DONATE TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF BOXING (AAIB):

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"The discipline and skills learned in a quality boxing program make students better human beings." – AAIB Founder Stephen B. Acunto


#ImproveBoxing

For almost a half-century, the American Association for the Improvement of Boxing (AAIB) has fought to enhance the sport of boxing and support amateur boxers.


World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano and Hall of Fame boxing coach and professor Stephen B. Acunto founded the AAIB to promote boxing in communities across the country, in higher education, and through research and the advancement of national standards, regulations, and legislation. The organization's biggest impact today is on the lives of students.

The AAIB’s all-volunteer board of directors and staff consists of former boxers, boxing judges, commissioners, announcers, referees, and enthusiasts. One hundred percent (100%) of your donation goes directly to the AAIB's mission to improve the sport of boxing and support young boxers.

PLEASE GIVE TO THE AAIB.


Pictured: Before his untimely death, Rocky Marciano made one AAIB instructional video with friend and cofounder Steve Acunto in 1969. © 2015 AAIB

Pictured: Before his untimely death, Rocky Marciano made one AAIB instructional video with friend and cofounder Steve Acunto in 1969. © 2015 AAIB

The AAIB Boxing Record:

  • Founded the AAIB Amateur Boxing Scholarships

  • Advanced the New York State Reformed Boxing Bill

  • Appeared before the U.S. Congress in support of a National Boxing Commission

  • Supported “Uniformity of Boxing Regulations” throughout the United States

  • Developed a New York State bill to improve health insurance for injured boxers

  • Testified in Albany in support of more stringent boxer medical examinations

  • Supported research and advances in neurological and orthopedic boxing medicine

  • Taught an AAIB boxing syllabus and curriculum for college level credit

  • Created the AAIB Champions’ Boxing Guide for boxers’ safety and guidance

  • Designed an AAIB Boxing Moves poster with Muhammad Ali & Roy Jones, Jr.

  • Recorded AAIB Boxing Moves films with Ali, Rocky Marciano & Willie Pep

  • Established the AAIB Annual “Boxerama” Events honoring boxers and boxing

  • Started the AAIB Annual Celebrity Golf Invitational for AAIB Scholars

Pictured Left to Right: Cofounder Steve Acunto teaches the sweet science with Muhammad Ali, on campus for college credit, and to the U.S. Congress in the 1970s. © 2015 AAIB

Pictured Left to Right: Cofounder Steve Acunto teaches the sweet science with Muhammad Ali, on campus for college credit, and to the U.S. Congress in the 1970s. © 2015 AAIB


THE AAIB FOUNDERS

 

Stephen B. Acunto
Legendary Boxing Coach

For over four decades, Stephen B. Acunto was one of the foremost boxing instructors in the world, teaching alongside Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Willie Pep. Steve was head coach of boxing at Westchester Community College, where he developed and taught the only boxing course for college credit in existence. He also taught pugilism at Fairfield University, Concordia College, Sarah Lawrence College, The Purchase Community House, and numerous YMCAs, clinics, and seminars around the nation. Steve has taught over 8,000 boxers – one became world champion, several have been leading contenders, and many have been amateur champions

A former boxer, Steve has been a member of the New York State Athletic Commission since 1945. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1988, the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998, and was an inaugural inductee into the New York State Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. Articles about Steve and his activities have appeared in Sports Illustrated, SPORT Magazine, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Boxing Illustrated, and a host of other publications. Steve will turn 99-years-old on November 15, 2015. No one has given more to the sport of boxing.

 

Rocky Marciano
World Heavyweight Champion 1952-1956

From Wikipedia: “Rocky Marciano (born Rocco Francis Marchegiano; September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969) was an undefeated American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. Marciano is the only person to hold the heavyweight title without a bout tie or defeat during his entire career. Marciano defended his title six times, against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell, and Archie Moore. Marciano had a short, blazing career usually accustomed to pressure fighters, and at the end of it he retired with a record of 49-0, a record which stands to this day.

“Known for his relentless style, incredible stamina and a cast iron chin, Marciano has been ranked by many boxing historians as one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time. He was also known for his ferocious punching power, for a man of just 190 pounds; his knockout percentage of 87.75 is one of the highest in heavyweight history.” Rocky was the first of six children of Italian immigrant parents. He was forced to end his formal education at sixteen, but his experiences as a ditch digger, railroad layer, and army soldier made him a beloved public figure. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1959. He died before his time, the victim of an airplane crash.


