Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame to Induct First Woman
Longtime boxing official Marjorie Hammond, of Rock Hill, S.C., will be the first woman inducted into the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame.
Hammond, who began judging amateur matches in the mid-1970s and has dedicated much of her adult life to the sport, is among seven members of the Carolinas boxing community who comprise the hall's 2008 induction class.
The seven inductees were announced today and will be formally honored following a dinner on Friday night, April 4, in the Grand Ballroom of The Speedway Club @ Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Located on the second floor of Smith Tower at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame recognizes individual achievements and contributions to the rich boxing history of the Carolinas. With the induction of these seven, the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame will have honored 151 individuals since its inception in 1984.
Tickets for the induction dinner, priced at $35, are available by calling: Jim Heffner (704) 864-2363, Carl Holt (704) 824-8287, Brent Elmore
(803) 469-4677, Archie Hargett (704) 394-5108, Charlie Hammond (803) 366-5603, Glen Ivey (828) 241-4482, Reggie Martin (864) 587-2520, Bob Rush (704) 243-4890, Weldon Benton (843) 346-9861 or Mike Bivens (828-433-8255.
The 2008 Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame inductees:
MARJORIE HAMMOND, Rock Hill, S.C. - Marjorie Hammond becomes the first woman inducted into the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame. Hammond began judging amateur boxing in the mid-1970s when her sons took up the sport. She has judged amateur bouts continuously for 33 years, including many national events. Hammond started officiating at professional matches in the early 1980s and has judged bouts involving such boxers as James "Bonecrusher" Smith, Cedric Mingo, Billy Bridges and Kelvin Seabrooks.
She worked several minor title fights and kept time for a 1993 Don King-produced event in Charlotte. Hammond also served as a volunteer during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. She has been intimately involved in South Carolina amateur boxing most of her adult life and has held office in the state organization. She writes the organization's newsletter, and was named South Carolina Official of the Year for amateur boxing in 1997. Hammond and her husband, Charlie, also a hall of fame member, are noted for aiding young boxers, even taking some into their home. Hammond has received the Rock Hill Volunteer of the Year Award and has worked with the Guardian Ad Litem program for 10 years.
WILLIS CADDELL, Charleston, S.C. - Born in Moncks Corner, S.C., in 1935, Willis Caddell began boxing at an early age, compiling an overall record of 131-9 with 50 knockouts. Caddell himself was never knocked out. Due to a series of family events, Caddell was on his own at age 14.
Because he was forced to live without the protection of a family, Caddell decided he needed to learn how to protect himself and began working out at the YMCA. Charleston was a boxing hotbed in those days, and he began participating in playground bouts and tournaments.
Caddell won his first 17 matches, mostly by utilizing speed and a devastating left hook. He boxed as an amateur while serving in the U.S. Army and later as a professional. After retiring from the ring, he started a boxing program at his church and later served as a boxing promoter in Charleston. Caddell owns a printing company and continues to work. He and his wife, Pat, have three children and three grandchildren.
MIKE BIVENS, Lincolnton, N.C. - Born in Lincolnton, N.C., in 1949, Mike Bivens began his boxing career at age 13 under the tutelage of legendary coach T.L. McManus. Bivens, who spent most of his formative years in Belmont, N.C., complied a record of 33 wins and 11 loses during a career that featured several amateur championships. He was a participant in the first professional boxing match televised in North Carolina. Bivens and Roby Jetton squared off in 1979 for the heavyweight championship of the Carolinas. Jetton won on a TKO before what was then the largest crowd to attend a professional boxing match in the Tar Heel State. Bivens later captured the heavyweight championship of the Carolinas by knocking out Fred Gore.
Bivens also served as promoter and trainer for many years, working with such boxers as James "Bonecrusher" Smith, Greg Page, Cedric Mingo, Kelvin Seabrooks and Emile Griffith. He excelled at promoting local fighters and bringing championships to North Carolina.
Bivens retired from Bellsouth in 1996. Since then, he and his wife, Marcia, have lived in Burke County. They continue to promote boxing and he works with the E. Burke High School mentor program and the South Mountain amateur boxing team.
MIKE HUCKABEE, Charleston, S.C. - Mike Huckabee began boxing at age 14 and won more than 10 amateur championships in the Carolinas before turning professional. He boxed professionally in 15 events, winning nine.
Huckabee, a sharp puncher with quick hands, defeated two military champions to earn the 1975 Carolinas Golden Gloves title. He won five state championships and two regional titles as a member of Charleston's Cooper River Boxing Team.
Huckabee finished runner-up in national Golden Gloves competition in 1979 and was ranked the No. 2 amateur in his weight class after that event. His amateur record featured 260 victories with only 15 loses. Huckabee is employed by Sam's Club in Conway, S.C. He spends as much time as possible with his three children and two grandchildren.
ROY TURNER, Gaffney, S.C. - Roy Turner coached the Cherokee County, S.C., Boxing Team from 1953 to 1964 and was instrumental in the development of countless young men in the Gaffney area. Four of his boxers won Carolinas Open titles and represented the region in national championships.
Turner was named South Carolina Amateur Boxing Coach of the Year in 1957. He was also chosen to coach the Carolinas Golden Gloves Boxing Team during the National Tournament of Champions in Chicago.
Turner spent 41 years as a member of the U.S. Army, including 37 with the South Carolina Army National Guard. He received many awards over the years, including the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award. He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame and has a barracks named in his honor at Fort Jackson.
A lifetime Shriner, Turner was also a member of Bethany Baptist Church where he served as a deacon. He was married to the late Geraldine Osment Turner and had two children. Turner passed away on Sept. 20, 1997.
WILLIAM KENNEDY, Winston-Salem, N.C. - William Kennedy III established a reputation as a hard puncher who could box. He began boxing at the Salvation Army Boys Club in Winston-Salem at age 15.
He eventually came under the influence of Austin Benjamin, a man known as the "Father of Boxing" in Winston-Salem. Under Benjamin's guidance, Kennedy won 120 and lost 10 amateur fights before turning professional.
Kennedy's overall record stands at 126-11 with six draws. Kennedy won more than 10 championships in the Carolinas and, in 1982, won regional championships in Knoxville, Tenn., and Sebring, Fla.
Kennedy has devoted his life to sports. He's been a basketball official on the high school and college levels, worked as a counselor and has coached baseball and basketball at the Salvation Army Boys Club where he got his start. He has also taught and coached boxing for many years.
BEARL DAVIS, Mount Holly, N.C. - Bearl Davis began boxing at age 10. During his many years in the ring, Davis fought all comers and held his own with each of them. He was one of several outstanding boxers trained by the late T.L. McManus.
Davis has been described as one of the state's classiest fighters. A victim of polio at an early age, he conquered the disease and went on to become part of ring history in the Carolinas. Davis won countless amateur championships during a long career that included over 250 victories and 20 losses.
The Davis family featured four boxing brothers, one of whom, Max, is already a member of the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame.
Davis retired a few years ago after a long career in the textile industry.