Boxing Community Joins the Celebration
World Boxing Council (WBC) Supervisor Dr. Joe Noriega celebrated his 86th birthday at a party yesterday hosted by his wife, Nelly Noriega. The former World Boxing Hall of Fame President is a longtime supporter of the sweet science and has also been a manager and advisor to pro fighters.
The big fiesta took place Saturday at the Southern California home of the Noriegas with many current and past champions, boxing officials, and notables from the fight community in attendance. I saw many familiar faces streaming into the event. And after heavy rainstorms the night before, the weather stayed dry for this special outdoor gathering.
Joining the celebration were WBC Intercontinental Youth Champion Jonathan Arellano, former WBC Super Featherweight Champ Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon, 1968 Olympian and “uncrowned welterweight champ” Armando Muñiz, WBC Latino Heavyweight beltholder Hissan Chitsaz, noted boxing referee/judge Raul Caiz Sr., many World Boxing Hall of Fame alum including former President Adolfo Perez, trainer and sculptor Steve Harpst, author/radio host Johnny Ortiz, and historian David Martinez, along with fight aficionados Adolfo Perez Jr., Raquet Flores, cutman “Indian” Willie Schunke, Thompson Boxing Promotions’ Art Olson, and more. Also in attendance were Golden State Boxers’ Association President Larry Montalvo and Vice President Bill Dempsey Young.
All the guests spoke of Noriega’s passion for boxing. He is always ringside at all the Thompson Boxing shows, while also attending many other local fights, press conferences, WBC and NABF Conventions and more. His dedication to the fight game remains rock solid.
And at 86 years young, Joe will continue attending fights and lending support to his favorite sport.
“I think he can live to be a 100!” former two-time world champ Bobby Chacon told me with a big grin, as we watched Joe greet the attendees.
With a dance floor and DJ set up at the soiree, there was no stopping Joe as his B-day party continued through the night!
Check out some of my exclusive snapshots from the festivities honoring Dr. Joe Noriega.
Photos by Michele Chong