Class of 2006
LOU BOGASH SR.
Born in Foggia, Italy, Bogash came to the U.S. in 1907, and began fighting professionally at age 15.
At age 17, he became the Nutmeg State’s youngest Lightweight Champion by defeating Battling Kunz and, at age 19, won the Welterweight Championship of Connecticut by defeating Dave Palitz.
Lou gave Bridgeport its first world championship fight, boxing World Champion Jack Britton to a controversial Draw, however, Britton refused to engage Lou in a rematch. In 1923, he won the N.Y.S.B.C. Elimination Tournament for their version of the middleweight Championship, KOing Charles Nashert Fitzsimmons for the belt. Among world champion caliber fighters Bogash defeated were Mickey Walker, Tommy Loughran, Jock Malone, Mike McTigue, Mike O’Dowd, and Tiger Flowers, finishing his career with a 100-16-13 record with 39 knockouts.
Burns has been involved in boxing since 1955 when he was a Hartford police officer.
Burns was a supervisor for the Hartford Police Athletic League boxing program.
Director of consumer protection Mary Heslin appointed Burns as boxing inspector in 1972.
Burns later became the state director of boxing in 1987, a position he held until 2000.
Burns was also an advisor to the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun boxing commissions.
Since 1929, Leibert has been a manager, promoter, trainer and a second in the corner.
Among the fighters Leibert managed were Tyrone Booze and Eddie Olivera.
Leibert was a driving force behind boxing’s revival in Connecticut in 1973 after the sport had been banned in the state for eight years. Leibert was one of the founders of the Connecticut Boxing Guild, which was active from 1948-2004.
Mann had a world heavyweight title fight against Joe Louis in 1938 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Louis scored a third-round knockout, but Mann proved resilient. He continued fighting and won the New England heavyweight title in 1940. He held that title for nearly eight years, making several successful defenses. Mann finished with a career record of 74-11-4 with 44 knockouts.
Ortega fought some of the best Welterweights & Middleweights during the golden age of boxing, amassing 44 fights on national TV, including memorable wins over Kid Gavilan, Benny “Kid” Paret and Tony DeMarco.
Always a popular figure in the ring and in his community, Ortega continues to contribute to the sport of boxing by training and encouraging aspiring Connecticut boxers.
Born Francis Vejar, the middleweight from Stamford beat some well-known Connecticut names like Vic Cardell and Johnny Cesario before venturing out against tougher competition.
During one two-year span, Vejar didn’t duck anyone. He fought the likes of Kid Gavilan, Joey Giardello and Gene Fullmer. Once ranked the No. 7 middleweight in the world, Vejar finished his pro career with a record of 92-20-4 with 43 knockouts.