Category Archives: News

2017 Marty Healy

Marty Healy to receive Life Time Achievement Award.

Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates. lnc. is a humbling experience for Marty Healy. Healy started his amateur boxing career while stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1967 and the love for the sport still continues with him. Healy continues his involvement in boxing with the Ohio State Former Boxers & Associates. lnc. and the Lake Erie Association of USA Boxing. ln 2004, Healy was inducted into the O.S.F.B.&A. Hall of Fame. During Healy‘s involvement with the Association, he has been responsible for the Ad Program Book and he coordinates the annual amateur boxing show for the association. He also was elected vice president of the O.S.F.B.&A. in 2007, He is a former board member of the Cleveland Amateur Golden Gloves. Boxing in the 147 pounds division while in the Army. Healy had a record of 6 and 0. To continue his boxing career when he was discharged from the service in 1970. Healy continued his boxing training with the late “Uncle” John Giachetti at the Easterbrook Recreational Center and at Giachetti A.C. At this time. Healy’s boxing career under the trainer-ship of Giachetti was short. He compiled a boxing record of 4 and 1 . During Healy’s enlistment in the Army. he served from 1967 to 1968 in Vietnam. Healy who is 70 years old, retired from the U.S. Postal Service with 31 years of service. Healy is also a proud member of the Strongsville V.F.W. Post 3345 Honor Guard. An elite Honor Guard that serves as the 7th District State of Ohio Honor Guard and assist the U.S. Dept. of Defense in memorial services.  In 2006. Healy was elected Precinct C committeeman for the City of Brook Park and holds a seat on the Cuyahoga County Democratic Central Committee. In his spare time Healy enjoys playing golf with friends, spending time with his grandchildren and his black German Shepard Maxx.

Healy and his wife. Phyllis  have two children, Marty. Jr. and Kristen. They have two granddaughters Sophia. three months old and Cara, six years old; and a 3 year old grandsons, Joey

2017 William Merritt

William Merritt to receive Life Time Achievement Award.

Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates. Inc. is the ultimate achievement for William Henry Merritt. For Merritt, boxing added esteem and character to his life achievements. Merritt, 72-years-old starting his amateur boxing career at the defunct K.Y. Benson Boystown Recreation Center under tutelage of the famous trainers Jesse Levels and Cecil Shorts. Being able to develop his boxing skills quickly, Merritt entered the Golden Gloves tournament in 1961 and won the featherweight Novice Division Championship. Merritt’s interest in boxing continued as he compiled an excellent record of 24 wins and 4 losses.

Aside from having an interest in boxing, Merritt played baseball and softball for more than 20 years. Merritt received his education in the Cleveland Public School System and he graduated from Max S. Hayes High School. After high school, he attended Dyke College and received a bachelor of science degree in business from the college. His employment has consisted of working for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company for 33 years. He currently works for the Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA). While working for FEMA. Merritt is assigned to assist with different disasters in the country While being a resident in Warrensville Heights for more than 25 years. Merritt is a former member of the Warrensville Schools Board of Education. Still active in Warrensville community. Merritt is a member of the Warrensville Athletic Booster. which he assist the group with sporting events in the Warrensville School District. Being active in the Democratic Party. Merritt served as treasurer of the Tri-City Democratic Club and he has worked on different political campaigns to help elect candidates to office in the Warrensville community.

Merritt has one son, William Terry Merritt; a daughter-in-law, Charlene; and three grandchildren Nadar, Kayla and Khalil.

