nogales, Mexico. He wasn’t nearly as aggressive as his previous fights and appeared to hold back after maneuvering Duran in position to land one of his thunderous shots. Still he won rather handily. With a title rematch set for February against former champion Halimi, his handlers knew he would have to show a lot more intensity than he displayed in the Duran fight if he hoped to retain his title.

The Becerra-Halimi rematch took place on February 4, 1960 at the Los Angeles Coliseum before a crowd of 31,830. The fight was shifted from its original local when it became apparent that the arena would not hold the thousands who applied for tickets. Becerra was now the most popular fighter to ever come out of Mexico. Halimi came out for the first round intent on boxing from long range where he had the advantage. He clearly took the round with his clever boxing. The second round was following the pattern of the first round when Alphonse caught Jose with a body punch and floored him for a one count. After the second round, Jose, as was the case in their first match, started to successfully trap the challenger along the ropes. But Halimi had learned from his first encounter with Becerra. Whenever Jose tried to get inside, Alphonse either used his speed to get out of harm’s way or tied the champion up until the referee ordered them to break. The fight turned into another tense and exciting affair but through the first six rounds Halimi clearly had the edge. He was out boxing Jose in every round and also able to successfully trade punches with him when pinned on the ropes.

In the seventh round Halimi was starting to show signs of fatigue for the first time from the torrid pace. Although he was still clearly out boxing the champion he did take a number of punishing left hooks to the head. In the eighth round Halimi missed a long left and before he could get set again, Becerra caught him with two beautiful left hooks that nearly dropped him. At the end of the eighth round Halimi’s corner pleaded with him not to mix it up with the champion. They implored him to box and keep the fight at long range. But Halimi didn’t listen to his corner. He was winning the fight with his combination boxing and slugging and apparently had no intention of changing tactics. Becerra’s handlers were telling him that he was behind in the scoring and that he needed to step it up or he was in danger of losing his title.

becerra-Halimi Fight 2-editedBecerra rushed from his corner to start the ninth. Halimi tried to catch Becerra with a right hand but missed. Becerra countered with a terrific right to the heart that caused Halimi to wince and followed with a left hook with full leverage that caught Halimi on the chin and dropped him flat on his back for the full count. Nat Fleischer, editor of Ring, reported from ringside. ”Mexico has furnished many top ringmen to the fistic world but none more popular than Jose Becerra, world bantamweight champion. Striking with the deadliness of a cobra, the Guadalajara fighter, in a dramatic finish, retained his world crown by stopping challenger Alphonse Halimi, in 48 seconds of the ninth round. One well placed left hook that crashed against the jaw of the challenger stiffened Halimi’s neck and dropped him like a log on the canvas where he was counted out. Ahead on points on the score cards of all officials and most of the writers, Halimi was well on the road to regain his throne. Then suddenly like a flash, one thunderous smash that came as a shock to the Frenchman’s many rooters, crashed Halimi’s margin and ended a contest that was replete with thrilling fighting and a dramatic ending. Becerra’s single punch momentarily held the crowd, consisting of more than half Mexican rooters, spellbound. Then with a sudden explosion came a roar of ‘Viva Becerra,’ a rush for ringside, the overturning of chairs, and sombreros tossed in the air as the Mexican fans gave vent to their enthusiasm. Pandemonium enveloped the stadium as the Becerra supporters rushed pell-mell all over the arena. It was a sight to behold!”

Jose engaged in two non-title fights before defending his title for the second time on May 23, 1960 in Tokyo, Japan against Kenji Yonekura. Jose retained his title by a close split decision. The fight resembled a track meet as Yonekura kept retreating, slipping punches and occasionally lashing out snappy lefts to the champion’s face. Becerra was the aggressor throughout and kept the pressure on for the full 15 rounds. Many of his punches were short of the mark, but he landed enough to sway two of the three officials.

On August 12, 1960 Jose knocked out veteran Chuy Rodriquez in four rounds of a non-title fight in Tampico, Mexico. Eighteen days later on August 30, 1960 Eloy Sanchez shocked the world as well as Jose when he kayoed the champion in the eighth round of their non-title fight in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Jose retired immediately after the fight.

