On Saturday afternoon, a ceremony was held at the American Legion Hall Post 28 in Roswell, New Mexico to induct 10 new members to the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame.
The event’s master of ceremony was Jerry D. Martinez, who serves as the chairman for the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame. At the start of the event an honorary 10-count was held in memory of Albuquerque boxer Flory Olguin Sr., former world champion Carmen Basilio -both who passed away early last week- and for former heavyweight world champion Joe Fraizer who died of cancer in November of 2011.
Among those inducted was Las Cruces‘ former contender turned trainer, Louie Burke.
Burke turned professional in 1981. He would win 11 of his first 12 fights by knockout and would eventually build his undefeated record all the way up to 18 wins and 0 losses.
His first career loss would come to Charlie Brown, an Illinois prospect at the time with a record of 22 and 0. The majority decision awarded to Brown, in Burke’s hometown, was seen by many as controversial.
Two months later Brown would face Harry Arroyo, for the lightweight championship, an opportunity Burke would never attain.
In 1985, with a record of 19 and 1 Burke, would take on 22-year old, former WBC Super Featherweight Hector “Macho” Camacho, who came into the fight with a stellar record of 24-0.
Burke, would take on training after retiring in 1985. He would eventually lead his fighters to amateur state and national championships. In 2011, Burke coached Austin Trout to both men’s first professional world championship, taking the Interim WBA Super Welterweight title from Rigoberto Alvarez.
Of his induction into his native state’s hall of fame Burke said, “It’s very humbling and I’m very honored that [my] peers would recognize [me]… I am very, very proud and happy.”
“I had the opportunity to workout and train with some of the greatest trainers and train with some of the best fighters of the era; Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Macini,” continues Burke “and I was able to train with Angelo Dundee and Jesse Reid.”
Burke is also a member California Boxing Hall of Fame to which he was inducted to in 2011.
(Our full interview with Burke by clicking here or below)
There were also three life time achievement awards handed out at the reception. The recipients of this award were 89-year old Raymond Analla Sr. and posthumously Sammy Burke and Willie Hall Sr.
Hall of Fame Inductees
- Louie Burke: Defeated Freddie Roach in two great match-ups, claiming the ESPN lightweight title in their second encounter.
- Sammy Burke: Louie’s late father and one of the best coaches in New Mexico boxing history. Led the U.S. Boxing Delegation to a victory in Russia. The Las Cruces PAL gym is also known as The Sammy Burke Youth Development Center.
- James “Quick”/ “The Fighting Cowboy” Tillis: Oklahoma native, former heavyweight who faced former wolrd champions Earnie Shavers, Frank Bruno, Evander Holyfield and was the first fighter to go the distance with Mike Tyson.
- Manuel Lerma: two-time New Mexico Golden Gloves Champion.
- Pete Esquibel: Las Crucen, six-time New Mexico Golden Gloves champion, National Golden Gloves finalist in 1965 and ’68 and ’68 US Olympic Trials Finalist.
- Facundo “Cuney” Carrillo: Roswell, NM. Golden Gloves stand-out
- Juan Nuñez formerly Johnny Brito: Albuquerquean, former New Mexico Golden Gloves champion.
- Jesse Valdez: native of Houston, Texas now living in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Participated in 1960 Mexico City, 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and at the 1972 Munich Olympics won a bronze medal at welterweight. Valdez was a career military man who never fought professionally.
- Henry Anaya Sr.: Albuquerque trainer for more than 40 years
- John Van Sickler: Secretary of the National Golden Gloves. He is also a member of the National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame.
Life Time Achievement Awards:
- Raymond Analla Sr.: 89-year old Roswell native. Father and trainer of “The Magnificent Seven”; seven boxing sons who combined have won seven national Golden Gloves championships and 28 New Mexico Golden Gloves Champions.
- Sammy Burke
- Willie Hall Sr.: late Roswell native former New Mexico Golden Gloves champion and coach.
For those interested in donating to the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame, checks can be sent to 2300 Stoneham Albuquerque, NM 87120. Please make them payable to New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame. All proceeds are placed into a checking account located in Roswell and help pay for awards and the ceremony.The hall’s chairman Jerry D. Martinez can also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org