CANASTOTA, NY– In the small village of Canastota lies a piece of boxing history. Residents of the village have the luxury of living next to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Executive Director Ed Brophy understands it is unusual for such a big organization to be in a small village.
“Its often asked, ‘Why Canastota?’ And really, it’s because of the love of boxing of the village of Canastota,” Brophy said.
The Hall of Fame was built in Canastota because the village is home to a champion boxer, Brophy said.
“We had a world champion in the 1950s, Carmen Basilio was champion from 1955 to 1958. Brought a lot of pride and love of boxing in Canastota. And as the years went by, the village said, no where in the world is there a boxing hall of fame. We should pay tribute to boxing like the other sports,” Brophy said.
Brophy says he has been working with the organization since its founding and has many fond memories of his time.
“There are so many unique stories over the years…Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali being here, Kenny Nortons’, Michael Spinks, Leon Spinks..all the different champions,” Brophy said.
“Four days, and there’s a lot of events. From the opening ceremony, to workouts on the grounds by world champions, to a 5K fun run, to a banquet of champions, a parade, a golf tournament, a VIP cocktail party, a fight night, the induction ceremony,” Brophy said.
Induction weekend isn’t just special for the fans.
“When they come to Canastota, it’s a feeling that, now they’re a champion again. Maybe in their town and years went by, they get forgotten and not as recognized. But when they come to Canastota, they get a grand parade and their signing autographs, so it’s really exciting,” Brophy said.