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Page16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 1, 2013 CORNER TALK by Reinaldo Oliwira, Jr. "'The Fight Family" is the "Right Familyi" Some of the Many Who Keep and Kept the "Fight World Greati" I Propose "Let's all Meet and Get Together?" "Fight Family Business 101" "DingI!!!" Pugs Luncheon Tuesday, March 12 th The Fight Family is the Right Family. This is a great family of individuals. Indi- viduals with a passion. A gathering of great individuals. Individuals I respect. Great in- dividuals from the trenches of Life, World Welterweight Champion Tony DeMarco of the North End Boston, Tony DeMarco was co- participant in the Fight of the 20 th Century, versus a Fighter who won the World Middle- weight title from Sugar Ray Robinson, Carmen Basilio. Many consider Sugar Ray Robinson the greatest boxer pound for pound in professional Boxing History. World Cham- pion Carmen Basilio fought both World Champion Tony DeMarco and World Cham- pion Sugar Ray Robinson. World Title Con- tender and Massachusetts State Auditor Joseph A. DeNucci of Newton, fought the likes of; Jackson Brown, Chico Vejar, Johnny Otto, Ralph Tiger Jones, Joey Giardello, Don Fullmer, Iron Mike Pusateri, Joey Giambra, Denny Moyer, Blair Richard- son, and World Champion Emil Griffith. Jimmy Corkum of Brockton achieved many great accomplishments in Boxing. Then Be- coming Doctor Jimmy Corkum. World title contender Vinnie Curto of Boston defeated World Heavyweight title Challenger Terry Daniels on November 20, 1973. World Cham- pion Marvelous Marvin Hagler of Brockton fought the greats of his era. Fighter Austin Killer Killeen of Fitchburg. Fighter for Jus- tice, in top fighter and Officer Danny Long of South Boston. Co stable mate of Iron Mike Tyson, World rated Fighter Jimmy Farrell of Rockland. He has the Cyr-Farrell Boxing Gym in Quincy, loaded with many top train- ers and Fighters. Scan Mannion of South Boston, who fought the best of a tough lot. The tough Roach Family of Lowell Freddie, Pepper, Barbara and all; the many great Gyms in Brockton, Lowell, South Boston, and other great locations in New England. Great writer Charles Punchline Ross South Boston wrote many great articles covering these fighters. Other top writers who cov- ered these fighters; Ron Borges, George Kimble, Jimbo Curran, Dan Couco IBRO, Jack Hurley, Emily Harney, Austin Killeen. A fighter who could "Lick any man in the House:" World Heavyweight Cham- pion John L. Sullivan of Roxbury. The only Undefeated World Heavyweight Champion in 49-0-0, 43 Knockout Brockton Block- buster Rocky Marciano. North American Champion and World Title Challenger Tony Petronelli Brockton. A fighter who retired undefeated Vinnie Marino from Roslindale. 2006 Ring 4 Man of the Year and World Rated Title Contender Iron Mike Pusater| Dedham. 1946 N.E.A.A.U. Champions Gene Mclntyre, Bill Geary, Bill Daley, Tommy Collins, Ernie Martineau and George Cote. There's Jimmy Connors of Fairhaven, who fought to a decision with one of the Great- est Fighters in Professional Boxing History in World Champion Great Willie Pep. World Champion Sal Bartolo. Politician and Tough Fighter Calvin T. Brown, This is an area blessed with great Promoters; the Greal Valenti Family of Boston; Rip Valenti, AI Valenti, Fred Valenti, and All. Promoter Subway Sam Silverman. Promoter Jimmy Burchfleld of Providence. Promoter Ric] Cappiello who also profiled as a great Foot- ball Running Back. Brother of Rich Cappiello, Mike Little Rock Cappiello, a Great Educator who I feel resembles closely cousin World Heavyweight Champiol Rocky Marciano. Great Fighters in Marine Frank Calabro of Quincy, U. S. Navy Vet- eran Paul Cardoza of New Bedford. He fought top fighters in his era such as Light Heavy- weights: Eddie Owens, Richie Kates, Jimmy Dupree, Rosie Brown, Lloyd Duncan, Bob Benoit, Leslie Bordan, Paul Kasper, Charlie Polite. He also was a sparring partner for World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier, in the First of the great Muhammad All ver- sus Joe Frazier trilogy. Smokin' Joe Frazier won the fight in which Paul Cardoza sparred with Frazier. Some other great Fight Fam- ily members, Uniformed with an American Flag on their sleeve; Kenny Butler Jr., Great Politicians Francis