Ron Lipton of Hyde Park inducted into NY Boxing Hall of Fame as referee

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Ron Lipton attended a boxing match in Binghamton, taking with him a file full of certificates, newspaper clippings and photographs. He had a group that among the dignitaries in attendance would be Randy Gordon, then chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission.

By 1991, Lipton had already devoted three decades of his life to the sport, both as an amateur fighter and former training partner of Muhammad Ali. After working as a police officer, however, he sought a career change and believed arbitration was his calling.

He had already obtained certification and just needed an opportunity. So, he thought a meeting with Gordon, even at ringside, could serve as an impromptu interview.

Gordon praised Lipton’s credentials and character, then read aloud a list of his accomplishments, as he introduced the Hyde Park resident at a Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremony New York State on September 19.

“It was great,” Lipton said of the full circle moment with Gordon, who has become a friend. “He gave a wonderful speech and I was flattered because he spoke so well of me. The audience was filled with icons, great fighters from the 1960s to the present day, and they hear him talk about me.

Lipton, 75, has spent much of his life in the presence of boxing greats, dating back to his longtime friendships with Ali and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and later to his officiating in high profile matches. But he would never have grouped himself among these legends.

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Nonetheless, his resume earned him a place alongside them as Lipton was part of the Class of 28 Hall of Fame of 2020, who were honored at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach.

Lipton joins a slew of New York superstars including Mike Tyson, Jack Dempsey and Rocky Graziano.

“I share this wonderful honor with my wonderful wife, Gabrielle, and my son Brett, and all my students and colleagues at Marist College,” said Lipton, who taught boxing for 20 years at Marist. “I also want to thank all the police officers, my brothers, from so many departments, who came to the event to support me.

Lipton was also an accomplished amateur boxer with a 39-3 record with 38 KOs and was a three-time Golden Glove finalist in New Jersey. He was inducted in 2014 into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as a boxing fighter, referee and historian. But, for the Manhattan native, being registered in their home state is even more important.

The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held in April 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to be postponed for more than a year. The wait, Lipton said, was “excruciating”.

“I was really looking forward and I was anxious,” he admitted. “But for it to finally happen, with the family by my side, was wonderful.”

Lipton said he and his wife had recently endured health and financial hardships, so this event was a welcome glimmer of positivity.

“The guy is a home run,” said Bryant Pappas, a professional boxer from Yonkers. “He is of the highest moral standard, and he is an encyclopedia of boxing knowledge. As a referee, he was always aware of safety, was in great shape and quick on his feet, and he didn never tried to put on a show. “

Pappas knew Lipton, having watched several of the fights he officiated, and the two eventually became friends when they met about 10 years ago.

“When you look at his resume, get to know him and see the wealth of his knowledge about the sport,” said Pappas, “he was long in coming for his Hall of Fame entry.”

Lorraine McGinnis, a Marist College alumnus, wrote that Lipton “goes beyond dedicating her time, effort and shared knowledge to her students. He is the true embodiment of a great teacher who gives himself beyond his personal achievements.

These achievements are also considerable, as he has officiated matches involving 55 champions. His supervision of several high profile fights – some involving stars Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Pernell Whitaker, Roberto Duran and Tommy Morrison – has helped Lipton build a legacy. His son, Brett Lipton, now works as an inspector for the New York State Athletic Commission.

Among the inductees last week was Merqui Sosa, a former standout whose famous NABF light heavyweight championship fight in 1995 is what Lipton considers his most memorable.

Sosa’s fight with “Prince” Charles Williams was stopped by Lipton in the seventh round after the fighters injured themselves. It was the first game since 1952 that was called a technical draw because both fighters were too injured to continue. The remarkable slugfest and its unusual ending, Lipton said, gave it sentimental value.

Lipton, as a teenager, was a paid training partner of “Hurricane” Carter and future champions Carlos Ortiz and Dick Tiger. Through these connections, he formed a relationship with Angelo Dundee, who became Ali’s trainer and corner man.

Lipton met Ali in 1962 and later became his training partner. The two trained together until 1977, but remained friends until Ali died in 2016.

“I am very grateful and proud of this,” he said of the Hall of Fame. “All of my work in boxing has paid off with this honor.”

Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @ StephenHaynes4


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