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Home » Zab Judah proposes at New York Boxing Hall of Fame induction

Zab Judah proposes at New York Boxing Hall of Fame induction

This past Sunday afternoon’s 10th New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF) induction dinner, sponsored by Ring 8, set a record with 500 attendees honoring its 22-member Class of 2023, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.

“Thanks for showing up today everyone,” NYSBHOF President Bob Duffy opened the festivities. “This is our largest crowd ever with 500 people. There’s a lot of love with this year’s class.”

“The work Bob Duffy does is amazing,” NYBHOF Nominating Committee Jack Hirsch added. “On behalf of the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, congratulations to all the honorees. Whether or not you realize it, you are bonded for life. It’s your afternoon.”

Past NHSBHOF inductees in attendance included world champion boxers Michael Bentt, Vito Antuofermo, Junior Jones, and Iran Barkley, as well as retired boxers Monte Barrett, Mitch Green and Tommy Rainone, along with referee Randy Neumann and veteran head trainer Orlando Cuellar.

Below is a list of the Class of 2023:




“Super” Zab Judah (44-10, 30 KOs) – Brooklyn

Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (36-8, 7 KOs) – Brooklyn

Kevin “Mr. Excitement” Pompey (32-18-3, 12 KOs) – Troy

Dmitry “Star of David” Salita (35-2-1, 18 KOs) – Brooklyn

Kathy Collins (14-2-4, 3 KOs) – Plainview


Johnny Busso (36-12-1, 15 KOs) – Poughkeepsie

Eugene “Silent” Hairston (45-13-5, 24 KOs) – Bronx

Tony “Jimmy Pell” Pellone (51-19-6, 10 KOs) – New York City

Mike “The Bronx Spider” Belloise (91-28-12, 21 KOs), – Bronx

Harry “Black Panther” Wills (70-9-3, 56 KOs) – New York City

Eddie “Wildcat” Davis (34-6-1, 20 KOs) – Hampstead



Dave Diamante – Brooklyn

Tony Paige – Bronx

Bob Mladinich – Latham

Dr. Barry Jordan – Brooklyn

Robin Taylor – Brooklyn

Bob Caico – Buffalo


Hector Rocha – Brooklyn

Izzy Zwerling – Brooklyn

Dave Wolf – Manhattan

George Washington – Brooklyn

Irving Cohen – New York City

All boxers needed to have been inactive for at least three years to be eligible for NYSBHOF induction, and all inductees must have resided in New York State for a significant portion of their boxing careers or during the prime of their respective career.

The 2023 inductees were selected by the NYSBHOF Nominating Committee members: Chairperson Jack Hirsch, Randy Gordon, Henry Hascup, Don Majeski, Ron McNair, Jim Monteverde, Neil Terens, Jose Corpas, Bobby Cassidy, and Bob Duffy.


Kathy Collins: “Thanks for being here to support boxing. It is 30 years – doesn’t feel like it – but I remember so many people here. In 1995, New York broke the glass ceiling allowing women to box. I was the first woman to fight in the Golden Gloves in New York. On August 2nd, 1996, I became the first women’s pro boxer to fight in Madison Square Garden and on national TV. I ended up winning. I was the first female to fight in ESPN and a year later I was the first woman to fight on pay per view.. Because local for me was New York, my story went national. I was featured in Ring, Sports Illustrated and other publications. In 2001, I was part of the first women’s Super-Fight with a $100,000 purse. Women’s sports are better than ever. The pay scale has shattered with seven figures and sold out (Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano) at Madison Square Garden. This is my fourth Hall of Fame induction. My life would have been so different without boxing.”

Bob Mladinich: “I got involved in boxing in the late seventies. It was a good time to get into boxing because ‘Rocky’ won the Movie of the Year and the United States had five Olympic gold medalists. I fell in love with the sport. There are no more accommodating, coachable, and down to earth people than boxers. Boxers are the most approachable athletes. I want to thank everyone for coming today, especially my 100-year-old mother, a U.S. Navy retiree, who made the trip.”

