Ring 4 Honors Tom McNeeley

By Robert Ecksel on March 8, 2012
Ring 4 Honors Tom McNeeley
Thomas William McNeely played football and boxed at Michigan State University (MSU)


“Boxing is a tight-knit fraternity. Everybody knows everybody. But a line in the resin will forever be drawn separating those who step into the square ring and those who DON’T. Many, many people make money on a fight, but when the bell sounds, only two people answer it.”—Randy Smith, February 2003, Journal

Ring 4 was incorporated in 1947 and is the only boxing organization in Massachusetts. Over the decades, Ring 4 has kept the flame alive while fulfilling its mission to assist former boxers who have fallen on hard times.

On Sunday, April 22, 2012, Ring 4’s Annual Award Banquet will be in honor of Tom McNeeley, the former heavyweight contender who passed away on Oct. 25 at the age of 74.

This year’s awards are as follows:

Brother in Boxing Award—Joe Feeney

Humanitarian Award —Ted Sares

Memorial Awards—Goody Petronelli (trainer of Marvelous Marvin Hagler), Ernie Minelli (longtime member of Ring 4 Hall of Fame), and the beloved Mary Jo Brown.

Hall of Fame Inductees—Charlie Dwyer (all Marine heavyweight champion and retired professional referee), Joey DeGrandis (fought for world title three times), and former fighter Jimmy Harrison.

Special Memorial—Thomas William “Big Tom” McNeely was a fine football player and boxer at Michigan State University (MSU). But he quit the gridiron for the boxing ring and had his first pro bout in Norwood, Massachusetts on July 17, 1958. He retired from boxing—not before he fought Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title in 1961—in 1966 with a 37-14 record. He then went on to serve eight distinguished years as Commissioner of the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission. Big Tom was a legend within the Boston boxing community.

The Annual Award Banquet takes place at Florian Hall, located at 55 Hallet Street in Dorchester. Doors open at 2:00 PM, followed by a one-hour Social Hour, when the Tribute to America and Final Count will be rendered.

Those who wish to attend the Banquet in honor of Tom McNeeley should send checks for tickets ($60) to: Mickey Finn, 5 Galty Ave., Dorchester, MA 02124.

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  1. Phil 10:51am, 03/09/2012

    Ted, congratulations mate (to the others too).
    As usual, you’re a good man doing good and standing up for others.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 07:59am, 03/09/2012

    Ted Sares-You’re the real deal as a writer and now we learn you’re the real deal as a human being…..I kinda figured that out anyway from your dynamite articles as well as your buddy, The Thresher’s, no holds barred postings.

  3. the thresher 07:42am, 03/09/2012

    Thanks guys. I look at RING 4 as a true blessing in my life. I appreciate your comments but I’m not sure I deserve them.

  4. dollarbond 06:55am, 03/09/2012

    Hey Bull, way to go!!

  5. Iron Beach 04:39am, 03/09/2012

    Thanks for this informative column Ted and major props for receiving the much deserved Humanitarian Award, proud of ya’ Bull!!

  6. mikecasey 02:25am, 03/09/2012

    Echoed! Well done, champ!

  7. pugknows 10:22pm, 03/08/2012

    Congratulations, Ted!

  8. CharlieN 07:39pm, 03/08/2012

    What a GREAT Lineup they have receiving Ring 4’s prestigious Awards that night.
    Goody Petronelli, Charlie Dwyer (All Marine Champ is nothing to sneeze at) & Tom McNeely just a few of the Honorees.

    A Special Congratulations to you sir, Ted on being honored.Your dedicated commitment to keep the history of boxing alive is above and beyond and well deserved honor.

    With you in thoughts that day Ted.

  9. jofre 07:38pm, 03/08/2012

    Ring 4 always does a great job honoring noble fighters from the past like the late Tom McNeeley. I’m proud to be a longstanding member. Also, congratulations Ted! Well deserved. I’ll see you at the banquet and at Tuesday’s Pugs lunch.

  10. the thresher 05:59pm, 03/08/2012

    Thanks, Tex. I was truly humbled by this award.

  11. TEX HASSLER 05:56pm, 03/08/2012

    Tom McNeely was a man who did his best and had the opportunity to fight for the heavyweight championship, something very few men ever get to do.


    I am thankful McNeely was remembered by Ring 4 and also for Mr. Sares contribution to boxing in many ways. Petronelli was a credit to the sport and a truly great trainer.

  12. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 05:48pm, 03/08/2012

    F.Y.I. I’m still at my bro’s ranch until tomorrow and I have the 1995 classic gangster film “The Usual Suspects” rolling with Kevin Spacey and featuring an all-star cast… 2 thumbs up… WORD!

  13. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 05:45pm, 03/08/2012

    People have been dropping off like flies as of late… Freaky…

  14. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 05:44pm, 03/08/2012

    Yeah, I saw that Ol’ Tom checked out back in October at age 74. I don’t have the full fight of “Patty-McNeeley” from circa 1961 on tape, but I have clips of it…

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