Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame Names 5 Inductees
The class was announced today during a press conference at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway. The formal induction and dinner honoring these men will be April 4 in The Speedway Club¿s Grand Ballroom.
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 and features a 33-foot display case of boxing memorabilia. With the selection of these five men, the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame has honored 117 individuals since its inception in 1984.
Tickets for the dinner, priced at $30, are available by calling any of the following members of the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame Board of Directors: Carl Holt (704) 824-8287; Jim Heffner (704) 864-2363; George Diehl (704) 537-1821; Harry Hitopoulos (803) 884-3226; Charlie Hammond (803) 366-5603; Archie Hargett (704) 392-3416; Bill McInnis (704) 289-1222; Ron Harrison, Jr. (704) 824-8162; or Brent Elmore (803) 469-4677.
The 2003 inductees:
AL RABY ¿ Born Aug. 23, 1934, this Gastonia native compiled a combined amateur and professional record of 75 wins and nine defeats. He won several amateur championships in North and South Carolina, including events in Charleston, Gastonia, Mount Holly, Hickory and High Point. Raby boxed for T.L. McManus of Mount Holly, one of the most-renowned amateur boxing coaches in the country. Known as a scrapper, McManus once described Raby as ¿a boxer who can fight over his head when he has to. He¿s got the kind of heart the Lord ought to give every fighter.¿
While serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 until 1954, Raby won the Indiana lightweight title in Evansville and captured the Air Regionals at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
After boxing, Raby worked in the textile business for many years before taking a job with Freightliner Corporation. He finished his working career as a truck driver and now lives in North Platte, Neb.
ARCHIE L. HARGETT ¿ Born July 27, 1933, Hargett has been involved behind the scenes in boxing for the better part of his adult life. A former director of the North Carolina Golden Gloves, he has been involved with amateur boxing in the state for more than 25 years and has been the driving force behind the Carolinas Golden Gloves in Charlotte. A longtime member of the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Hargett often mentors amateur boxing directors throughout the Southeast.
Hargett is a retired insurance agent who was born and reared in Charlotte. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 through 1953 and has held the title of National Commander for the Regular Veteran¿s Association since 1986. Hargett is a past president of the West Mecklenburg Optimist Club, a Mason and a Shriner.
KELVIN SEABROOKS ¿ Born March 10, 1963, Seabrooks began a stellar boxing career at the age of 12 and advanced victoriously through most of the amateur tournaments in the South before becoming a professional champion. He compiled an overall record of 157-21-1 before retiring in 1995.
Seabrooks won his first amateur tournament at the age of 13 and captured Golden Gloves titles across the state of North Carolina, including four Carolinas Golden Gloves titles in Charlotte.
As a professional, Seabrooks won the USBA Bantamweight title in 1987, and shortly thereafter captured the IBF World Championship belt with a devastating fifth-round knockout of Miguel Monterrano in Colombia, South America. Seabrooks successfully defended his title four times before losing to Orlando Canizales.
A classical stylist with knockout power in both hands, Seabrooks won 20 of his first 24 professional fights via the KO route.
The Charlotte native now spends most of his time working with young people; touring schools and churches all over the Southeast, delivering a positive message about staying in school and away from drugs. His future plans include opening a literacy and championship fitness center for underprivileged children in the Charlotte area.
MALCOLM DeWITT III¿ A second-generation boxer, Malcolm Sanders DeWitt III was born Oct. 23, 1933. He was a star athlete at Rivers High School in Charleston, S.C., and was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of South Carolina for football and boxing. DeWitt convinced the football coach he was too small for the gridiron and concentrated on boxing, where he was a part of a great South Carolina boxing team with teammates such as Emmett Gurney, Chuck Davis, Allen George, Don Fortner, Jack Cassiday, Andy Sciambra, Jimmy Craven, Haywood Davis and Howard Collins.
After a successful amateur career, DeWitt enjoyed a short yet productive career as a pro. After only 10 professional fights, Uncle Sam called and he entered the U.S. Army. Discharged in 1956, he went back to USC, but decided to give up a promising professional boxing career at the urging of his wife.
DeWitt worked for 33 years as an air traffic controller, but kept his hand in boxing by training young amateurs, coaching and volunteering at many levels. He often spent his own money to outfit young athletes. Rated one of the best judges in South Carolina boxing history, DeWitt passed away on Oct. 19, 1997.
BOBBY LAWRENCE ¿ Born Jan. 30, 1934, Lawrence began boxing at the age of 16. He won 23 club fights before launching a career as a Golden Glover, where he won his first 18 bouts before losing to the late Jerry Stratton of Gastonia. After that loss, Lawrence reeled off another 16 wins in a row. He won several amateur tournaments in North and South Carolina, compiling an amateur record of 55 wins against only two losses.
A hard-hitting welterweight, Lawrence fought the best fighters of his era, including Dink McManus, who he whipped in a rousing battle at Gastonia¿s Silver Gloves tournament. He fought out of his weight class several times, once going to the mat three times in the first round of a bout with middleweight Jim Bost of Lincolnton. Lawrence responded by knocking out the heavier Bost in the second round.
As a professional, Lawrence tallied 21 wins and five defeats.
After retiring from the ring, the Durham, N.C., native worked for several years with the U.S. Postal Service and also enjoyed a successful career in the insurance industry. Lawrence has been married to his wife, Betty, for 48 years and now spends much of his time volunteering at church.