2017 Nick Duganier

Nick Duganier honored with Life Time Achievement Award

As a dedicated member of the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates Inc.Nick Duganier will be honored with the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Duganier was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame in 2007. At an early age Duganier developed an interest in boxing as well as for billiards and basketball. Born in Cleveland, Duganier’s boxing career started with the late “Uncle John Giachetti“ from 1970 until 1973.  After several left shoulders separations Duganier decided to stop boxing competitively and started training boxers with “Uncle” John which he did until 1977. From 1977 to 1980 Duganier was the personal trainer, man- ager and friend to the late Paul Ramos and other boxers. His close friendship with Ramos continued until his death. In 1980, Don Myers, Parma Boxing Club founder, encouraged Duganier to manage and train his boxers for the Parma Boxing Club. In December 1983. the Cuyahoga County Commissioners designated Saturday. December 3. 1983 as “Nick Duganier Day“ in recognition and commendation for his active interest in physical fitness for today’s youths through boxing training. Duganier began a Boxing Program for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department in 1984 to increase physical fitness and self- defense which continued until 1986. He also trained boxers for the Police Olympics where at the age of 40 he won a Gold Medal in the 156 pounds division for 33 years old and over and a Silver Medal in the 165 pounds division. From 1983 to 1990, he also trained boxers out of the West Park YMCA Duganier-Renhart Boxing Club. And from 1990 through 2001, he trained boxers, professional and amateur. He has worked with adult and juvenile offenders throughout his boxing career. Duganier was a Correction Officer from 1977 through the 80‘s and now dabbles in the antiques and collectibles market. Duganier and his wife, Deb, love to travel and spend time with their terrific children. John, (and Teri), Matt (and Cari),Jason, Jaime (and Glen) and their  wonderful grandchildren. Amanda, Nick, Nathan, JJ and Gunnar.

2017 Joe Gentile

Joe Gentile will be honored by the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates lnc. as the Man Of The Year for 2017 he also received the same honor in 2005 from the association.

Joe Gentile went from being a poor young immigrant from Italy to becoming a boxer and beloved legendary boxing trainer who took many poor youngsters off the street and showed them that they could achieve more with their lives. Joe Gentile honored with Man Of The Year Award Gentile said his life philosophy has always been. “lt takes very little energy to be nice.“ Gentile has used his energy to transform lives. and in the process he developed many outstanding boxers.

Gentile was born in Rome. Italy and his family immigrated to the United States. After spending a short time in New York City. his family relocated to Elyria where he was raised with his three brothers. Tony. Frank. and Sal. Gentile fought as an amateur boxer with an impressive record of 52-5. before finding his calling as a boxing trainer and promoter. According to Gentile. he trained 60 Golden Glove champions including Lovell Nixon and Lany Bowen. the runner-up in the 118 pound division. Bowen lost to Gregg Richardson from Youngstown. During his training career. Gentile helped William Stafford and Jim Ralston win district titles in 1969. He also helped Sean Mueller of Sandusky win the Toledo Golden Gloves. As a promoter. several world champions such as Michael Dokes. Hilmer Kenty. and Richard Rozell fought on his boxing shows. Gentile was a chief official for 13 years for the Lake Erie Association. During this period he judged more than 5.000 bouts.  was inducted into the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates. Inc. Hall Of Fame. Trainer of the Year in 1970. He was inducted into the Elyria Hall of Fame as well as the Legends of Leather Hall of Fame in 2006. and the Summit County Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013 along with Gold Medalist Boxing Winner, Ronnie Harris. Gentile, along with his son, Lorenzo, sponsored the 2012 Lake Erie Association Jr. Olympics Tournament in Elyria. Gentile is enjoying retirement with his wife, Francesca his son,. Lorenzo and daughter in law, Denise and his granddaughter, Isabella.

2017 Rick Lozada

Rick Lozada honored with Coach Of The Year Award Ricardo Lozada was named by the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates. Inc. as Coach Of The Year. Lozada is an acclaimed former boxer, decorated police officer and a hero to many in the community. Lozada was born in Euclid. Ohio in 1991.

From an early age he had a passion for boxing. When he was 17 years old. he won his first amateur boxing tournament in the United States Vs. Canada in 1989 in the light weight division. Training under Gary Horvath, Lozada entered his first Golden Gloves Memento in 1990. For this tournament there was a shortage of light heavy weight boxers and Lozada, who weighed 192 pounds, fought in the heavy weight division. He won his first Golden Glove Title. In 1992, Lozada made it to the finals of the Golden Gloves Tournament but was sidelined with an injury. He entered the 1994 Golden Gloves Tournament as a super heavyweight and made it to the finals but lost in a close decision.

Lozada turned his attentions to coaching boxers. and in 1996 he helped Horvath train fighters at Team America Boxing Club. Currently. Lozada trains boxers at the Old Angle Gym with Horvath. His boxer Cody Orahoske won 2017 Golden Gloves in the 165 pound open division. Congressman Martin R. Hoke awarded Lozada with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition and Achievement in 1996. Lozada was presented with an achievement plaque for being a top fighter in the heavyweight division during the 75 anniversary of the Golden gloves. Lozada has one daughter who recently graduated from high school and she will attend University of Cincinnati in the fall. Outside the ring Lozada served as a Cleveland police officer in the 4th district. While on duty in 2002 he was hit by a drunk driver and sustained multiple injuries. The accident essentially ended his police career and Lozada retired as a decorated officer in 2006.

