"Bonecrusher" among Hall of Fame Inductees
The seven inductees were announced today as the organization revealed its 2007 class during a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The formal induction and dinner honoring these boxers will be Friday night, April 13, in The Speedway Club's Grand Ballroom.
Located on the second floor of Smith Tower at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame recognizes individual achievements and contributions to the rich boxing history of the Carolinas. With the selection of these seven men, the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame will have honored 145 individuals since its inception in 1984.
Tickets for the dinner, priced at $30 each, can be purchased by contacting the following Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame board members: Archie Hargett (704) 394-5108, Bill McInnis (704) 283-0295, Carl Holt (704) 824-8287, Jim Heffner (704) 864-2363, Brent Elmore (803) 469-4677, Charlie Hammond (803) 366-5603, Glen Ivey (828) 241-4482 or Harry Hitopoulos (843) 884-3226.
The 2007 inductees:
JAMES "BONECRUSHER" SMITH, Magnolia, N.C. - When "Bonecrusher" Smith knocked out WBA heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon in the first round of a 1986 fight, he became the first heavyweight champion with a college degree.
Smith started boxing while serving in the U.S. Army and after leaving the military went to work for the N.C. Department of Corrections. He began his professional boxing career with a 1981 bout on ESPN, which he lost. He then upset future cruiserweight Rickey Parker, followed by three additional victories over respected opponents. Smith then scored nine straight knockout wins to gain a fight with undefeated British prospect Frank Bruno. To everyone's surprise, Smith knocked out the favored Brit in the 10th round.
In 1987, Smith risked his championship belt against WBC champion Mike Tyson in Las Vegas and lost a decision. He continued to fight off and on for several years, winning most of his bouts by knockout. In 1999, Smith lost a decision to his friend Larry Holmes and, at age 46, "Bonecrusher" Smith hung up his gloves.
He compiled a record of 44-17-1 as a professional and also won many amateur and military fights.
After retiring from the ring, Smith became an ordained minister and dedicated his life to helping young people stay clear of crime and drugs. He and his wife, Reba, are the parents of three children.
JOHNNY GREENHILL, Durham, N.C. - Johnny Greenhill started boxing in 1950 while serving with the U.S. Navy. He won all 17 of his military bouts.
Upon returning home, Greenhill joined the Durham Boxing Team and became an integral member of the amateur group. He won 45 matches, losing only to the great Crowe Peele. Greenhill eventually turned pro and won another 20 bouts without losing. His overall record stands at 82 victories, one loss and one draw.
Greenhill owned and operated Greenhill Electric Co. for 39 years, and remains active in the electrical business. He has two sons and two grandchildren. He has also received the North Carolina Outstanding Community Service Award.
Greenhill is a pilot, and enjoys golf, bowling and restoring old cars.
MAURICE TREADWAY, Loris, S.C. - Born in 1933, Maurice Treadway began his boxing career on the YMCA team after his family relocated to the Charlotte area. On both the amateur and professional circuits, Treadway compiled a record of 159 victories and 49 losses. In addition to claiming titles in both North and South Carolina, Treadway earned three championships as a member of the 82nd Airborne team and was competitive in Mexico, where results were either unrecorded or inaccurate.
After retiring from boxing, Treadway moved to Murrell's Inlet, S.C., where he opened a successful lawn care business.
Treadway was a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner and was recognized for his community service along South Carolina's Grand Strand. He passed away on May 24, 2005, leaving behind his wife Shirley and five children.
GREGORY HITOPOULOS, Charleston, S.C. - Gregory Hitopoulos was born on Sept. 1, 1928, and is the third Hitopoulos brother to be inducted into the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame.
Hitopoulos began his career as a fighter on the University of South Carolina team, but made his mark as a trainer, coach, referee and judge. In a single year of competition, Hitopoulos won 12 consecutive matches, defeating three regional champions. Upon graduation, Hitopoulos enlisted in the U.S. Army. After his release, he began to referee and judge matches, which he continued to do on the amateur and professional levels for 32 years. During that time he also assisted his brother Harry with coaching duties for the Citadel boxing team.
Hitopoulos, a pharmacy major at USC, operated two pharmacies in Columbia, S.C., prior to his death in 2004. He and his wife Charlotte were the parents of three children.
RALPH CONNER, Lincolnton, N.C. - Active in boxing from 1947 to 1990, Ralph Conner is known for his coaching as well as his community involvement. Many of the hall of fame inductees from Lincolnton, N.C., were coached by Conner and his VFW teams have won numerous tournaments throughout the Carolinas. He was selected in 1956 to coach the Carolinas team during regional competition in New York City. That same year he was awarded the Wilton Garrison Outstanding Coach award.
Conner took a tour of duty for the U.S. Army during World War II where he was injured in Anzio, Italy. After his discharge, he played professional baseball for a short time. Conner also competed as a professional golfer for eight years, representing the Lincolnton Country Club.
Conner, a widower, is the father of three children.
LACY HALL, Burlington, N.C. - Lacy Hall spent 1949 dominating the ring with 16 consecutive victories, including tournament wins in Burlington, Durham, High Point and Greensboro where he also earned three Outstanding Boxer trophies.
Hall holds undergraduate degrees from Elon College and Duke University and earned master's and doctorate degrees from UNC Chapel Hill. He is a past president and owner of King's Business College in Greensboro.
Hall served in the U.S. Army for three years and is involved in several different areas of community service. Co-founder and president of the Huck Finn Tennis Charity Fund, Hall has also written books on business and mental health.
He and his wife Barbara have one daughter and he lists his interests as writing, poetry, gardening, traveling and wine making.
FRED PETTYJOHN, Winston-Salem, N.C. - Fred Pettyjohn was accidentally discovered while playing basketball at the YMCA. He decided to give boxing a try and began his career by knocking out his first opponent, only to lose his next bout by a decision. This start was followed by a knockout, lost decision, another knockout and another lost decision.
Pettyjohn earned a boxing scholarship to Michigan State University and compiled a record of 38 wins and 12 losses. Most of his victories were knockouts. He won tournaments in multiple cities including Greensboro, Charlotte and High Point. A 1953 victory at an AAU event gained him a spot on the Carolinas AAU team. He was the fifth Naval District middleweight runner-up in 1954.
Pettyjohn, a widower, is the father of two children. He is an avid swimmer and enjoys old western movies.