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Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame inductees announced

The new CBHOF inductees are Stamford amateur coach/boxer Orlando Montalvo, Newington former ESPN boxing director Bob Yalen, Wallingford boxer Sean Malone, Jr., New Bedford (MA) boxer “Sucra” Ray Oliveira, Waterbury judge John “Duke” Lawson and Mashantucket Pequot Game & Athletic commissioner Kenny Reels.

“The Board of Directors of the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame is very excited to announce this incredible class of inductees for 2016,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. “We anticipate a great crowd for our honorees at the induction ceremony on November 4th at Mohegan Sun. As always, our dinner is a wonderful coming together of the boxing community, friends and family.”

Montalvo and his wife, Sandra, moved to Stamford in 1980, training amateur fighters for the first 20 years in parks and in their backyard until relocating at the Union Memorial Church for seven years. Orlando was an amateur and professional boxer in his native Puerto Rico, traveling around the world to compete. He won 110 of 125 amateur matches and 22 of 29 as a professional with 18 knockouts, reaching a No. 10 rating in the junior middleweight division.

Yalen is best known, perhaps, as boxing director for ESPN and its popular Friday Night Fights series. He has also been a consultant for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and Showtime. A recipient of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcasting, Yalen was associate editor of the Ring Record Book and FightFax. He was also Director of Sports & Entertainment at Mohegan Sun while one of the original CBHOF board members, contributing much to the success of its inaugural awards dinner.

Malone is the son of CBHOF inductee Sean Malone, Sr., who was inducted in 2011. He had a 23-6 (21 KOs) record. In 1992, he had one of his most notable victories against Greg Cadiz for the Nevada State light welterweight title. He also defeated Pat Ireland in 1993 for the New England welterweight crown.

Oliveira was an all-action fighter who set a record in a fight with Zack Padilla, in which they threw more than 1,000 combined punches. During his outstanding 15-year professional career, Oliveira defeated the likes of Vince Phillips, Vivian Harris, Tracy Spann and Charles Murray twice. Completing his career with a 47-11-2, Ray had a great chin and he wasn’t stopped prior to his loss to WBU light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton in 2004.

Involved in boxing for 60 years, Lawson was one of only 10 referees and judges selected by Willie Pep and Chico Vejar to work sanctioned bouts when boxing returned to Connecticut in the 1970s. Lawson was a judge for a world heavyweight title fight in Germany between Wladimir Klitschko and Francesco Pianetta. He was also involved in fights featuring world champions such as Roy Jones, Jr., “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Joe Calzaghe, Chad Dawson, Antonio Tarver and Zab Judah. Lawson served 20 years with the Waterbury police department.

Reels was appointed by the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming & Athletic Commission in 2009 to oversee boxing and MMA at Foxwoods. Known for his caring about the health and safety of boxers, Reels followed CBHOF inductee Peter Timothy. Reels has received countless awards and honors for his humanitarian work and commitment to human values, interests and concerns.

Tickets for the CBHOF 12th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, will soon go on sale and be available to purchase by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET (cash bar), followed by a full sit-down dinner.