2017 A Maserati Riggins

A. Maserati Riggins inducted into Hall Of Fame A. Maserati Riggins‘ journey as an amateur boxer started at the age of 15 under the teaching of Gene Jackson. According to Riggins, Gene was his great friend and according to Riggins. “May his soul rest in paradise.” Under Jackson’s teaching, Riggins fought 75 fights with 3 losses. Riggins was a two-time Golden Gloves championship. Riggins hurt his back in a bus accident which ended his boxing career and his hopes of becoming a professional boxer. After two years of rest, Riggins started training again but he was not the same. He met Bobby Haymon who was a skillful and slick boxer who fought Sugar Ray leonard in 1977. Under Haymon’s training, Riggins improved his boxing skills. Haymon is the older brother of Allen Haymon. who is currently considered one of the most successful boxing promoters. Riggins founded the Untouchable Boxing Team in 1979 where he trained boys and girls at Fast Cleveland PAL. He also promoted boxing shows at the Glenville Festival, The Masonic Temple, and the Public Auditorium. In 1990. Riggins moved to Las Vegas. Nevada to promote a two boxing shows at the Aladdin Casino. Riggins returned to Cleveland from 1990- 1992 to deal with family issues. He returned to Las Vegas in 1992 to 2003 and became a successful boxing trainer. Under the tutelage of the 1988 Olympic trainer Ken Adams, Riggins learned his training skills. While Riggins was in Las Vegas he assisted with training of such boxers as Laila Ali. Jessica Rakozy, WBO champions Michael Benn, Shannon Briggs, Herbie Hide, Arthur William, Gold Medalist 5-time champion Frank Tatem, Frankie Liles, Carl Daniels, Paul Vadon, Vince Phillips, David Sample, Jan Bergman, Seigon Skipper Kelp, Freddie “Lil Haglar” Norwood, Kennedy “The King” McKinney and the late Diego Corrales. Riggins is being inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Bryan Gedeon. Carl Burton. and Matt Sysack.

2017 Matt Sysack

Tyson influenced Matt Sysack to become a boxer The rise of Mike Tyson in the 1980s fueled Matt Sysack’s interest in boxing which is still present. Sysack shares a birthday with Reuben Carter on May 6. Sysack was born in 1968 in Cleveland to Parents Russ And Joanne Sysack. He has a younger brother. As a child growing up Sysack was a huge fan of the Browns and Indians and spent many summer and fall nights playing baseball and football. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1986. After high school with no more sports leagues to take part in, the activity  of weightlifting appealed to Matt. Also during the time in the late 1980s a young phenom by the name of Mike Tyson became the sports youngest heavyweight champion. Getting together with friends and a 6 pack to watch Tyson steamroll his opponents was the highlight of many weekends. The results of February 11 1990 left a lasting impact on Matt. After witnessing Buster Douglas KO Mike Tyson. Sysack wanted to give boxing a try. “Before joining a boxing gym l fought once on the school yard in 5th grade a no contest.“ Sysack fought in the Golden Gloves tournaments (1991, 93 and 94) at Estabrook. Sysack started boxing in his twenties as a sub novice but due to age restrictions had to fight in the more experienced open division with fighters like Julius Joiner,  Keith Burnside and David Robinson. Sysack had his last amateur match in August of 1994 at the Ample Club in Old Brooklyn versus Ted Dunleavy from Samson’s BC. Brunswick.

