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December 16, 2016     Post-Gazette
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PAGE 12 BOSTON POST-GAZE'I-I'E, DECEMBER 16, 2016 Boxing Hall of Shame, Legendary Tony DeMorco is Agoin Passed Over for Induction The latest class to be in- ducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) has been announced. That is no cause for excitement, as they have once again denied former Welterweight Champion Tony DeMarco his rightful place as an honoree. Tony, who was in Canastota, NY, in 1990 te present his former rival Carmen Basilio with his award upon being in- ducted, has been shunned by the self-appointed powers in upstate New York. This year's candidates in the modem cat- egory (the one Tony would be in) were all selected in their first year of eligibility. DeMarc0 has been eligible from the day the IBHOF first opened its doors. That was twenty-six years ago. Every year since then, this great champion has been slighted by that organization. Why do they continue to insult him? That is a good question without a definitive answer. Many people, solid boxing people, have gone to bat for "The Fury of Fleet Street." Tony certainly has the credentials to be in the hall. He was World Champion in a time when box- ing had only eight divisions with one champion in each. Tony also defeated eight current and former world champs. He won the title by destroying Johnny Saxton in the fourteenth round. Even in losing the title to Car- men Basilio (he was ahead in the bout before being stopped), he showed what a great cham- pion he was. It was voted the Fight of the Year by Ring Maga- zine, as was their rematch. Both fights are considered among the most action-packed of all time. I could go on about Tony's qualifications, but the people who run the so-called hall of fame know them. As far as I can figure, this has to be something personal. Boxing writers and fans should all demand that Ed Brophy, the director of the IBHOF, explain this injustice. When a crook like Don King is honored, and someone who played a fighter in the movies is inducted while a true champion is ignored, it is nothing less than a travesty. If there is some good reason why Tony is not allowed this honor he so much deserves, then Director Brophy should make that news public. If it is just something personal he has against Tony, then he should be big enough to put that aside and judge DeMarco on the merits. I would encourage people not to attend any events at the IBOHF until there is either a full accounting of why a great champion is being kept from receiving his due, or until Tony is inducted into the Hall. Until then, the IBHOF has absolutely no integrity. Until then, it will continue to disgrace itself. Boston has recognized Tony DeMarco with a statue and by naming the street he grew up on after him. He is recognized Tony staggers Carmen. everywhere he goes. People still line up to have their picture taken with him and to ask for autographs. He has written a wonderful autobiography. He is a class act from head to toe and a Boston legend. When he won the rifle, he made all Bostonians proud, and he still does. Fans were never disappointed when Tony fought. Tony DeMarco defines what it means to be a champion both in and out of the ring. Both while fighting and in his life since he retired from the squared circle. It speaks volumes that Ed Brophy does not appreciate that. Whenever I hear mention of the International Boxing Hail of Fame, my mind immediately changes Fame to Shame. Mr. Brophy, step up and do the right thing. Tony DeMarco and boxing deserve it. The well-dressed man about town. The Champ. Fr, Ken Novak from St. Mary's Academy & College in Kansas stopped by the St. Joseph Society's recent Sunday dinner and met up with The Champ Tony DeMarco, "the Flame and Fury of Fleet Street," in this matchup. (Photo by Sal Giarratani) The new Champ resting up. DeMarco winning title from Saxton. HOOPS and HOCKEY in the HUB by Richard Preiss GO WEST, YOUNG MAN, GO WEST -- And that is what Boston Bruins media relations staffer Eric Tosi is doing, having just signed on to head the media relations department of the newest NHL franchise, - the Vegas Golden Knights. Tosi, a Beverly native and a graduate of Holy Cross, has been with the Bruins for nearly ten seasons, or since about the time that current head coach Claude Julien strolled in the door to replace one-year mentor Dave Lewis. Julien opened his postgame press conference on December 10th following the Toronto game by thankir!.g Tosi for a job well done over the past decade. "I just want to take a minute to thank Eric Tosi who has worked with me for ten years -- since the first day I