Boxing Scholar Program Aims To Double Awards


The American Association for the Improvement of Boxing (AAIB) Expands Scholarship Program for Amateur Boxers

The 45-year-old boxing organization started by Rocky Marciano aims to double its college awards for the second year in a row with a crowdfunding campaign, new website, and online video.

MOUNT VERNON, New York – Oct. 13, 2015 – The American Association for the Improvement of Boxing (AAIB) today announced its new online presence at The website is part of an initiative to increase awareness and funding for its successful amateur boxing scholarships. The AAIB awarded six scholarships in 2014 and fourteen scholarships this year.

There are over 28,000 registered amateur boxers in the United States, but the sport garners little scholarship money. “We are ready to double the number of our scholarships again,” said Henry Hascup, tireless New Jersey USA Boxing President and AAIB Board Member. “We received applications from 24 states in 2015.”

The organization supports amateur boxers pursuing undergraduate degrees from accredited colleges and universities with boxing programs. Typical AAIB Scholars hail from underserved populations for whom financial aid offers a transformative opportunity. The scholars regularly receive degrees in the sciences and public affairs, hoping to give back to their communities.

Two of these success stories appear in the AAIB’s new online video, The Boxing Chance, featured on the website. In the documentary short, scholars Walter Sarnoi and Susan Jugo share how boxing and the AAIB gave them a chance at a better life.

“The best way to elevate the sport is to support young boxers who exemplify Rocky and Steve’s ideal,” said Paul Vegliante, current AAIB President.

Undefeated World Champion Rocky Marciano and Hall of Fame boxing coach Steve Acunto founded the AAIB in 1969 to promote boxing as a safe sport for the general public and on campuses. They also fought for better science and regulation in the ring. Acunto testified repeatedly before Congress towards a Federal Boxing Commission. Vegliante has refocused the organization on the nonprofit scholarship program.

The AAIB held their annual celebrity fundraiser at Galloway National Golf Club in Atlantic City over Columbus Day Weekend. Vegliante hopes to match what they raise on the green with a simultaneous crowdfunding campaign on The online fundraiser is scheduled to end on November 15th, the birthday of Mr. Acunto, who will turn 99-years-old.

Indiegogo is that largest global crowdfunding site that works with nonprofit organizations. Potential donors can visit the AAIB Indiegogo campaign at and follow its progress on the AAIB’s new Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages @aaiboxing.

New and archival images for this story can be downloaded from the AAIB Flickr page at

Mr. Acunto was recently profiled in Boxing News:

For more information, or to further interview Mr. Vegliante, Mr. Hascup, or an AAIB Scholar, contact