Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

June 26, 2013

Hicks earns bare knuckle honor

Former light heavyweight contender set for hall induction July 13.

BELFAST, N.Y. —

Former professional boxing light heavyweight contender Tommy Hicks of Newfane will be inducted July 13-14 into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame, it was announced by Hall coordinator Scott Burt.
The fifth annual Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will feature the 2013 honorary inductees, including the 1986 world heavyweight champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith; and three-time  world junior welterweight and lightweight champion Carlos Ortiz. 
Joining that pair and Hicks will be the grandsons of early 1900s boxers Hite Peckham and George “Elbows” McFadden.
“It’s been a lot of hard work to restore and save these historic barns and turn them into the World’s only Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame,” Burt said. “But the phone calls I’ve make to the inductees and in Hite and George’s situation, to their ancestors, makes it all worth it. The joy on the other end of the phone is wonderful to hear and makes all the work worthwhile. Saving a piece of history, promoting the town of Belfast, and honoring individuals for their accomplishments is unmatched in importance as far as I am concerned.” 
Original Bare Knuckle Inductees this year are Mike Cleary who actually fought the Great John L. Sullivan in Belfast in 1889, and who died and was buried there; Bob Fitzsimmons, the first to win world titles in three different weight classes; and Australia’s Peter Jackson, who was the world heavyweight colored champion of the time. Historians widely believe that if there had not been racial prejudice as represented by separate titles back then, Jackson would have been world champion, Burt said.
In being named an honorary inductee into the Hall, Hicks joins names on the Hall’s “Wall of Honor” that include Baby Joe Mesi, Carmen Basilio, Billy Backus, Tony Graziano, Livingstone Bramble, Dick Wipperman, Jimmy Ralston, Johnny Sudac Jr., Michael Tome and Buffalo Sabres tough-guy Rob Ray.

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