THE AAIB VOLUNTEER BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Paul Vegliante
President & Former Diamond Gloves Heavyweight Champion

Paul Vegliante has been President of the AAIB since 2007. Under his leadership, the AAIB expanded the Amateur Boxing Scholarships and started the AAIB Annual Celebrity Golf Invitational for AAIB Scholars. Paul was the 1995 New Jersey Super Heavyweight Diamond Gloves Champion. He also founded the Fairfield University Boxing Club in 1986. Vegliante gives back to the community in several ways. He served on the Fairfield University Trustee Advisory Council, the Dwight-Englewood School Finance Committee, and the Oasis Women's Shelter Capital and Building Campaign. Since 1993, Paul has worked for AEP Industries, a leader in the plastic packaging industry, doing $1.4 Billion in annual business. He is currently their Executive Vice President of Operations.

 

Steve Acunto Jr.
Trustee & Former President of the AAIB

Steve Acunto, Jr. served as AAIB President for 10 years, advancing many of Rocky Marciano's and his father’s objectives. He authored the AAIB Manifesto on the Future of Boxing, created the “Greg’s Law” initiative, published the Champions’ Boxing Guide and AAIB newsletter. Steve also produced additional AAIB short films, appeared before and conferred with NYSAC officials on boxer safety, and strengthened the AAIB’s finances. Steve assisted his father as a boxing coach for 30 years and trained several professional fighters. Steve is President of CINN Group, Inc., with holdings in publishing, insurance, and entertainment. He is a trustee on the Boards of John Cabot University of Rome and the College of Mount St. Vincent in NY. He was appointed Hon. Vice Consul for the Republic of Italy in 2003.

 

Henry Hascup
Ring Announcer & Boxing Historian

Henry Hascup has served on the AAIB Board since 2012. He has been called "the hardest working person in all of boxing.” Henry is a ring announcer for over 90% of the amateur shows in New Jersey and several pro shows. He has been President of New Jersey USA Boxing since 2010, and New Jersey Diamond Gloves and the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame since the 1980s. He is on all 5 voting committees for the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the Las Vegas Boxing Hall of Fame, and the New York Boxing Hall of Fame. A walking encyclopedia of boxing history, Henry is also an editor for BoxRec, a charter member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and historian and webmaster for Ring 8 and Ring 25. Henry has delivered eulogies and his famous “nine-count” for over 250 boxing VIPs around the tri-state area, including Emile Griffith, Gil Clancy, and Johnny Colon. He was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010. Henry is a deacon and treasurer of the Faith Reformed Church in Lodi. He and his wife, Joyce, each have four children from previous marriages, took in two more to make it a total of ten kids, and now have sixteen grandchildren.

 

Melvina Lathan
Former NYSAC Chair & Professional Boxing Judge

Melvina Lathan has served on the AAIB Board for over 10 years. She was New York State Athletic Commission Chairwoman from 2008 through 2015. Melvina was raised in a house that loved watching boxing. Her husband, William, was a ringside physician for Golden Gloves. She started judging amateur fights in 1988, completed a two-year apprenticeship, and became the first African American female boxing judge in the State of New York in 1991. She is licensed in numerous other states and by the Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations. She has judged for all major sanctioning bodies, working 235 fight cards (883 bouts) including 83 World Title fights in the United States, Great Britain, South Africa, Argentina, and all over Europe. She has conducted seminars for officials at the invitation of the First Tianjin International Boxing Exhibition Games, the Washington D.C. Boxing Commission, and the International Boxing Federation, amongst others. Melvina was part of the consulting team for the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville. She was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008. She is also a mixed media artist. Melvina and William have four children and thirteen grandchildren.

 

Frank Lombardi
Professional Boxing Judge & Former Welterweight Boxer

Frank Lombardi has served on the AAIB Board as Treasurer since the 1980s. When he was 17-years-old, he met AAIB Chairman Steve Acunto in his YMCA Boxing program. Frank started boxing as an amateur at 15 and went professional at 19. He fought on the undercard of Champion Elisha Obed in the Bahamas and on the Jimmy Ellis/ Ernie Shavers card at Madison Square Garden. Frank boxed in exhibition bouts for charity with pugilists like Chico Vigar until he retired to get his teaching degree at CUNY Lehman. Frank worked as a judge and referee in the amateurs, then became an official timekeeper and judge for NYSAC. He has scored close to 500 bouts including the Ward/Gatti I and Ruiz/Golota Heavyweight Championships. Experienced in every aspect of boxing, Steve calls him, “one of the best coaches I know.”

