Radio Host on New 2013 Inductions
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Rich Marotta is a familiar face–and voice–in boxing.
Known for his work as a commentator and radio host, the busy sportscaster and Hall of Famer is now adding a new title to his impressive resumé–Founder and CEO of the brand new Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF). I caught up with the well-regarded fight veteran on the eve of his big announcement.
I’ve known the Reno resident for over a decade and got to know him through the early World Boxing Hall of Fame festivities. Rich is known as a stand-up guy; one who is not only knowledgeable about the sweet science but well versed in other sports as well. A total pro who’s remained personable and down-to-earth through the years.
And now the 2011 California Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee and the 2011 Southern California Sportscasters Hall of Fame honoree will be ushering in his own class of boxing immortals in the upcoming NVBHOF. While chatting with the former L.A. Kings color analyst last night, I could hear the excitement in his voice about the unveiling of the newest Hall of Fame–honoring the legends of leather.
Marotta has many plans in creating his own Honor Roll and showcasing the famed boxing history and legacy in the State of Nevada.
“Hi Michele! Yes, I’ve spent the last three months preparing for this announcement,” the chipper KFI radio host says when we connect on the phone. “We are a non-profit charitable organization with a strong Board of Directors that will honor the rich tradition, the rich history of the ‘boxing capital’ of Nevada.”
This has truly been a labor of love for the boxing aficionado who has self-funded the project thus far. But with the announcement on two radio shows today (and the buzz it will create in the fight game) the NVBHOF team already has grand plans in the works.
“I am ready!” Rich chuckles, aware of the busy schedule he and the board members will be taking on in the coming months. “I’ve put a lot of thought into this–we all have–and we want to make a big splash. We want to go big–we’re going for it!”
The brainchild in building this Nevada hall first came from the Golden State of Cali. “After I was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame, I decided I wanted to get involved somehow in the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” Marotta explains. “But when I researched it, I couldn’t find anything on it and that’s when I learned there was no NVBHOF.”
This piqued his interest, planting the seed until the passion to follow through and create his own took over. And now, the founder is very proud to present a “pound for pound” crew in his esteemed Board of Directors with officers and honorary board members including Scott Voeller, former WBC Champ Wayne McCullough, Colonel Bob Sheridan, Barry Tompkins, Bob Miller, Kevin Iole, Richard Steele, Fred Sternburg, Tony Roman, James Wimberly, Saville Kellner, Marty Corwin, Dave Cokin, Alvaro Puentes, Panama the Radio Host and Joseph Marotta (Rich’s son).
“My son Joey will be helping too and we are all looking forward to it,” Rich confirms. “The board has business people, former fighters and referees, media members, and many from the community. This group has a lot of experience that will provide guidance to make this a success.”
The former L.A. resident also found inspiration from members of the boxing fraternity who have built a solid and successful foundation in the biz. “I had a meeting with promoter Ken Thompson and Alex Camponovo of Thompson Boxing Promotions a couple of months ago,” Marotta shares. “I went to one of their fights and also spoke to them about my plans for the NVBHOF. Both were very encouraging. Ken did a great job, a tremendous job, when he was President of the World Boxing Hall of Fame and he told me ‘GO FOR IT!’”
So with the support of many of his peers, Rich is doing it up big.
“We’ll have an announcement of our first class of inductees in about a month,” he offers. “The results will be announced by the end of the year and we are planning to have a summer induction–possibly August 2013. We will have many events in both Reno and Vegas since it’s the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”
I ask him if–and how–he plans to “compete” with the world-renowned boxing halls already instated. “We’re not trying to compete; we want to have a charity organization that is Nevada-centric,” Marotta (a past BWAA Sam Taub Award recipient) says. “We will give back to down-and-out fighters, youth boxing, UNR and UNLV fighters, and other causes while also inducting boxers and non-boxers in a variety of categories.”
The NVBHOF plans on hosting a future “Night with the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” a golf tournament and other fundraisers. “We have some things planned that will set us apart,” the new Founder/CEO tells me.
And in honoring some heavy hitters in boxing, Rich reveals there will also be a trio of Nevada “Fighter of the Year” braggin’ rights–a tribute chosen from men, women and amateur sluggers.
Concluding our phone conversation, Marotta had a jam-packed afternoon ahead. The Emmy-award winner was a special guest on Panama’s radio show in Reno and will also be on Dave Cokin’s ESPN broadcast later today. A one-two punch to announce his exciting plans on creating his own lasting legacy to boxing.
In establishing the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Rich Marotta and the Board of Directors are on a two-fold mission to induct and honor the fighters and champions while building a testament to the fighting State of Nevada–and giving back to others through their charitable endeavors.
Rich’s connection to the sweet science runs deep in his core. Now with his NVBHOF, the famed broadcasting voice from “Rich Marotta’s Neutral Corner” will have a platform to honor boxers (both residents and non-residents of Nevada), trainers, managers and special contributors.
Stay tuned to the “Chatter Box” for more breaking news in the upcoming months and congratulations to the NEWEST boxing Hall of Fame group!
Photos courtesy of Michele Chong, Rich Marotta and www.nvbhof.com
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