The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Canastota’s Graziano Named Parade Grand Marshal

- By Oneida Dispatch oneidadisp­atch @medianewsg­

The Internatio­nal Boxing Hall of Fame announced today that Canastota’s boxing promoter, manager, trainer and restaurate­ur Tony Graziano, who recently turned 100 years old, has been named Grand Marshal of the 2022 Boxing Hall of Fame Parade of Champions scheduled for Sunday, June 12th at 12 noon.

“As a promoter, manager and trainer Tony Graziano is a huge part of Canastota’s rich boxing history. Anyone who ever set foot in his legendary boxing-themed restaurant realized what a great ambassador for the village and the sport he is and it is so appropriat­e that he will lead the parade the same year he celebrated his milestone 100th birthday,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “It will be a fantastic day when one of Canastota’s own leads the Parade of Champions through the streets of his hometown.”

An Army paratroope­r during World War II, Graziano earned two Purple Hearts. In the boxing business as a promoter, manager and trainer for over 60 years, the sport brought him all over the globe including such countries as Australia, France, Germany and Canada. He expertly guided Canastota’s Billy Backus to the world welterweig­ht title, which he won via 4th round TKO over Jose Napoles at the War Memorial in Syracuse on December 3, 1970. During his career Graziano also guided countless am

ateurs and profession­als including NABF junior middleweig­ht titleholde­r Rocky Fratto (1981-82). Graziano was the proprietor of Graziano’s Casa Mia in Canastota for over 50 years. Boxing fans and champions from around the world congregate­d at his familyowne­d restaurant during the Annual Hall of Fame Weekend to talk boxing and enjoy time with Graziano. Through the years Graziano has won numerous awards and accolades for his work in the sport.

“What a wonderful thing,” said Graziano. “I’m happy to be the Parade of Champions Grand Marshal this year and look forward to seeing all the boxing fans in Canastota for the Hall of Fame Weekend.”

The Parade of Champions, set for Sunday, June 12th at 12 noon, will pass through the streets of Canastota prior to the start of the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the new inductees.

Due to the cancellati­on of the two previous Hall of Fame Induction Weekends (2020 and 2021), the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 will be honored at a “Once In a Lifetime” event themed the Hall of Fame Weekend Induction Trilogy on June 9-12, 2022.

The Class of 2020 includes boxers Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Frank Erne, Paddy Ryan, Barbara Buttrick, Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker; promoters Lou Dibella, Kathy Duva and Dan Goossen and journalist­s Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser.

The Class of 2021 includes boxers Wladimir Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Laila Ali, Ann Wolfe, Marian Trimiar, Jackie Tonawanda and Davey Moore; cut man Freddie Brown, physician Dr. Margaret Goodman, trainer / manager Jackie Mccoy, journalist George Kimball and television executive Jay Larkin.

The Class of 2022 includes boxers Miguel Cotto, Roy Jones, Jr., James Toney, Regina Halmich, Holly Holm and Tod Morgan; publicist Bill Caplan, ring announcer Chuck Hull, journalist Ron Borges and historian / producer Bob Yalen.

In addition to the grand marshal and boxing stars, the parade will feature pageant caliber bands, drum & bugle corps, pipe bands, floats and community organizati­ons.

Besides the Parade of Champions, the Hall of Fame Weekend will also feature many events during the four-day celebratio­n including ringside lectures, 5K Race / Fun Run, boxing autograph card show, the Official Induction Ceremony and the Banquet of Champions and Fight Night at Turning Stone at nearby Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.

For more informatio­n on the Induction Weekend Trilogy please call (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof. com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram .

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