got here. He's moving on and I want to wish him the best of luck. I want to thank him for all the years spent with me. He's certainly become a good friend and hopefully we'll see him down the road." There was applause from the assembled media members, an honor rarely bestowed by local members of the Fourth Estate. Fans of the new franchise, which will begin play in the NHL next season, won't have far to go for additional "entertainment opportunities." The arena sits right on the famed casino strip, so it~l be only a short walk for those who wish to try their luck at the other games offered by the various venues. The addition of the Golden Knights to the Western Conference means the NHL will have an uneven numbered 31 teams in the league next season. Because the NHL powers that be are known to like even numbers for balance purposes, that means that a 32nd franchise can't be far behind. Let the guessing begin as to where it will be. And, by the way, for those who are old enough to remember, don't your hearts really pine for the days of the Original Six? Whoever thought there would come a day when there would be an additional 25 teams in the NHL? Meanwhile, we'd like to extend our thanks and best wishes to Eric, who always smiled broadly and offered a friendly greeting on the many nights we arrived in the media area of the Garden. We wish him well and know we will see him again when the Knights make their initial visit to Boston at some point during the 2017-2018 season. EYES ON THE GOAL-- It's no secret that something important is lacking in the Bruins' offense -- the ability to score goals. As of December 13th, the Bs had 21 games out of 30 played where they scored two goals or less. You can't expect to win many games with that low level of production. "It seems like every game we're out-chancing teams-- chances for versus against -- but we don't outscore teams," noted Julien. "That's the biggest issue right now. Our scoring is not there, and ffyou don't score goals you don't win hockey games." But the coach feels things aren't really as bad as they might seem. "Our game (as a whole) really isn't that bad. If we were scoring goals, people would love our game right now. Things are going to come around. We just need to start scoring so we can get rid of the frustration of playing hard and not scoring goals. But if we don't score goals, it's going to be pretty hard to win hockey games." CONVERTING FENWAY- They've started transforming the Grand Old Ballpark into a hockey arena for the Frozen Fenway extravaganza that will take place along Yawkey Way in January. Already under way is the installation of flooring, the rink underlay chiller/piping, and the ice mat. The week of December 19th will see the installation of the dasher boards, team benches and the penalty box, plus the initial flooding of the rink. Just after Christmas will come the installation of the rink glass and poles plus the painting of the ice and the installation of logos. That all will lead into a fortnight of hockey and skating events at Fenway, slated to take place January 3rd- 17th. The feature contests will be a pair of Hockey East doubleheaders. On Saturday, January 7th, Boston University will take on UMass-Amherst at 1:30 pm, followed by Boston College facing off against Providence College at 5:00 pm. The following Saturday (January 14th), Maine will go against UConn at 4:00 pm, while UNH will clash with Northeastem at 7:30 pm. We're not going to rain on anyone's parade, but we feel that there are some things people should know when making their plans. Those planning on attending should realize that they will be sitting out in the elements and, while there will be places to purchase coffee and hot chocolate, there will not be places to warm up -- unless you have access to a luxury box. In addition, be sure to purchase tickets that are relatively high up in the stands. We know of a couple who purchased tickets to a prior Frozen Fenway event. Their seats were right behind the Red Sox dugout -- great seats for baseball. But this was hockey, and because they were down low, all they saw were heads and shoulders as the players skated up and down the rink. The boards obscured every- thing else. So be forewarned: buy tickets higher up in the stands. And don't forget to bring binoculars. At a prior Frozen Fenway event, the rink was in short centerfield behind second base -- a bit of a distance for many seated in the stands. The way to think of it is that the seats farthest away from the action at the Garden would be the closest ones at Fenway. You'll be able to follow the action quite well on the outfield Jumbotron, but if you want to follow the live action yourself, bring binoculars!