X, Bellotti of Bos- ton, Pat Leonard, Tony Lamonica, Jim McNally of Wilmington, U.S. 1960 Rome Olympic Gold Medal Winner Wilbert Skeeter McClure, U.S. Marine World Middleweight Champion Paul Pender of Brookline. U.S. Navy Veteran Fighter and trainer of Champions Goody Petronelil of Brockton and Pat Petronelli. Others with American Flags on their Uniform; Nick Previti, Frankie Ross, Sailor Don Sauer, Leo Gerstel, Ronnie Gerstel, Charley Dwyer U.S.M.C., Dan Cuoco, Don Green U.S.M.C., Pug Ring Leader Tom Martini Stoughton U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Richard Hand Jr.. Ed Fitzgerald of the U.S. Navy, Ring 4 President Mickey Finn U.S. Marine, Paul Doyle U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret, Bob Hayden B.P.D., Joe Marques U.S.M.C., Dan Cuoco of Amherst N.H. of I.B.R.O. and U. S. Army, Jake Doucette U.S. Army, Art Boyson USN. Many others, the "Heart and Soul of the Fight World"; Herb Weissblum from Whidbey Island WA., Tommy Dargln of South Boston, Christine Lewis of Andover, Joey DeGrandis of South Boston, Mary L. Nelson of Hanson, Shirley Adams of Weymouth, Ann T. Murphy, Jackie Brady of N. Chelmsford, Paul Barry, Bill Connolly of Randolph, Tony Casals of Milton, Eddy Fitzgerald of Cam- bridge, Bob Hannah of Fairhaven, Joe Angelo of Brockton, The Boston Garden in the North End Boston, Freddie Roach of Lowell, Ed Imondi, Sam Langford of Bos- ton, Emily Harney of Salem, Cathy LeRoy of Holbrock and Florian Hall Dorchester, Lindsey's Restaurant in Wareham, Pat Leonard of Braintree, P.A.L. Police Athletic League Nationwide, Mike Ryan of Tyngs- boro, New Garden Gym in the North End Boston, Dan O'Malley of Milton, Johnny O'Brien of Hull, Glen Pearson of Whitman, Todd Peters of Dennis, John Ruiz of Chelsea, Charles ( Skeets ) Scioli of Somerville, Robbie Simms of Brockton, Hank Tuohy of Sandwich, Charlie Tartaglia of Brockton, Ben Venuti of Abington, Irish Micky Ward of Lowell. Other Area Gyms Peter Welch Gym in South Boston, Gyms in the North End Boston, Quincy, Dorchester, Brockton, and other of the Fight World. The many great Fighters from our past that have the ability and intelligence to benefit this great Sport. Atty. Dan O'Malley of Milton, Top Referee Dick Flaherty, Congressman Stephen Lynch of South Boston, the great Promot- ers previously mentioned; The Valenti Family, Burchfield, Cappiello Family and all. Great Businessmen and Politicians incor- porated in our Fight Family. Joe Angelo, Jackie Brady, Francis X. Bellotti, Calvin T. Brown, Jimmy Connors, Dave Gemelli, Ed Imondi, Peter Marciano, Denis Marrese, Vinnie Marino, Chic Rose, Rick Rudolph, Chris Sarno, Rich Torsney, Charlie Tartaglia, Hank Tuohy and others of our great Fight World. Super Middleweight Edwin Rodriquez, Light Heavyweight Jimmy McDermott of Holyoke, Cruiserweight Tim The Hammer Flamos of Brockton, light Middleweight Jose Medina of Quincy, Tom McNeeley of Arlington, The Clones Colossus Kevin McBride from Ireland and now Brockton, Howard Spider Freeman of Freeport Maine, Dick Lydon of Scituate, Art Boyson of Braintree, Ed Quigley of Braintree, Tommy Dargin of South Boston, Jack Hurley of Falmouth, Rick Rudolph of Saugus. Let's all get together and carry on and unite to discuss this venture. By the way, The Pugs Luncheon is on Tuesday, March 12  at the Florian Hall in Dorchester with PUG Ring Leader Tom Martini and the Pugs. See you there. "Ding!" It was a national record on-campus crowd of 35,012 that piled into the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on Febru- ary 23  to witness a matchup between SU and Georgetown that harkened back to the heyday of the original Big East Conference, which in its brightest years was the best college basketball conference in the nation. It brought back memories of when the facility was unique among college bas- ketball venues, when hordes of fans across upstate New York routinely filed in to be on hand for memorable games against the likes of UConn, Villanova, St. John's -- and yes, Georgetown, the victor in that recent game with Syracuse. The initial concept was to have a big-time basketball conference featuring schools within or near many of the important media markets in the Northeast. Thus, the original founding members in 1979 included