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May 4, 2012

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Page16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, MAY 4, 2012 : It CORNER TRLK by Reinaldo Oliveira, Jr. 90 m Happy Birthday Fred Valenti at Continental Restaurant in Saugus Ring 4 Hall of Fame Banquet 2012 at Florian Hall in Dorchester Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto WBA Title and Saul AIvarez vs. Shane Moseley WBC Title Both Super Welterweight Title Fights. Doesn't Look Good for Prospect of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight, Oh Well... "Happy Birthday's!" The Great Valenti Family of Boxing. Tony Valenti, A1 Valenti and Happy Birthday to Fred Valenti. Fred Valenti celebrated his 90 th birthday on April 21" at the Continental Restaurant in Saugus. The Valenti name is one of the great names in Worldwide Boxing History. Rip Valenti first started in 1932, promoting in the next year 40 fights. That's 80 years ago, when the great Valenti family first made a major impact in the World of Box- ing: Rip, Fred, Al and Tony are some of the great family members, who contributed to World Boxing History. They did it all as pro= rooters, fighters and all. Congratulations and thank you for all you and your family have done. God Bless you and Happy Birthday. Some of the many great fighters you and your family have helped guide in their careers: Tony DeMarco, Joe DeNucci, Tommy Collins, Max Baer, Sammy Fuller, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Joe Louis, A1 McCoy, Tony Petronelli, Maxie Rosen- bloom and many others. On April 22 "d, Ring 4 Hall of Fame Ban- quet Inductions honored World Title Con- tender Tom McNeeley, at the Florian Hall in Dorchester. Inducted into the 2012 Ring 4 Hall of Fame are: Charlie Dwyer, Joey DeGrandis, Jim Harrison and Chester Finn. Award recipients: Joe Feeney, Brother in Boxing Award. Ted Sares. Humanitarian Award. David Petronelli, Goody Petronelli Memorial. Tom and Christine Brown, Mary Jo Brown Memorial, Jimmy Devlin, Joey Devlin Memorial. Gloria McNeeley, Tom McNeeley Ring 4 Memorial Dedication. Noreen Minelli, Ernie Minelli Memorial. This is a knockout banquet by Ring 4 Presi- dent Mickey Finn and Officers John O'Brien and Bobby Franklin, who also did fine work. At the Head Table were: Tony DeMarco, Guy LoConti, Joe DeNucci, Vinny Marino, Richie LaMontagne, John O'Brien, President Mickey Finn, special guest Marion Conner (Tom McNeeley and Marion Conner fought on I0-15-65 in Bos- ton won by Marion Conner and they fought again on 12-13-65. This fight was won by Tom McNeeley. Both fights were for the U.S.A. New England Heavyweight title. Guest Marion Conner also fought Curtis Bruce, Milo Calhoun, Henry Hank, Willie Will- iams, Herschel Jacobs, Jimmy Dupree, Levan Roundtree and Joe Frazier (in his 55 bout career. Anyone who knows boxing, knows the names of fighters mentioned). Also in attendance were: Peter Welch, Tam McNeeley Ill and Joey DeGrandis. Ring 4 Officers and stars: Board of Directors Chair- man John Buddy Ford, Directors Mike Mullen, Bobby Franklin and Bobby Bower ........... Geurge tedman. Don Green, Calvin Brown, John Diaz and Jim McDonald, Danny Long, David Petronelli and Tony Petronelli. Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee. Also special acknowledgment to Boxing His- torian Ted Sates. Some of the many others in attendance include: Fred Valenti, Sam Amante, Joe Amante, Paul Ahern, Bob Benoit, City Councilor at Large Calvin T. Brown, Kenny Butler, Meagan Beatty (Bos- ton Boxing), Candice Brabanis, Brenda Boynton, Bob Covino, Marion Conner, Emma J. Conner, Bob Crane, Jimmy Cappiello, Tommy Collins, Dan Couco, Ed Connolly, Ruth Connolly, Tommy Connors, Diana Previti Caliri, Joe Colucci, Tony Coelho, Constance Campana, Edward & Dianne Casey, Nancy Mararuso, Joe Marques, Jimmy Connors, Jim Gagan, Bill Walsh, Gerry Huston, Sr., Jimbo Curran, Dottie DeMarco, John Lee Diaz, Rusty Dinoto, Charley & Ellie Dwyer, Paul Doyle, Dick Flaherty, Jerry Forte, Ed Fitzgerald, Michael Flemming, Don Green, Michael George, Johnny Gould, Paul Gratta, Jack Hurley, LaMont Jackson, Danny Johnson, Don Judson, Beverly Johnson, Evelyn Kelly, Danny Long, Richie LaMontagne, Tom Martini, Bob Marley, Peter McNeeley and his young lovely daughter Nadia McNeeley. Peter McNeeley gave a wonder- ful tribute to his father Tom McNeeley and to his grandfather. Both top Heavyweights in World Boxing History. Kevin McNeeley, Ann Murphy, Jim McDonnell, Mike "Mugsy" Mullen, Noreen Minelli, Ernest Minelli IV, Jim McQuarrie, Dennis McLaughlin, Philip Murphy, President of Boston City Council Stephen J. Murphy, Jim Melvin, Mary Nelson, Tony Petronelli, Denise Petronelli, Amanda Petronelli, Ed Quigley, Dennis Quigley, Danny Ryan, Norman G. Stone, George Stedman, Tad Tully, Rich Torsney, Amanda Washburn and many many others. We had a full house. Thank you Cathy LeRoy and the great staff of the Florian Hall. This was another great moment in the life of our Fight Family, made more eloquent when we heard bagpipes by Luke Macfadden. He wooed the crowd at this All-Star Gala. "The Fight Family:" "Ring 4!" May 19 th Battle of the Badges at Foxwoods in Connecticut. June 14 th State Police Boxing Team in Sturbridge, battling for Cripple Children Hos- pital Springfield. N.Y.P.D., Denver P.O. and Mass State Police. For tickets and adver- tisement, call Bob Benoit at (508) 882-3072. Happy Belated Birthday ... April 5 th Kenny Buffer. 8 m Bob Hayden and Joe Possidento, 9 th Calvin T. Brown. I0 th Bob Benoit. 12 m Irish Billy Skinner, 16 m Mickey Flynn, 17  Rick Glaser, 21 st Fred Valenti. 26  Ron Borges, 30 th Bernie McNally. Upcoming Birthdays in May ... 