 

Randy Neumann
NYCA Boxing Referee & Former Heavyweight Contender

Randy Neumann has served on the AAIB Board since 2013. Like many AAIB Scholars, Randy attended college (Fairleigh Dickinson U.) while boxing. He was an amateur out of Gleason’s Gym in the late 1960s. Professionally, Randy was ranked 6th contender nationally and 9th internationally in the strongest heavyweight division in history. He faced boxers like Jerry Quarry, Jimmy Young, and Chuck Wepner and posted a pro record of 31 wins, 11 by knockout, and 7 losses. Randy became a referee for the New York State Athletic Commission in 1982.  He has been the respected “third man” in the ring for over 50 title fights involving champs like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Randy’s boxing articles have appeared in SPORT Magazine, Harper’s, Forbes, the New York Times, and the New York Post. He also writes financial advice books and a syndicated column. Randy is President of Randy Neumann Wealth Management. He was appointed Treasurer for the International Boxing Federation in 2015. Randy and his wife, Kathleen, have four children and live in Ridgewood.

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Thomas J. Tortora
Nursing Home Administrator & Boxing Enthusiast

Tom Tortora has served on the AAIB Board since 1989. On his high school soccer and swim teams, Tom thought he was in great shape until he stepped into his first boxing ring. A friend was training to be an amateur and Tom boxed with him for under two rounds without hitting him once. He was exhausted and hooked. A Boston College graduate, Tom boxed in a number of clubs in the Boston and Brockton areas. Back home, he joined the Bridgeport, Connecticut Police Athletic League Boxing Club, trained under George Russo as an amateur, and then became an amateur referee and coach. Tom is a licensed nursing home administrator at The Carolton Chronic and Convalescent Hospital in Fairfield, Connecticut. Rocky’s nephew, Louie Marciano, Jr., invited Tom to his first AAIB event and introduced him to Steve 26 years ago.

 

Steven A. Weisfeld
Professional Boxing Judge & Legal Counsel

Steve Weisfeld has served on the AAIB Board since the 1980s. He is also legal counsel and a vice-president of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame. Steve has been a professional boxing judge for almost 25 years. He was formerly the rules expert for HBO Boxing and the unofficial scorer for HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Steve is a commercial attorney for Beattie Padovano, LLC, a law firm in Montvale, New Jersey. He has given presentations before the International Council of Shopping Centers on commercial leasing issues and is on the Board of Advisors of the Commercial Lease Law Insider.

 

Hon. Charles D. Wood
Supreme Court Justice & Boxing Enthusiast

Charles Wood has served on the AAIB Board since 2010. He is a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District, which encompasses Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, and Orange Counties. He grew up in a family that loved watching boxing, and the enthusiasm he felt watching Ali, Norton, Leonard, and Mancini continues to be renewed by boxers today. In 2005, Charles was elected to Yonkers City Court, where he served for four years. He was the Supervising Judge of the Matrimonial Part in Westchester County in 2013, and is a member of the Committee on Gender Fairness for the Ninth Judicial District.  He is a graduate of Vassar College and New York Law School. He completed training from the Advanced Science & Technology Adjudication Resource Center (ASTAR), National Resource Judge Program, and was elected as a Fellow in 2013.


#BoxingLegacy

Left to Right: NYPD Detective Lieutenant Mario Biaggi, the most decorated police officer in the nation, presents a Westchester Silver Bowl to AAIB cofounder Rocky Marciano, as former New York Knick great Stan Stutz presents a Westchester Silver Bowl to AAIB cofounder Steve Acunto in the 1960s. © 2015 AAIB

Left to Right: NYPD Detective Lieutenant Mario Biaggi, the most decorated police officer in the nation, presents a Westchester Silver Bowl to AAIB cofounder Rocky Marciano, as former New York Knick great Stan Stutz presents a Westchester Silver Bowl to AAIB cofounder Steve Acunto in the 1960s. © 2015 AAIB