Last Wednesday night in New York's Little Italy a special fundraiser was held to benefit the Retired Boxers Foundation.
Ringsports magazine – celebrating their 15 year anniversary – and Sal Esposito, the owner of the fabulous and world known IL Cortile restaurant on Mulberry Street, opened their doors and hearts to the RBF – boxing's non-profit organization which restores the pride and dignity to ex-fighters in need of assistance.
A perfect place – IL Cortile is the finest restaurant in Little Italy, if not all of New York – along with great food and a host of special, caring boxing people provided the standing room only crowd with an intimate look at what the Retired Boxers Foundation is all about. Along with words from Ringsports’ Rusty Rubin, Jack Hirsch and Roland Munoz, the crowd heard an impassioned plea from Mimi Arcel (wife of deceased legendary hall of fame trainer Ray Arcel) calling for the boxing world to unite in their efforts to help the fighters. The most heartfelt and resounding words came from RBF founder and president Alex Ramos, a former middleweight contender and USBA champion, who flew in from his home in Simi Valley, Ca. for the event. “We fought for the world, now world-will you fight for us?”, was just part of an inspirationally moving piece written especially for the RBF and their dedicated work, which Ramos – called the “Bronx Bomber” during his fighting career – eloquently recited from memory.
With any non-profit organization the main prerequisite to success is the achievement of trust and credibility. Within the unscrupulous boxing world this accomplishment is nearly impossible, yet for this reason alone the RBF is to be commended. For this event the RBF garnered support from most of the boxing industry. Showtime, HBO, Everlast, The Pechanga Resort, Foxwoods, Boxing Digest magazine, Ring magazine, as well as Filippo Beria olive oil and Roots health foods all contributed to the evening's success and are to be commended for their generosity.
The Retired Boxers Foundation has helped hundreds of fighters since their inception, and continues to get stronger each and every day. This could be no further be evidenced than by the outpouring of warmth and support for their great (and, unfortunately, much needed) cause at their inaugural New Year fundraiser, which is now in plans to be a yearly event.
The RBF's motto of “Fighters helping Fighters” is also the RBF's strongest resource. Any fighter that appears in support of the RBF is doing so for only one reason…..because they want to and because they believe in what the foundation is doing. There can be no better endorsement than to have a Hall of Fame World Champion like Vito Antuofermo, a former big time heavyweight contender such as Lou Savarese, legendary New Jersey fighter “Irish” Pat Murphy, beloved veterans Al Certo & Lou Duva, or even an up and coming popular current heavyweight – Vinnie Maddalone appearing and offering to get involved simply because they believe.
“I'll do whatever I can to help” stated the popular Lou Savarese, who added “The Retired Boxers Foundation is a great cause and I will help anyway they think I can help.”
Having these class guys, who were great fighters and are great people, wanting to get involved made this RBF fundraiser even more of a success.
A remarkable restaurant, filled with special people, in the greatest city in the world – all there to help the Retired Boxers Foundation! This past Wednesday night was a great night for boxing, and a great night for the fighters – “Thank you.”
For further information or to make a contribution to the Retired Boxers Foundation (Tax ID # 77-0492319) contact …. Alex Ramos, founder & president:
Retired Boxers Foundation
3359 Bryan Avenue
Simi Valley, Ca. 93063
Mike Indri is the New Jersey State representative for the Retired Boxers Foundation.