YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s deep history with boxing was on full display Friday evening downtown. For the first time ever, an event was held where five former champs were on the stage at one time — a night of champions.
Not every city can say they’re home to five world champion boxers, but Youngstown can, and fans got to hear from all of them at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre Friday.
Kelly Pavlik, Gregory Richardson, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Harry Arroyo and Jeff Lampkin were all at the “Night of Champions” event put on by Joe and Louie Schiavoni.
“Such a small city like Youngstown, and to be able to produce the champions — you’ve got other places, you’ve got Philadelphia, Michigan, but the thing is a lot of those guys weren’t from that area,” Pavlik said.
Each fighter was brought out after a short video was played highlighting their career, and each fighter is filled with the pride of representing Youngstown.
“It was big for me because I just wanted to take it all over the world in a positive way and I did and we did,” Richardson said.
Fans of all ages were there either reliving memories of watching these fights or getting inspiration for the future.
“The coolest part is that you meet all of these boxers. The boxers are pretty good after fighting all of these people,” said Anthony Santoyo, who attended the event.
Even Olympic gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales made his way to the event from Indiana.
“It’s great because we share in greatness with fighters. I have been coaching in Indy for 11 years with two teams, and we have won two Golden Glove Championships. I just love what I do,” Seales said.
And the night ended with Mayor Tito Brown giving each boxer a key to the city.