Bob Duffy and Tony Mazzarella’s Ring Promotions will host a grand night of boxing, as well as a stirring tribute to legendary referee Arthur Mercante Sr., at the Plattduetsche Park restaurant in Franklin Square, Long Island, New York, on Thursday, October 19, 2006.

The 86-year-old Mercante has been a professional referee since the 1940s. Besides officiating Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier I, he has been the third man in the ring for championship bouts featuring Floyd Patterson, Emile Griffith, Carlos Ortiz, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfred Benitez, Jeff Fenech, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ike Quartey, Roy Jones Jr. and Shane Mosley, among others. The last bout he refereed was between Zab Judah and Reggie Green when he was spry 81-year-old.

The Platteduetsche restaurant has been Long Island institution since 1930 and has been serving first-class German cuisine even longer than the time Mercante has been a referee.  

Headlining the boxing portion of the evening is New York-area middleweight Pawel Wolak, a fan favorite whose record is 10-0 (6 KOs). He will be squaring off against Jose Felix, 10-4-2 (KOs), of Savannah. Wolak is never in a bad fight and always brings plenty of heart, soul and guts to all his bouts.

Also scheduled to appear are two top female prospects: super featherweight Jaime McGrath from Long Island’s East End and super middleweight Asa Sandell, a native of Sweden who lives and trains in New York. Sandell was very impressive in a losing effort to Laila Ali last December in Berlin.

Other bouts will feature an array of New York fighters, including junior middleweight Jason Thompson, 3-1 (2 KOs), cruiserweight Mazur Scott, 1-0, light heavyweights Joel Castillo and Denys Lozado in separate bouts, and junior featherweight Juan Dominguez.

“This is going to be a wonderful night for New York area boxing fans,” said Duffy. “Besides great fights, they will be able to pay tribute to one of the sport’s noblest men. Few people in boxing are as universally well-regarded as Arthur Mercante Sr. This will be a fitting tribute to a wonderful man.”

Mercante’s wonderful autobiography, “Inside the Ropes,” was published earlier this year by McBooks Press. Fans will be able to purchase books at the event, and Mercante will be on hand to autograph them, as well as regale them with colorful anecdotes from his decades in boxing.  

General admission is $50, limited reserved ringside seating is $75, and VIP tables that can accommodate 10 people, and include dinner, unlimited beverages, and an autographed copy of Mercante’s book, are available for $2,500.

Sponsorships are still available. To be a sponsor or to purchase tickets contact Bob Duffy at 718-852-1453 or 516-313-2304. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Plattduetsche restaurant, which is located approximately one mile east of Belmont Racetrack, at 516-354-3131, or by telephoning Frankie G’s Academy of Boxing in Huntington Station, New York, at 631-673-3520.

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