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Sunnyside Street co-named after famous sporting arena

Sept. 23, By Christian Murray

City officials and boxing enthusiasts turned out Saturday for the co-naming of 45th Street to pay tribute to the now-demolished Sunnyside Garden Arena where fighters and wrestlers used to duke it out.

The Sunnyside Garden Arena, a 2,000-seat venue that was once located where Wendy’s now stands at 44-11 Queens Blvd, hosted boxing events from 1945 to 1977 during the golden years of NYC boxing. Many famous fighters from that era got their start at the arena, and it was a stepping stone to the brighter lights of Madison Square Garden.

Members of the Ring 8 Boxing Association, a group for retired boxers, unveiled the new street sign along with Dave Diamante, the official announcer at the Barclays Center, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Two years ago, many of the same boxing enthusiasts came out when a memorial was placed on the front lawn of Wendy’s that also marked the location.

John Edebohls, who was raised just a couple of blocks away from the arena, said when the memorial was unveiled:“This place launched many careers: Emile Griffith [middleweight world champ] and Jose Torres [light heavyweight world champ].”

The arena was where Gerry Cooney launched his professional career, Edebolhs said. Cooney would go on to fight Larry Holmes in 1982 for the heavyweight title. Cooney lost.

Luke Adams, a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said when the monument was unveiled that the arena was not just for boxing. “They had proms there, they made a movie there (Mr. Universe), and in 1960 John F. Kennedy had one of the first rallies of his Presidential campaign there.”

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New Title For Former Boxing Showground


On September 20th, New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by Bob Duffy, President of Ring 8, Dave Diamante, official announcer for the Barclays Center, historians and neighborhood residents to officially rename 45th Street and Queens Boulevard after Sunnyside Garden Arena. In this photo, Council Member Van Bramer is joined by Bob Duffy, President of Ring 8, and Dave Diamante, boxing enthusiast and the voice of the Brooklyn Nets.

A Sunnyside street corner now recalls the former site of a storied sports venue that once hosted boxing matches, wrestling competitions, roller derbies, proms, and even a presidential rally. Last Saturday, 45th Street and Queens Boulevard was officially co-named “Sunnyside Garden Arena Way” in a ceremony led by City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Ring 8 President Bob Duffy, Barclays Center announcer Dave Diamante and local residents. It is believed that the 2,000-seat, red brick arena was originally built as a private tennis club or the carriage house for millionaire Jay Gould II in the 1920s. The venue became a boxing arena in 1945, and hosted Golden Gloves tournaments and fights with such big names as Floyd Patterson and Gerry Cooney. In 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy gave a stump speech there during his successful run for the president of the United States. The arena also hosted wrestling cards until it was sold in 1977 and torn down. Currently, a Wendy’s restaurant operates on the property. This is actually the second honor for the arena, as a monument to it was installed on the property near the Wendy’s in October 2012.

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4th Annual Ring 8 Picnic another HUGE Success!

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Ring 8 Picnic this Sunday in Glen Cove

Ring 8 Picnic 2014

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Special Announcement- Boxers to receive health insurance through ObamaCare and Medicaid



The New York State Athletic Commission is hosting an Open House for boxers that live and train in NYS to receive health insurance through ObamaCare and Medicaid.

Many boxers do not have health insurance, and most boxers get injured during training. The NYSAC will provide you with as much information as possible about health insurance options so that you can train with peace of mind without having to worry about how to pay a hospital bill or a prescription for medicine when you get injured.

Read the attached flyer about the Open House. This is a great opportunity.

Work with the New York State Athletic Commission and help protect


When: July 21st and July 30th from 9-5pm

Where: New York State Athletic Commission

123 William Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10038

Walk-ins are welcome. However, you should call ahead of time to make an appointment and find out what you need to bring. To schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions, please contact NYSAC at 212-417-5700

Health Care for Boxers

Health Care for Boxers2


Bobby Gagliardi (Gleason)                                                               Bobby Gagliardi (Gleason)

Old Timers
Old Time Champions

Freddie Brown & Bob Pastor

                                                     Bob Pastor and Freddie Brown 1938

Ali & Dundee                                                     Angelo Dundee with Muhammad Ali

Graziano & Volpe

Bob Foster

Jake & Joey LaMotta

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Emile Griffith Tombstone Dedication

Emile Griffith Tombstone Dedication

Emile Griffith Tombstone Dedication1


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Ring 8 honoring the late Emile Griffith in NY on Saturday, June 21st

Ring 8 will co-host a memorial service for Hall of Fame boxer Emile Griffith (85-24-2, 23 KOs) tomorrow morning (Saturday, June 21 at 10 a.m.) at St. Michael Cemetery in East Elmhurst, New York. His son, Luis Griffith, and family will also co-host the ceremony.

The cemetery is located off Astoria Avenue and Griffith’s gravesite is in Section 19, located near the administration building. His tombstone references him being a Ring 8 member as well as its board member for 20 years.

The beloved Griffith died last July 22 at the age of 75. Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he moved to New York City, where he was a standout amateur boxer. In 1958, he won the New York Daily News, New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, and Intercity Golden Gloves.

His 19-year professional career started in 1958 and ended in 1977. Griffith was a five-time World welterweight and two-time World middleweight champion. Emile’s impressive list of fighters he defeated includes Nino Benvenuti, Dick Tiger (2), Joey Archer (2), Bennie Briscoe, Florintino Fernandez, Gasper Ortega (2), Benny Paret (2), Gypsy Joe Harris, Denny Moyer (2), Don Fullmer and Luis Manuel Rodriguez (3).

In 1985, Griffith was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, followed five years later by his induction into the inaugural class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Prior to his death, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the New York State Hall of Fame, sponsored by Ring 8, in 2012.

Following Saturday’s service, Ring 8 will host a luncheon for only $10.00 per person at historic Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City, New York.

About Ring 8: Ring 8 became the eighth subsidiary of what was then known as the National Veteran Boxers Association – hence, RING 8 – and today the organization’s motto still remains: Boxers Helping Boxers.

RING 8 is fully committed to supporting less fortunate people in the boxing community who may require assistance in terms of paying rent, medical expenses, or whatever justifiable need.

Go on line to for more information about RING 8, the largest group of its kind in the United States with more than 350 members. Annual membership dues is only $30.00 and each member is entitled to a buffet dinner at RING 8 monthly meetings, the third Tuesday of every month, excluding July and August. All active boxers, amateur and professional, are entitled to a complimentary RING 8 yearly membership.

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