Dmitriy Salita: “Many of my friends are here today. I’m so grateful they came to support me today. I almost feel like I’m in the ring. Now, in the boxing business, now that I’m a promoter, sometimes they profile me. There weren’t people at the gym from my background and with my complexion, but I had Jimmy O in my corner. This is one of the most enjoyable moments of my life. Thank you all.”

Robin Taylor: “Thank you Bob Duffy and Ring 8. I’m truly humbled to be acknowledged for something I love to do. My father introduced me to boxing when I was 12 and I quickly fell in love with the sport. I remember comparing my scoring with the judges on television. I was encouraged by friends to pursue my dream. In 2000, I receive my license from the New York State Athletic Commission. I’ve judged more than 680 fights, including 131 championship fights. Today, I’m getting my championship belt, and I’ll defend it with my dedication to the sport, I’m truly living my dream and I’m proud to be a part of the boxing community.”

Zab Judah: “This is a big night for me. In 1993, I won my first (NY) Golden Gloves at 15 years old. The year before, my father took me and my brothers to the Golden Gloves. I told my father that I’d win this because these guys can’t beat me. I always had confidence to be great and I worked hard. My father is a fighter. He couldn’t attend today because he’s at training camp with Devin Haney for his big fight. I had 115 amateur fights, losing only five, and turned pro in 1996. I went from the Kid Gloves to the 1996 Olympics. I had a full, great career, winning the world title six times. You have to have will, drive, and dedication to do that. People have come from all over today. I want to thank my family.”

Zab Judah on his knee proposing to Dee Dee

Judah finished his acceptance speech with a surprise. “I’ve made a big transition in my life, concentrating on family and business, and I moved to California with my significant other. She’s everything to me. (Judah called Dee Dee up to the dais and he surprisingly dropped to his knee and said) On the biggest day of my life, will you marry me? Let’s get it done. (Dee Dee, replied: ‘of course’.”

Kevin Pompey: “I used to get up every day at 4:30 a.m. to run and train, because that’s what it took. It (training) was hard at times, but I loved it, and had fun boxing. I want to thank everybody here.”

Dr. Barry Jordan: “Boxing is special. I’ve met some great people in boxing. I had a decent education, but I don’t know where I’d be without boxing. Boxing played a big role in my life. I spent 20 years working in the commission, 40 in boxing. Jose Torres was my godfather. He trusted me at the age of 32 to run the entire boxing commission protecting boxers’ health and safety. I was younger than some of the boxers. Boxing has been so good to me. It afforded me so many opportunities for a kid from Southside Queens.”

Tony Paige: “I’d like to thank the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame and Bob Duffy. I’m honored by this occasion. I knew boxing and I were going to have a long relationship. Boxing is a family. It’s not just about the boxers; there are ring announcers, doctors and so many others. That’s why I love this sport so much. I spent 19 years at WFAN and knew I made it in boxing when I became present of the BWAA (Boxing Writers Association of America). I’m honored.”

Dave Diamante: “People who know me, know I’ve traveled around the world extensively for three decades. Right here, right now, there’s no other place I’d rather be than here. I had to move to California to get clean and sober. I’ve been clean for 30 years and nothing I’ve done would have happened without sobriety. I boxed a little but learned that my voice was better than my left hook. I’ve dedicated my life to boxing. I started announcing at the Metros and Golden Gloves. I didn’t make any money, maybe they threw me $10 for gas once in a while. I never thought I’d be a ring announcer because of my unconventional look, but who would believe it would be my calling card. I’ve announced big fights at some of the biggest venues in the world. It all stated here in New York City at a small show.”

Bob Caico: “First, thanks to Ring 8 and Bob Duffy. We are brothers with us because I’m still doing work for Ring 44 (Buffalo). I’m proud to up here. This is a very humbling show.”

Go online at or for additional information about the York State Boxing Hall of Fame.