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Glen Cove’s Boxing History

It’s boxing season in Glen Cove, with the annual Golden Gloves tournament that took place on Thursday, March 27, and this city has a rich history with boxing, having produced several notable boxing greats, with more aspiring fighters training at the Glen Cove

Boxing Club. Boxing historian Christopher Shelton recently dug deep into the story of one of the one of our local boxing heroes, Allen “Junebug” Hudson, Jr., whose credits include fighting Muhammad Ali.

 

“I’m proud to tell this story...nobody’s ever really written about this guy,” says Shelton.

 

Shelton’s lengthy, 10,000-word piece,“The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960),” can be viewed on www.ringsideboxingshow.com/SheltonBLOGJunebugHudson.html; the article tells the story of Hudson, from his early life to his time spent in the

Army, from his fighting credits to his career with the Long Island Rail Road. Shelton spoke with a number of folks in the community to get his facts straight, including Junebug’s son, Allen Hudson III, assistant principal at Glen Cove High School, 1976 Olympic lightweight gold medal winner Howard Davis Jr., trainer Tommy Gallagher and Frank Pena of the Glen Cove Boxing Club.

 

“It’s more than a boxing story,” says Shelton. “It is also a military story: one chose to serve, one chose not to.” 

 

The two boxers were both compelled to military service, and while Hudson served, Ali declined.

 

Shelton says that Hudson probably hit Ali harder than anybody else; but when searching Junebug Hudson, the story “ultimately becomes about Ali.” Another problem with researching Junebug is that his first name is often misspelled as “Alan.” 

 

 Junebug, who died in 1996, was a member of the 3rd Army who won the heavyweight gold medal at the 1959 Pan-American games.  

 

“Junebug’s most famous Army bout was his last as an amateur losing to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali at the 1960 Olympic trials. During the bout, Junebug became one of only five boxers to knock Clay/Ali to the canvas,” says Shelton. 

 

Shelton says that when Hudson participated in an Olympic-qualifying fight, he switched divisions to help out a friend, a decision that Shelton speculates may have cost him his career. If he hadn’t switched, Shelton says, “he probably would’ve qualified and won.”

 

Though it is unfortunate that Hudson died before having a chance to tell his own story, Shelton is happy to be able to document the information he obtained.

 

“While Ali is the major supporting character, it is meant to be Junebug’s story,” he says.


News

The 1907 Courthouse building is now known as the Marguerite and Joseph Suozzi Building, marked by a special ceremony held at the North Shore Historical Museum on Sunday, Aug. 3 to a packed house.

 

“It’s a great day for the Suozzi family and a great day for the museum. We are so grateful for the Suozzi family for this generous donation,” said Brian Mercadante, president of the museum.

 

Mercandante then gave some history on the building, which was built in 1907 by the Town of Oyster Bay, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and the Gold Coast was in its heyday. He described how it came to be a museum, explaining that Tom Suozzi came up with a plan for redevelopment during his term as mayor of Glen Cove in the 1990s.

Several local artists are featured in an exhibit hosted by LIU Post, now through Aug. 27, titled “Endless Summer – Visions of Long Island.” The exhibit is a fundraising event for the Nassau County Firefighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior (NCF-OWW), a non-profit organization centered on providing much-needed items to the wounded men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

 

 Photographer Roni Chastain of Glen Cove is one of the featured artists.

 

“I am thrilled to be participating in an exhibit to support the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior,” says Chastain. “Our war veterans deserve to be supported for the work they do to protect the USA. I do believe in giving back and have volunteered to photograph several fund raising events over the past few years. This includes Komen Walk for the Cure, Hope in Motion, Kids Triathlon. I will be photographing the walk for Gift of Life in September.


Sports

Kristen Gillman earned a come-from-behind two-up victory over Brooke Mackenzie Henderson in the 36-hole championship match of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being conducted at the 6,297-yard, par-70 Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. The final match was held on Sunday, Aug. 10.

 

Gillman, 16, of Austin, Texas, was three down through 26 holes to Henderson, 16, of Canada. But Gillman, a junior at Lake Travis High School, birdied five of the final 10 holes to complete the remarkable rally.

Sailing fans from Glen Cove are invited to the 32nd Knickerbocker Cup, or K-Cup, Race, hosted by Port Washington’s Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, which will include three of the top-10 world-ranked match racing skippers. 

 

The racing competition will be preceded by an opening ceremony and welcome cocktail party, followed by an All-American BBQ Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. 


Calendar

Good Reads - August 13

Sunset Serenades - August 14

Wine Tasting - August 15


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com