Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame Names 7 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 2 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 addition of these seven men, the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame has honored 124 individuals since its inception in 1984.
Tickets for the induction 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 2004 inductees:
MICHAEL HOLMES GOLEMIS: A 50-year-old native of Charleston, S.C., Golemis compiled a record of 165 wins and 12 defeats in a distinguished amateur career. Golemis was trained by the late Hall of Famer Sonny Snell and captured several amateur championships including the South Carolina Golden Gloves (1961), South Carolina Junior Olympics (1968) and Carolinas Golden Gloves (1971).
Since retiring from the ring, Golemis has remained active in boxing, spending time as an assistant coach at The Citadel as well as working as a judge and referee with the South Carolina Boxing Commission. He currently trains collegiate and professional boxers in a gym he built in 1998 and also offers instruction to men, women and children of all ages.
A graduate of the College of Charleston, Golemis also coached football at James Island Recreation Center and Bishop England High School. His reputation of never refusing to help any individual or group in need has earned him a variety of community service awards, including recognition from the Charleston mayor¿s office, police department and area school principals.
Golemis lives in Charleston with his wife, Danielle, and is employed as a contractor.
TRESCO JOHNSON: Born on Sept. 13, 1903, Tresco Johnson was a professional boxer who made his biggest impact after his fighting career, molding the lives and boxing skills of young men. A native of Troutman, N.C., Johnson moved to Florence, S.C., where he opened a dry cleaning business at the age of 24. Johnson was active in the business community, but his passion was coaching. Many of his charges became Golden Gloves champions in North and South Carolina as he coached the Carolinas team at the Tournament of Champions on several occasions and also served as a vice president of the AAU.
A believer in clean living and good sportsmanship, Johnson once commented to a friend that one of his proudest moments came when one of his young boxers volunteered to say grace at a team meal. He closely followed the careers of his former students and was always available to them for advice.
Outside the ring, Johnson was an aviation enthusiast and organized the Civil Air Patrol in Florence. He was serving as a captain in the reserve at the time of his death in 1948 at the age of 44.
BOBBY CLONINGER: Belmont, N.C., native Bobby ¿Runt¿ Cloninger began boxing in 1959 under the tutelage of Lou Kemp at the Charlotte Police Athletic Club. He later joined the Mount Holly Boxing Team where he fought for legendary coach T.L. McManus. Cloninger compiled an amateur record of 36 wins against six defeats, not counting the bouts he fought during a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy.
Cloninger won championships in Gastonia, Newton, Mount Holly, Lincolnton and Charlotte including the open featherweight title at the 1960 Carolinas Golden Gloves. Later that year he represented the Carolinas in a national tournament at New York¿s Sunnyside Garden.
Employed in the steel business for most of his business career, the 66-year-old Cloninger and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Belmont.
JODY GANES: Born Nov. 8, 1949, in Hemingway, S.C., Jody Ganes won 200 amateur matches in several states while losing only 14. As a professional, his record was 5-1. A classic boxer with power, Ganes won many of his fights by knockout, including a match in the Carolinas Golden Gloves when the only punch thrown was a crunching right that knocked out his opponent in the first round. The South Carolinian won championships in Tennessee and both Carolinas including the Southern Golden Gloves in Knoxville (1968) and the open 139 title at the Carolinas Golden Gloves (1970).
Outside of the ring, Ganes served in Operation Desert Storm with the S.C. National Guard and has been very active as a coach in other sports. He¿s been recognized as volunteer of the year at Anderson Primary School and by the Kingstree High School football team. Ganes also coached Dixie Youth baseball and umpired softball games.
Today, he coaches and trains young boxers in Cades, S.C., and manages the Cades Boxing Team. Ganes and his wife, Pam, reside in Cades and are the parents of three children.
NATHAN CROSBY: Nathan ¿Kid¿ Crosby was born in Beaufort, S.C., in 1919. A heavy puncher with a lot of ring savvy, Crosby learned to box from his father who was once a Southern Bantamweight champion. The ¿Kid¿ fought as a welterweight and compiled an overall record of 151 wins against just four losses with 87 victories by knockout.
Crosby fought in the Greenville/Spartanburg area in the beginning of his career then moved to Texas to work under the tutelage of Frankie Edwards, a one-time manager of well-known fighter Gene Tunney. Crosby defeated such highly regarded fighters as Howard Steen, Paul Altman, Al Hamm, Joe Comforto, Tommy Roman and even Chino Lopez, named world¿s best boxer by Ring Magazine in 1944.
After hanging up his gloves, Crosby became a minister in 1951. He pastored churches in Texas and did missionary work in Mexico until his retirement in 1979. Crosby passed away in 1985. His wife, Helen, and two daughters live in Houston.
HAROLD BRINSON: Harold ¿Bobo¿ Brinson was born in Charleston, S.C., on July 24, 1953, and began boxing at the tender age of seven. Brinson compiled a record of 148 wins against only 12 defeats during a 13-year career in the ring.
A South Carolina bantamweight and flyweight state champion, Brinson was also a two-time Junior Olympic title-holder and a two-time winner at the Carolinas Golden Gloves (1970, 1971). He was voted ¿Most Outstanding Boxer¿ in eight different amateur events.
Brinson remains active in boxing as an official and referees approximately 40 professional bouts a year.
The Charleston Southern graduate spent 10 years in the restaurant business and now works in real estate. Brinson has three children and is licensed as a captain with the U.S. Coast Guard based in Charleston.
WILLIAM WILKINSON: Lincolnton, N.C., native William ¿Billum¿ Wilkinson¿s history in the ring goes back to the 1930s where he fought in Charlotte¿s first Carolinas Golden Gloves championship in 1933. Wilkinson won the bantamweight crown at that event and later captured two Carolinas Golden Gloves lightweight titles (1935, 1939). Through 125 career bouts, Wilkinson dropped only four and was never knocked out.
Recognized as a smart ring general with good punching power in both hands, Wilkinson attended King College in Bristol, Tenn., on a boxing scholarship and was undefeated during his college career. Wilkinson fought as a lightweight at King College alongside teammate and Carolinas Boxing Hall of Famer Ed Sweet of Cornelius, N.C.
Wilkinson won Golden Gloves titles in Charlotte, Raleigh and High Point and also represented North Carolina at a national tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, where he dropped a close decision.
Outside of the ring, Wilkinson spent many years as an executive with the Coca-Cola Company in Bristol and reared three children with his wife Elizabeth, now deceased. At age 88, Wilkinson now resides in Johnson City, Tenn.