Boxing Great Shares Stories From In and Out of the Ring
As a part of our Newark at a Crossroads series taped at NJIT, three-time Golden Glove Champion and Commissioner of the NJ State Athletic Control Board, Larry Hazzard Sr., shares his personal stories about boxing, his personal relationship with Muhammad Ali and how boxing can make a positive impact in the lives of inner-city kids, both in and out of the ring.
"We are honored to welcome Mr. Larry Hazzard Senior, commissioner, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. In 2010, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, member of the Newark Sports Hall of Fame. Good to see you Larry. My pleasure. Nice to be on. You know, you're an icon in the world of sports and boxing, and I want to welcome you to our show. By the way, let's let people know, where were you born and raised? Newark. Newark? 15th Avenue. 15th and Morris Avenue. When did boxing come into your life? 1957. Because? Dr. Timothy Steele, Tim Steele, opened up a small boxing gym in the Hayes Homes Housing Projects on 17th Avenue. And you know, and guys used to hang out on the corners and boxing was a very popular sport you know, in Newark. And there were quite a number of guys in the neighborhood who boxed. And of course... There you are? Yes, that's... That's you? It's me and Danny and Alvin Johnson, and Freddy Johnson, Arthur Randolph. Why do you remember all those guys? Because these were my brothers man, you know. We were, these, you know, I was the youngest, I was the youngest guy in the club. So I was like, the little, you know, the little brother. And these were my big brothers you know. They took care of me. And we did a lot of things together. We fought throughout the state of New Jersey, we won a lot of amateur championships, as a team, the Dukers A.C. we were known throughout the state. Wow. Yes, that's 1960. Wow. Okay? 1960 I was 15 years old when that picture was taken. There's Dr... there's Tim Steele, on the end. Wow. He was like our father. He was our surrogate father. In boxing, you've been a commissioner? Yes. You've regulated boxing? Referee? Yes. You've boxed? Yes. You were close with Ali? Yes, very close. I say Mohammed Ali, you say? Beautiful man, beautiful humanitarian. He was more than a boxer, you know. He was a special gift to the world that God gave us as a human being there. What made him so special? Because, because he was who he was. I mean, you know, he exudes all of the qualities that we would aspire to be as human beings. He was an athlete. He had courage. He stood on his beliefs. And he just loved people, you know. And he was just a great role model. And most people that saw him, they saw him as an athlete. Yeah..."