Bob Duffy and Tony Mazzarella’s Ringside Promotions will host a night of boxing, as well as a tribute to Hall of Fame referee Arthur Mercante Sr. at the Plattduetsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square, Long Island, New York, on Thursday, October 19, 2006, beginning at 7:00 P.M.
Among the hundreds of title bouts officiated by the 86-year-old Mercante was the first Muhammad-Ali-Joe Frazier title bout, which is generally regarded as the Fight of the Century. He was also the third man in the ring for bouts featuring Long Island favorites Gerry Cooney, “Irish” Bobby Cassidy and Buddy McGirt, as well as world champions spanning five decades.
Headlining the boxing portion of the show is popular New York middleweight Pawal Wolak, 10-0 (6 KOS), a native of Poland who now lives in Brooklyn. Also featured will be female super featherweight Jaime McGrath of Long Island’s East End, junior middleweight Jason Thompson, 3-1 (2 KOS), heavyweights Joel Castillo and Denys Lozado in separate bouts, undefeated cruiserweight Mazur Scott, and Asa Sandell, a female super middleweight from Sweden who now lives in New York.
Among the luminaries expected to be in attendance is Emile Griffith, who holds the record for fighting the most championship rounds in history. Mercante was the referee for many of those bouts.
“Arthur is a wonderful man,” said Griffith, who won titles in several weight classes. “He deserves this more than anyone. I am glad I will be able to share the evening with him.”
Cassidy, a lifelong resident of Levittown, also believes the testimonial is long overdue. “Arthur is a boxing institution,” said Cassidy, who is still one of the most popular fighters to ever hail from Long Island. “He was tough and fair and his integrity was above reproach.”
“It will be a great night for boxing,” said Duffy, a retired NYPD detective. “Arthur is boxing’s elder statesman, and he deserves to be honored for five decades of service to a great sport.”
Mercante’s 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.
Reserve Ringside limited seating is $75. General admission is $50 and VIP tables that can accommodate 10 people are available for $2,500. VIP tables will include dinner, unlimited beverages, and a copy of Mercante’s book.
Tickets can be obtained by contacting Duffy at 516-313-2304; the Plattduetsche restaurant, 1122 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square (approximately one mile east of Belmont Racetrack), phone 516-354-3131; or at Frankie G’s Academy of Boxing in Huntington Station, phone 631-673-3520.
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