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Ring 10 – Helping Retired Boxers Get Back on their Feet.
By Pattee Mak, Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
New York, NY (July 16th, 2013)– I had the pleasure to speak with Matt Farrago, the President of Ring 10. You are probably wondering what is Ring 10? Well, it was formed back in 2010 along with its non-profit organization status. They are there to help the boxing community that are in need, including veteran boxers, referees and cut men. Truthfully, anyone in the boxing business.
Farrago: I was a member of a similar boxing organization for over 20 years. It’s called Ring 8. Over the years all my mentors slowly passed away. As time went on I felt the club was going in a different direction. Unfortunately, it became a constant battle back and forth. I eventually left the organization and started a new one with an amazing group of people and named it Ring 10.
Pattee Mak: Your organization has been around since 2010. How many former fighters roughly have you helped out within the past three (3) years?
Farrago: About 10.
Pattee Mak: Can you mention any of them to me?
Farrago: Yes, I can mention some to you. Iran Barkley, Wilfred Benitez, Gerald McClellan, Ray Bonti, Riddick Bowe, Aaron Davis, Ray Elson, Larry Barnes, Angel Manfredy and recently the family of the late Carmelo Negron.
Pattee Mak: Your next meeting will be held on August 13, 2013 at 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Rino’s Italian Restaurant, Bronx, New York. What is the normal protocol during a meeting?
Farrago: We’ll go over our regular pledge and solute to the fighters that have recently passed. We would read stories and talk about their lives. This is their passing, and we proudly honor them. Then we will go into what we are doing here at Ring 10, what we are in the process of doing or what we are going to do. We are very transparent. Everything, along with our books, are open. It’s kind of like sitting at a round table, but it’s actually a square table. We may then proceed with members’ ideas, suggestions, and perhaps some nominations. Everyone puts their heads together and we always end up having great conversations.
Pattee Mak: Each month I believe you have a guest speaker. Who picks the guest speakers?
Farrago: No one person really picks them. Members or someone on the Board will come up with an idea or person, then we’ll invite them. We’ve had educational speakers, we’ve had fantastic celebrity fighters as well. Our meetings usually take about 2-3 hours, and when it’s over people proceed to the restaurant and talk more in there. It’s a good thing. I like that. It shows that people are really enjoying themselves at our meetings, which are really get-togethers for people with a common interest.
Farrago: Ring 10’s goal is to carry on the mission of the original Ring 8 club. That is to help fighters. No matter what, the goal is to help fighters. That’s what I did and that’s what I do now. No one member is more important than our mission.
Pattee Mak: Who is on your Board of Directors?
Farrago: The Vice President is Mike Bernard, Secretary/Treasurer is Sharon Scrima, Sergeant at Arms is Tyrone Jackson. We also have Iran Barkley, Ed Gersh, Harold Lederman, Ron Ross, Richie Schwartz, Vinny Serratore, John Zervos and Ed Post, and our medical advisor is Dr. Doug Farrago. We have a few great people that will be joining the Board soon.
Pattee Mak: Is there a limit on the amount of money that is given out to help a boxer in need?
Farrago: No limit. Every case is different. Whatever is needed we will discuss it and take it from there. Our only thought is “How can we get this retired fighter back on his feet?”
Pattee Mak: People do appreciate nice things.
Farrago: Ring 10 is excited to be able to help get them on their feet and take the first steps in taking care of themselves. One fighter just needed some medical attention. We had a connection to an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor took us right in and ended up giving his time at no cost except for the injection into his knee. Ring 10 only had to pay for the injection. Between our Board of Directors and members, we know a lot of people from all walks and we’ve been able to provide all different kinds of help.
Pattee Mak: Is there a procedure that a fighter needs to go through before you lend them any money?
Farrago: No. He presents or someone presents his situation to us. We make calls or have a meeting between the Board and we decide right away. We just assisted a fighter where everyone was in 100% agreement and the help went out. He went from a very dire situation to he’s gonna get medical treatment, financial help and food. It only took five days from the initial call for assistance to him actually getting the assistance. He’s very thankful. This call came from a fighter trying to help another fighter.
Pattee Mak: If there is someone in the boxing community that needs help where can they contact you?
Farrago: They can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 631-948-6028.
Pattee Mak: On September 8, 2013 you will be having your annual extravaganza at the Marina Del Rey in The Bronx, New York. I believe it’ll be hosted by my dear friend Harold Lederman. Tell me more about this annual event. The price, what does it include, who will be attending and who will be honored, etc etc
Farrago: This will be our 3rd annual event and yes HBO’s loved commentator Harold Lederman will be the host. We have many boxing celebrities on hand including Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Livingston “Ras I” Bramble, Iran “The Blade” Barkley, Bonecrusher Smith, Calvin Grove, Marlon Starling, John “Iceman” Scully. Danny Aiello, the actor, will also be there to support Ring 10. We will be honoring S.A.L.D.A. Steve Acunto Lifetime Dedication Award to Joe DeGuardia and the Ring 10 Bert Sugar Award to Harold Lederman. We also have the Ring 10 Arthur Mercante Award to be given out posthumously to Wayne Kelly. We are dedicating the event to The “Boxing Belloise Brothers”, Steve Belloise, Mike Belloise, and Sal Belloise, and The “Belting Brakeman” Harry Belsamo. The cost of the event at $135.00 includes a brunch with cocktail hour followed by dinner and dessert and a top shelf open bar. What’s even more interesting about our guests Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Livingston “Ras I” Bramble is that they ended in bad blood and they haven’t spoken in twenty-eight years. Both of them agreed to come.
Pattee Mak: After twenty-eight years you would think let by gones be by gones.
Farrago: It’s our hope that they are going to give each other a hug on September 8th. Those were memorable fights for both of them.
Pattee Mak: How do you pick who will be honored?
Farrago: The Board votes on it. Ring 10 votes on it. If it’s close then the Board will decide. We like to get and we value the thoughts and opinions from the group. Joe DeGuardia is getting the Lifetime Dedication Award. Each award actually honors two people; the person giving the award and the person receiving the award. A new award we’ve created is the Jose Torres Renaissance Award. It will be given to Tony Perez, the referee.
Pattee Mak: For the individuals that are being honored that night, what will they receive?
Farrago: An enjoyable night out amongst their peers who respect and appreciate them, and a custom designed trophy created in Upstate New York especially for the specific honoree.
Pattee Mak: Is there anything you would like to add?
Farrago: We depend solely on personal and corporate contributions to survive. It hasn’t been easy raising funds for our cause, but we believe strongly in what we do. Each donation, whether big or small, will change the life of a boxer for the better. We will not give up. Ring 10 hopes our cause will spread sooner than later. Ring 10 is a non-profit and a 501(c)(3) approved organization. One Hundred percent of donations and membership fees go to fighters or someone in the sport. There are no corporate deductions of any kind. Our books are open to all who wants to look.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about our organization.
Photo taken at Ring 10’s last meeting from left to right. Fighter Rob Garris, Richard Burton, Mark Breland, unknown, Matt Farrago, middleweight champion Peter Quillin, Spartan clothing Ed Post. Bottom row: Tyrone “The Harlem Butcher” Jackson, Junior Jones and George Mole.