By Matt Ward
The 2020 New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame's annual induction and awards ceremony has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in its 52-year history, the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner has been canceled.
The annual early November induction and awards dinner, held in recent years at the Venetian in Garfield, has attracted upwards of 650 people. This year's banquet was officially canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a health threat to New Jersey residents.
In a recent press release, New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame President, Henry Hascup, stressed the need for attendee safety, and to have maximum support for those being honored by the hall of fame. "Right now the [New Jersey] Governor has opened it up to 25% of the venue's capacity, but that would mean that ONLY 250 people could attend, which wouldn't be fair to the honorees," Hascup said.
The New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame was established in 1968 to honor persons who made significant contributions to boxing in New Jersey. Inductees span the various roles involved with the sport ranging from fighters to medical professionals.
This year's 14 inductees include a variety of boxers and non-boxers. Bob Rooney Jr. and David Toledo headline the list of boxers from the Garden State. Non-participants joining the hall of fame include sports photographer, Ed Mulholland, and boxing training camp owner, Madame Bey.
The Turkish-born Hranoush Sidky Bey, commonly known as Madame Bey, ran her training camp in Chatham Township, New Jersey from 1923 to 1942. Notable visitors to her camp included Max Schmeling, Primo Carnera and Lou Ambers. Madame Bey's life in and outside of her boxing camp is chronicled in New Jersey boxing historian Gene Pantalone's 2016 book, Madame Bey's: Home to Boxing Legends.
The class of 2020 inductees will be honored on November 11, 2021 with the class of 2021.
The New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame is a 501-C3 charity. Notable past inductees include, Mickey Walker, Jersey Joe Walcott, Mike Tyson, James J. Braddock, Gerry Cooney and Marvin Hagler.
This story also appeared on Patch.