By 1995. Sysack earned his college degree and began his teaching career while still a regular at the different boxing gyms. He continued to enjoy sparring. roadwork and training young fighters. Despite being hindered by a severe work related knee injury in 1998. from 1998-2004. Matt competed in several “Tough Man Competitions.“ Despite being handicapped by the bad knee brief I minute rounds. Sysack enjoyed success in these “very brief” matches. Due to State health and age restrictions. he engaged in his last competitive match in January of 2004 in Youngstown. During his career. Sysack had close to 60 matches winning more than he lost. Post 2004. Sysack continued to attend other gyms to spar. help other fighters prepare for fights such as Vonda Ward. Joe DiSalvo. Jose Rivera. Dan Jambor. Don Rowland. and Corey Gregory. Sysack has also sparred and trained with fighters from the Valley Forge high school boxing club. helping them win many novice. sub novice Golden Gloves titles. Sysack last sparred at Bill Brown’s gym on Super Bowl Sunday. Sysack enjoys at- tending the boxing Hall of Fame in New York. local fight shows. watches boxing on TV and reading boxing themed books. Sysack sums up his feelings about the sport: “boxing is the hardest. greatest sport in the world and has so many life lessons to teach. it is more than hitting someone. You learn healthy living habits. how to defend yourself in the ring and respect others out- side of the ring. I am grateful and honored to be going into the hall of fame class of 2017. Sysack is currently a teacher at a juvenile prison and he a 12 year old son. Sysack is being inducted into the Hall of Fame along with A. Maserati Riggins. Bryan Gedeon. and Carl Burton.

2017 Carl Burton

Carl Burton inducted into Hall of Fame.During the late 1960’s while living in the Scranton Road area, while coming home from school, Carl Burton was accosted by a couple of boys.When he returned home his father, Dennis, wanted him to defend himself.

This is when Burton started his amateur boxing career at the Boys Town Recreation Center as Johnny Avon Sr. was his boxing trainer.

While at Boys Town, Burton became a Junior Olympics boxing champion. He continued to progress in boxing. Later in his boxing career, a PAL boxing gym opened close to where he lived and he started training there. Al Brooks, Wes Fredericks and Tom Spiros were the trainers at the gym. Burton entered his first Golden Gloves Tournament in 1972 in the 135 pounds novice weight division. After losing in the tournament, Burton continued his boxing training and in 1973, he entered the Golden Gloves Tournament in the novice 147 pounds division and won the tournament. Burton’s last Golden Gloves Tournament was in 1979 in the open division at 165 pounds where he won the City Championship.

Burton and his wife, Nancy, have one son, Chris. He received his education in the Cleveland Public School System where he graduated from Lincoln West High School. After high school, Burton was employed at Giant Eagle’s Warehouse where he has worked for 27 years. During his employment with Giant Eagle, he has been a member of Teamsters Union Local 507. Burton is inducted into the Hall of Fame along with A. Maserati Riggins, Bryan Gedeon, and Matt Sysack.

2017 Bryan Gedeon

Bryan Gedeon named Coach Of The Year

Bryan Gedeon was named by the Ohio State Former Boxers and Associates. Inc. as Coach Of The Year.

Gedeon was born to Robert and Linda Gedeon of Lakewood on October 29, 1979. Gedeon is a 1998 graduate of Saint Edward High School and has been a huge boxing fan his entire life. Gedeon spent many nights watching fights with his loving parents and always hoped to step into the ring.

Gedeon has been involved with combat sports for over a decade. He started his own fight team in 2011. Before starting his team. Gedeon was a dedicated jiu jitsu practitioner under legendary trainer. Ricardo Pires. He received his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and placed in every tournament he entered including multiple first place finishes. His gym was originally planned to be a mixed martial arts gym  but after competing in his first boxing event in 2012 that all changed. He encouraged his team to compete in as many boxing events as possible.

Pro boxer Roger Blankenship and 141 pound amateur champion Dib Kaddah were his first two amateur boxers he trained. Gedeon hired his long time friend Tony Rottari in August of 2016 to help coach his growing team. Gedeon says that Rottari is the best all around coach he has ever been around. In addition to the tremendous boxers, Gedeon and Rottari have produced many pro MMA fighters as well as the 170 pound national amateur champion.

Since Gedeon and his team began boxing, he has produced four successful professional boxers, a Golden Gloves champion, five Golden Glove runner ups, the 141 pound amateur champion and he has his team registered as a certified USA boxing gym.

After becoming involved with boxing in 2012 . Bryan has become a USA
boxing official, the Lake Erie Association merchandise chairman, a professional
cut man, a professional manager, Golden Gloves runner up, safe sport certified,
a certified USA Boxing level I coach, and the 201+ Masters division champion.
Gedeon credits his amazing team especially his comermen -Kaddah. Blankenship.
and Rottari for all of his success in the ring and would like to thank Defense Soap
for their continued support over the past few years.

Gedeon and his wife. Allegra. have two beautiful daughters. Mary and
Adeline. His family attends many boxing events and they always support his
teams. These three ladies are the most important part of Gedeon’s life as he strives
to be a great role model. husband. and father.