Former IBF Light heavyweight world title challenger John "Iceman" Scully is currently planning a twelve bout amateur boxing show for Friday, December 5, at the brand new Lion's Den Gym in Middletown.
The event will raise funds to purchase a Memorial Plaque for longtime Hartford trainer and National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame member Johnny Duke, who passed at age 83 away in 2006.
The plaque will be permanently placed on a brick wall that currently borders the site of Duke's former gym at the Bellevue Square Housing Project in Hartford's North End. Scully often trained at Duke's Bellevue Square Boys Club and also had Duke in his corner for many of his amateur and professional fights.
After Duke's passing in 2006, Scully set off on an 18-month long quest that ended with the Hartford Housing Authority granting him permission to raise funds for the plaque honoring Duke and his boxing gym that produced 1958 and 1959 AAU National Champion Jimmy Blythe, New England Lightweight Champion Donny Nelson, U.S. Olympian Lawrence Clay-Bey, IBO 122 pound champion Mike "Machine Gun" Oliver and two-time welterweight champion Marlon Starling.
But Duke was far more than boxing coach. He mentored countless Hartford youngsters from some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. Many went on to careers as firemen, policemen and other responsible positions.
Scully is now the head boxing trainer at the Lion's Den in Middletown and will use the facility to run a series of amateur boxing shows on what he hopes to be a monthly basis. For tickets and more information, go to the website: http://www.lionsdenct.com.