3 rd Tony Bislarides, 4 th Don Green and Kevin Rooney, 5 m Edwin Rodriquez, 6 th Jerry Huston, Jr.. 15 th Neil Gisherman, and Val Rocha, 16 th Veronica Hagler, 17 th Ed Connelly, 19 th Norman G. Stone, 20 m Joe Devlin, 21st Gary "Tiger" Balletto. 23 rd Marvelous Marvin Hagler and on the 27 m Lenny Corrente. May 5 m from Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather battles Miguel Cotto for the WBA Super Welterweight World Title and Saul Canelo Alvarez battles Shane Moseley for the WBC And then suddenly it was summer and all the plans, hopes and dreams for a suc- cessful second season lay in disarray, their places taken by defeat, discouragement and disconsolation. The path out of the TD Garden led not to joy and cel- ebrations in the streets but to a summer of contempla- tion over a task not com- pleted, a goal not achieved, an expectation not fulfilled. It ended on a Wednesday night, just like last year, but rather than being the length of the continent away, it was right here at the Garden. And it ended not in triumph but in defeat. And it wasn't even May. Somehow, regardless of what one felt about the Bru- ins chances in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, the vast majority of observers would have said the Black and Gold would enter the fifth month of the calendar year still competing for the ultimate hockey honor. But instead there was a hollowness to it all. an empty feeling, a termination. It was the abruptness of the final goal. One moment everyone was skating, the flow of the game was continuing. Then, just like that it ended -- like a speeding vehicle that hit a wall and just stopped. The proceedings didn't conclude, they simply halted -- and didn't resume. "It's such a weird feeling," said B's defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. "I mean you play hard and suddenly a bounce goes against you and the season is over. For the first few minutes and even later, you're wondering what time practice is tomorrow but there is no practice. It's go- ing to be a long summer." Throughout the regular season and into the playoffs, indeed, even in the after- math of being eliminated, there were references to last year's "short summer" and the effect that might have had on the team and fran- chise as a whole. The Bruins won the Cup on June 15, the parade was June 18 and breakup day was June 19. The ice melted on June 20. Now, this time around, the team gets to experience the antithesis of that scenario -- the long summer of lost op- portunities, what ifs, maybes and never weres. Given the alternatives, nearly every- one would gladly take a "short summer" any time. The series with Washing- ton was a classic one, It set a record. No seven-game series in NHL history ever featured all seven contests being decided by a single goal. Many years ago there was a slogan used at the Garden in marketing la- crosse tickets: "We'll sell you the whole seat but you'll only need the edge." That statement pretty much defined this series. Several factors wrote the story of the series. One would be the outstanding Supe.we.lterwight IVor.ld +Title ....... - .... effort, of. Braden./J.xIthy,- tlze. third string goalie for Wash- ington. Having played only seven NHL games in his life, he electrified the atmo- sphere with deft maneuvers and dazzling saves. "A young goaltender played extremely well so let's not for- get to give them a lot of credit for how they handled us," noted Bruins head coach Claude Julien. The second was related: during the regular season the B's had six players who had scored 20 or more goals. That firepower was basically nonexistent in the series. Yet another was that the Bruins never were able to establish a home ice advan- tage. Washington needed to win four games to eliminate the B's and did just that with three of their four vic- tories coming on Garden ice. And a fourth would be the loss of Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid to injuries. "I thought losing them hurt our size and strength and hurt our balance up front," observed Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. On a positive note he added "I expect both to make a full recovery." If the immediate after- math of game seven came as a shock, the reality of the situation certainly had taken hold by breakup day -- which this year took place two days after the B's bid the playoffs farewell. "My biggest take away from this year is the parity in the league," offered Chiarelli, who said it was basically a continuation of the scenarios faced by the B's last year when three of their series went to game seven -- with the Bruins winning all three. "Our first round loss in seven games this year can be an- other Stanley Cup Final next year it's that close." He added: "I think our series with Washington was characterized as the closest in the history of hockey. The reality is parity is here to stay and that's a good thing for our league. I think defen- sively we had a good series. Offensively, we didn't score at the times we had to score and I think we could have. So that's an area we'll have to improve." So now comes the dis- persal -- to both near and distant locations. There's no Cup making the rounds this year, no celebrations both near and far. Just each in- dividual player left with his own thoughts. The solitude that follows the season's sudden stop. And next year's team will be a different one, at least in part. "From the makeover perspective, certainly we're not going to do anything to make over this team, stated Chiarelli. "But I would like to add some pieces." dust who those pieces might be is simply specula- tion right now. But that speculation will change into reality as the long summer -- the one no one wanted -- continues throughout Bruins Nation .... +