Ring 10 hosting annual fundraising gala for boxers

Iran ‘The Blade’ Barkley, the event’s poster child, holds his championship belt after upsetting boxer Tommy Hearns at MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 1988.
File photo

A local organization is hosting an annual fundraising event to assist boxers who have fallen on hard times.

On Sunday, September 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation of New York will host their fifth annual fundraising gala at Marina del Rey, 1 Marina Drive, to support retired professional boxers, even former world champions, who lost their fortune after their fighting careers ended.

The gala will include a brunch, cocktail hour, dinner and dessert as.

The event, which has previously been attended by former fighters and world champions such as James ‘BoneCrusher’ Smith, Livingstone Bramble, ‘The Silk’ Michael Olajide and Iran ‘The Blade’ Barkley, among others, provides money and aid directly to the retired boxers and their families, paying for expenses such as housing and medical aid.

“This is our number one fundraiser throughout the entire year,” said Mike Bernard, vice president for Ring 10. “This is an event where we (Ring 10) can give back to the boxers that entertained us so much when we were younger, and what better way to do so by holding this gala and providing them with the finances and assistance they need – and retired boxers should know that they didn’t need to be world champion for our organization to help them out.”

Bernard also said that Ring 10 meets the second Tuesday of every month at Rino’s Italian Restaurant, located on 3938 E. Tremont Avenue, along with cops, lawyers, local politicians and residents to discuss event and fundraising ideas for the retired boxers in need.

Ring 10 also holds the Breakfast of Champions, a walk and Jog-A-Thon that usually takes place every July.

“These boxers entertained us throughout the years, and it is certainly right that we support them in their later years when they are in a time of need,” said Ed Delatorre, assistant chief of NYPD and annual supporter of the event. “It’s also a great opportunity for the fans to meet their heroes.”

Ring 10 was founded in 2010 by founder and president Matt Farrago, a retired professional fighter, after developing a relationship with former world champion Iran Barkley, who grossed $6 million during his career but ended up homeless after his career ended.

Farrago, along with other local boxing fanatics, then started an organization based on Barkley’s struggles with finances.

“He started fighting on the streets at a young age and, unfortunately, he became broke because he was never properly taught how to spend and save his money,” said John Marano, member of Ring Ten. “Barkley’s scenario is a prime example of why Ring Ten helps these retired boxers out and fundraisers like this gala are a great way to give back to them, especially considering that some of them are in need of assistance.”

“He has become a very close friend of mine, my family, and he’s been a regular volunteer at Villa Maria Academy for over ten years – he’s really a great individual,” Marano added.

Each year, the fundraising gala also honors various retired boxing legends.

Honorees at the upcoming gala will include Teddy Atlas, a former trainer for Mike Tyson who currently serves as the commentator on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

This year’s gala will include a brunch, cocktail hour, dinner and dessert as well as an open bar and a silent/live auction. HBO’s Harold Lederman will host the event.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.
This year’s annual fundraising gala poster.
Photo courtesy of Ring Ten / File photo

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