There was much speculation about Jose’s abrupt retirement from the ring. Some believed he quit because of his loss to Sanchez. Others believed that Jose lost much of his fire after he killed Walt Ingram. They pointed to the fact that his vaunted left hook had been coming across with less assurance since the Ingram fight. And then there were rumors that he retired because of eye problems. The rumors were never substantiated, and Jose was too much a man to retire over a knockout loss. The feeling here is that Becerra retired because he just lost the fire in his belly for fighting after the Ingram tragedy. Jose was a humble man who came from a deeply religious family and never sought the adulation of the crowds that most fighters miss when their fighting days were over.

So like his idol Raul (Raton) Macias he, too, walked away from the ring at the age of 24. Although he remained retired, he did return for one fight on a special benefit show in Guadalajara, Mexico on October 13, 1962, outpointing Alberto Martinez in a six rounder. The win brought his final ring record to 70-5-2, with 42 kayos.

Becerra_Jose -Getty Images

Jose Holding up Ring Championship Belt – Getty Images

After boxing, Jose opened an electronic repair shop in Guadalajara, Mexico. He also invested his money in restaurants and apartment buildings, but eventually lost them to mismanagement. As he entered in his seventies he suffered from an assortment of physical ailments, but kept his mental faculties.  His health issues were eased by a grant from the Telemex-Tercel Foundation, Mexico’s leading philanthropic organization. On August 4, 2016 his health situation worsened and he finally passed away on August 6, 2016 at his home in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was eighty years old.

He was elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996, but has been shunned to date by the voters for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Original article written in September 2000- updated August 7, 2016.

Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/07/nevada-boxing-hall-of-fames-class-of-2016/ Sun, 31 Jul 2016 17:02:00 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11526 The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2016 on July 30, 2016 at Caesars Palace. Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, Ricardo “El Finito” Lopez, Christy Martin and Freddie Little were the fighters inducted. The hall also recognized trainers Kenny Adams and Thell Torrence, late gym owner and trainer Johnny Tocco, longtime boxing writer Tim Dahlberg, and TV and radio personality James “Smitty” Smith. Christy Martin  is the hall’s first woman inductee.

STARS IN THE RING: JEWISH CHAMPIONS IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF BOXING http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/07/stars-in-the-ring-jewish-champions-in-the-golden-age-of-boxing/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:30:08 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11244 PRESS RELEASE

Mike Silver does it again! Another fistic literary knockout!


A Photographic History

      By Mike Silver

 Stars in The Ring Cover

By the author of the critically acclaimed “The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science”, here is the definitive history of the Jewish boxing experience. Eminent boxing historian Mike Silver presents this vibrant and colorful history in the first illustrated encyclopedic compendium of its kind. Included are biographies of 166 prominent Jewish boxers, numerous anecdotes, sidebars and over 200 photos.  An extensive appendix section rates the top Jewish boxers in 13 different categories and includes every championship fight and Madison Square Garden main involving a Jewish boxer.

This is not just a great boxing book; it is an important work of social history dealing with a significant aspect of American immigrant history from the late 1890s to the 1950s. “Stars in the Ring” will give you a ringside seat to a time when boxing was infused into the popular culture and rivaled baseball in popularity.

Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing: A Photographic History (Lyons Press, hardcover, 366 pages) is now available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Silver is a member of the International Boxing Research Organization. He is the author of The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science (McFarland Publishers, 2008).



Springs Toledo’s IN THE CHEAP SEATS http://www.ibroresearch.com/2016/07/springs-toledos-in-the-cheap-seats/ Sun, 10 Jul 2016 17:39:11 +0000 http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=11238 Springs Toledo’s


Book Cover In The Cheap SeatsIn his latest collection of award-winning boxing essays, Springs Toledo takes a hard look at the hardest game from a seat next to yours. Where the widely-acclaimed The Gods of War (Tora, 2014) zoomed in at the greatness of the golden era, In the Cheap Seats zooms out for a panoramic view of the wild world of boxing: the true champions and contenders, the stumblebums trying to make a buck inside of six rounds, the fans who swear by it and sometimes swear at it, and the rich assortment of characters large and small that inevitably gather around the ring. Whether you’re a purist or a critic, a casual fan or a toe dipper, Toledo proves to be the perfect companion at the fights.

About the Author: Springs Toledo is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, International Boxing Research Organization, International Boxing Hall of Fame Committee, Ring 4 Veteran Boxers’ Association, and a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. His work has earned over twenty BWAA writing awards since 2010 and has been featured on NPR’s “Here & Now.”

Springs Toledo’s In The Cheap Seats (Tora, hardcover, $24.99, 320 pages) is now available at Amazon.com