Monday, June 14, 2004

Emotions run high on induction day

Emotions run high on induction day

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Emotions run high on induction day
Palomino sheds tears as he and 14 others are welcomed into Boxing Hall of Fame.
Monday, June 14, 2004
By Mike Waters
Staff writer
Canastota- Carlos Palomino knew he would have trouble getting through the part of his speech when he got to his parents.

However, Palomino never expected to choke back more tears when mentioning his three children.

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"The two people that inspired me the most in my life were my mother and my father," Palomino said as tears welled up in his eyes. "This is going to be hard."

Palomino's effort to keep from crying was one of several emotional moments during the International Boxing Hall of Fame's 15th annual induction ceremony Sunday.

Palomino's parents, Pablo and Maria, are deceased. Palomino said he had prepared himself for the moment when he would talk about his parents.

Palomino's mother and father

moved their family from San Luis de Colorado, Mexico to Southern California when Carlos was just 10 years old.

"I didn't want to go," Palomino said. "We left behind all of our friends and moved to a different country where we didn't speak the language."

Pablo and Maria raised 11 children in an area rife with drugs and gangs, Palomino said in his acceptance speech.

"My dad was my strength and my mother was my heart," Palomino said.

Palomino's emotions took over a second and wholly unexpected time when he started to thank his own children.

"Thank you for understanding that your father is a dreamer," Palomino said. "Sometimes when your father is a dreamer, the family suffers."

Later, Palomino said he was surprised he got so emotional when talking about his son and two daughters.

"I knew it was going to happen when I was talking about my mother and father," Palomino said. "I didn't think it was going to happen with my kids. They're right here with me."

Palomino said the fact that his kids; all three of whom have graduated from or are currently attending college, turned out all right despite his frequent absences during his fighting career hit him as he stood up on the stage with a host a boxing legends.

Amidst rainstorms and applause, Palomino joined six others in the Hall of Fame's 15th class of inductees. The rest of the 2004 class included light heavyweight champ Dwight Muhammad Qawi, former featherweight champ Azumah Nelson, bantamweight champ Daniel Zaragoza, Philadelphia promoter J Russell Peltz, legendary writer W.C. Heinz and referee Stanley Christodoulou.

There were also eight new Hall of Famers honored posthumously. They were: Baby Arizmendi, Umberto Branchini, Young Corbett III, Billy Edwards, Jackie Fields, Barney Nagler, Willie Ritchie and Lou Viscusi.

Sunday saw Nelson become the first fighter from Africa inducted into the Hall of Fame. A large group from his native Ghana attended the ceremony.

"My wish is that this honor goes to Africa and Ghanians," the soft-spoken Nelson said.

Peltz had the crowd rolling as he started his speech with a dead-on imitation of Herb Goldman, the Hall of Fame's treasurer and unofficial voice, and then told of prying a retired fighter out of the lobby to save a card when he was just a 22-year-old starting out in the fight game.

Zaragoza spoke of a dream he had the night before receiving the news in January that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame. In the dream, Zaragoza kept falling down and getting up. The next morning, his wife said the dream meant he would achieve honors and that day Hall of Fame director Ed Brophy called.


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