Last night, I was honored to be the ring announcer for the evening of amateur boxing honoring "The Champ" Billy Costello. Also in attendance were boxing greats "Gentleman" Gerry Cooney and Renaldo Snipes.
The evening was a touching tribute to Costello who packed the Mid Town Neighborhood Center to the rafters for his three successful title defenses in Kingston. Billy was presented with numerous awards including a beautiful trophy shaped like a boxing glove given to him by the Chairwoman of the New York Boxing Association.
Once the boxing card started, the crowd was treated to a heck of a show. The Irish National Team was extremely impressive from top to bottom. Not to be outdone, our boxers put on a display of pugilism and actually won 2 of the 5 contests. There was not a bad bout the entire evening.
At the end of the show, Renaldo Snipes and Billy stuck around to meet fans and sign autographs. Gerry Cooney could not stay for the entire show, but he was in attendance early. He shook hands, signed countless autographs, and mingled with the crowd.
In short, this was an evening I will not forget. Like many, I was choked up during the standing ovation given to Kingston's champ. Billy spoke softly and briefly, but his emotion was obvious. It was a tribute truly worthy of "The Champ".