The Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame has announced its class for 2017, and will induct the new members at its annual banquet, scheduled for Oct 13 at Mystic Lake Casino.
The inductees for 2017 include Dan Morgan, Jackie Burke and Bobby Daniels in the modern category, Billy Light and Billy Defoe in the Old Timer category along with Jimmy Potts and Joe Azzone in the Expanded category. In addition, the Hall will honor two long-time contributors to the sport in Minnesota, Lisa Bauch, who owns and operates the Uppercut Gym in Minneapolis, and the Department of Athletic Regulation for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, who stage professional bouts at Grand Casino in Hinckley.
The banquet is the eighth and includes several individuals closely identified with Minnesota boxing over the years. Morgan, a Minneapolis super middleweight, complied a 40-4 record as a professional that included 28 knockouts. He fought three times in world title matches. He joins his father, Jim, a notable trainer and manager, in the state’s Hall of Fame.
Daniels, a light heavyweight from Duluth, fought 30 times as a professional, winning 24 times while scoring 10 knockouts against five losses and a draw. He defeated Jim Hegerle, a Hall of Fame inductee, for the state light heavyweight title, and knocked out Al Andrews, another Hall of Fame inductee.
Burke was born in Pennsylvania but lived much of his life in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He beat Hall of Fame fighter Mel Brown twice and compiled a 66-13-4 record that included 20 knockouts.
He had the distinction of holding the Minnesota middleweight and light heavyweight titles simultaneously.
Light, a St Paul welterweight, is the first of two inductees in the Old Timer category. Light compiled a 25-13-1 record that included 13 knockouts. In addition, he was 21-5-5 in another 31 fights decided on newspaper decisions. He lost three fights to Hall of Fame inductee My Sullivan, a fellow St Paulite, and also lost to HOF inductee Billy Petrolle.
Billy DeFoe, a Minneapolis featherweight, fought frequently over a 17-year career that began in 1913, and joins Light in the Old-Timer category. During his long and busy career, DeFoe built a 59-34-9 record that included 25 knockouts. He was 19-9-3 in bouts decided on newspaper decision.
The expanded category for 2017 includes Jimmy Potts, who owned and operated one of the busiest gyms in state history. Fighters from around the nation worked out at his place in Minneapolis when in the Twin Cities for bouts against local boxers. The Flanagan brothers, Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey worked out there prior to fights and to stay in condition between bouts. Potts was born in Somerset, Wis., and had a long career of his own. He was 75-5-30 _ yes an amazing 30 draws_ with 37 knockouts before devoting himself exclusively to his gym.
Joe Azzone of St Paul was also selected in the Expanded Category. Azzone was a member of the State Boxing Commission and also served on the IBF board of directors. He was a long-time coach of amateur boxing in St. Paul and ran the Police Gym as well.
Lisa Bauch has owned and operated the Uppercut Gym since 1996, first at its location on Lake Street and today at its location in Northeast Minneapolis, where she has 13,000 square feet in which men and women train together. She is being honored for her devotion to amateur and professional fighting in the state.
The Hall of Fame will also honor the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe Department of Athletic Regulation. The band is being feted for its support of boxing in the state and for its promotion of numerous professional cards over the last decade.