Editor’s Note: This is an edited excerpt of a post originally posted on maxboxing.com, posted with permission of the author.
By Andrew Rivera
Former Golden Gloves state champion
Recently on a local sports radio talk show, I overheard the host petitioning for inductees for the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame. When researching, I learned four of New Mexico’s pioneers of boxing were not in the Hall: Lenny Fresquez, Sandy Pino, Dan Cisneros and Chris Cozzone.
That’s an insult to the boxing community.
Let’s be honest, I understand the politics in all sports, and sometimes it’s whose side you’re on.
Recently when talking to a member of the NMBHOF who I respected enough to remain anonymous, they stated they would like it to be more on what one contributes to New Mexico Boxing, not a “good ol’ boy club.
“… I want or hope it will be people who have contributed to the boxing community in New Mexico and for a long period. It shouldn’t be on who bought more tickets for a banquet to get one in for next year’s inductions. Hopefully that will change.”
Back to the four who should be in:
- Dan Cisneros and Chris Cozzone are media contributors who set the standard in covering boxing when no one else did. Cisneros covered boxing for over 20 years with his “8 Count Boxing Hour” on access TV. Chris Cozzone started the first all
boxing Website in 2002, NewMexicoBoxing.com. Cozzone covered all New Mexico boxing fight cards from 2001 until 2014.
- Sandy Pino has been around boxing for over 30 years. As a former president of USA boxing, she has been a timekeeper and judge in New Mexico and throughout the country. In 1984, Pino was asked to be the timekeeper for the 1984 Olympics and Team USA. The team consisted of greats Evander Holyfield, Tyrell Biggs, Meldrick Taylor and Pernell Whitaker. Pino was the USA Boxing Team lead at the Sydney Olympics, three world championship tournaments, two Pan American Games and was the first Hispanic woman to be named president of USA Boxing.
- Promoter Lenny Fresquez’s “Rising Stars” series was seen late night on Saturdays in the ’90s. He is also the promoter who took a chance on a soccer player-turned-boxer, then MMA star Holly Holm. Fresquez has promoted world champions like Danny Romero, Johnny Tapia and Cruz Carbajal.
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