Providence, St. John's, Syracuse, George- town, Connecticut, Seton Hall and Boston College. Villanova joined in 1980 and Pittsburgh became a member in 1982. The man behind the con- ference was the late Dave Gavitt, who remained com- missioner until 1990 when he left to take a top position with the Boston Celtics. His successor at the Big East was Mike Tranghese, who grew up in Springfield and had started with the Big East back in the league's initial season. The conference was a suc- cess from the get-go, getting high profile television time and bringing its conference championship tournament to one of the most important basketball venues in the na- tion -- Madison Square Gar- den in New York City. It was big time all the way and it didn't take long for conference members to make the Big East's presence known on the national scene. Georgetown made it to the NCAA championship game in 1982 and won the national title two years later, defeat- ing Houston in the title matchup. The following season (1985) three Big East teams (Villa- nova, St. John's and George- town) made the Final Four, with Villanova upsetting the Hoyas in the championship game, 66-64. The coach of that winning team was Rollie Massimino, perhaps better known to fans in the Boston area as the former coach of Lexington High School. Indeed, the 1980s would prove to the high point of Villanova basketball, with the team gaining 9 NCAA berths in its first 11 years in the conference. Another coach- ing personality of the era was St. John's mentor Lou Came- secca, the very embodiment of a native New Yorker coach- ing a New York City team. Shouts of "Louie, Louie" re- sounded through arenas as his Redmen (now the Red Storm) competed across the league. Carnesecca, always popular with the media, was named National Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1985. His teams made a post-season appearance (in either the NCAA or the NIT) in each of the 24 years he coached at St. John's. In 1987, Syracuse and Providence went to the Final Four, with Syracuse losing the championship game to Indiana on a last second bas- ket by Keith Smart, now the head coach of the Sacra- mento Kings. Then in 1989 Seton Hall went to the cham- pionship game, losing to Michigan in overtime. Syra- cuse won the national cham- pionship in 2003. UConn became a league powerhouse under former Northeastern coach Jim Cal- houn, playing in the Elite Eight a total of nine times and making the Final Four on four occasions. Calhoun re- tired in September. Boston College, often in the mix but never dominating, won the league tournament only twice -- in 1997 and 2001 -- before leaving for the ACC in 2OO5. If there was what would prove to be a fatal mistake it came in 1991 when the con- ference expanded to include football as well as basketball with Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia, Temple and Virginia Tech coming aboard. It seemed fine at the time and it was with the Big East virtually guaranteed bowl bids -- especially in the ever ex- panding universe of bowl games. But along the way college football got too big and it would be the pigskin sport that would eventually doom the original basketball Big East, causing schools to form alli- ances elsewhere as school administrators sought the dollars that ESPN and other sports media outlets show- ered upon them. One commentator suc- cinctly stated what happened to the original conference: "The Big East -- a basketball conference that got hijacked by football." In a nutshell that's exactly what happened. It took a long time but eventually football muscled its way to the top. Schools that competed in both sports were able to form new alliances but the basket- ball only schools were not. The so-called basketball first schools -- Providence, Georgetown, St. John's, Villa- nova, Seton Hall, Marquette and DePaul -- have decided to leave and will form their own conference. We wish the basketball first schools well as they go their own way. Notice that five of the schools are relatively close to one another with only Marquette (Milwaukee) and DePaul (Chicago) really out- side of driving range. It looks and sounds a lot like the original Big East to us. Whatever name it goes under, we hope it prospers. May the new league carry on the legacy of the original Big East as the years go by.