The U.S. Boxing Association honored a number of ring champions along with some of the people it hopes will help the 5-year-old organization become the champion of all boxing organizations at the Shoreham Hotel last night.
The USBA, which is trying to replace the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Council as the premier international boxing organization, concluded its three-day convention with awards to 12 designated ring champions, one of the country's top boxing promoters and to seven members of the news media.
Before steping down as USBA president, Bill Brennan of Richmond warned the USBA and its leadership to avoid the pitfalls that have brought the WBA and the WBC under investigation in recent months.
"Pro boxing seems to be constantly under investigation," Brennan said. "Some of it may be true. Some may just be the imagination of aroused individuals. Some of the characters we now have in boxing, though, make some of the characters of the past seem like altar boys. You must treat everybody equally (for this organization to succeed)."
The fighters who picked up their awards were USBA bantamweight champion Johnny Carter, featherweight Rocky Lockridge, lightweight Sean O'Grady, cruiserweight Dash Ali and heavyweight Greg Page.
Members of the media who were honored were Bert Sugar, editor and publisher of Ring Magazine; Murray Goodman, author of 16 sports books; announcer Harold Bell, of WOL Radio, Washington; and Don Dunphy, known as the voice of boxing for 40 years. John F. X. Condon, president of Madison Square Garden and promoter of all major fights at the Garden since 1948, also was honored.
Unable to appear were honorees Dave Brady of The Washington Post, Dick Young of the New York Daily News and Morris Siegel of the Washington Star.
D.C. Mayor Marion Barry added a light touch when he compared politicians to boxers. "We both have to duck, jab, and stay on our toes. Everybody else is looking for the big knockout."