Local Boxers Steal the Show as Legends Descend on Paterson for Charity Event

Paterson boxers Ka'sim Coffie and Isaiah Mack were victorius Credits: Michelle Vargas
The action in the ring kept fans at the edge of their seats Credits: Michelle Vargas
Amazing reach! Credits: Michelle Vargas
Boxing Legend Bobby Czyz poses with Rich Hennion, the event's founder Credits: Michelle Vargas
Retired New York Giant standout Otis "OJ" Anderson poses with a fan Credits: Michelle Vargas
L-R: Freeholder Terry Duffy, Ed Cotton, Peter Murphy Credits: Steve Lenox
Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh may need some pointers from boxing great Bobby Czyz if he has to go a few rounds with the Paterson City Council Credits: Michelle Vargas

The hottest ticket in town on May 17 was for the 10th Annual Silk City Boxing Charity Event held at The Brownstone. The USA Amateur Boxing Event matched New Jersey boxers against visiting boxers from Irelands and drew a crowd so large that it had to be moved to a ring under a tent in the well-known establishment’s parking lot.

Started by Rich Hennion, co-founder of Hennion and Walsh investment firm, and founder of Silk City Boxing, the event raises funds annually for three area charities: Saint Peter’s Orphanage, Saint Gerard Church, and the Do-Good House, a student support group dedicated to providing scholarships to deserving students in need of financial assistance in the Greater Paterson area. 
Last year the fundraiser brought in $35,000 for the three charities. 

In addition to welcoming the boxers from Ireland, a first for the annual event, the crowd also hosted several sports celebrities including Super Bowl winners Plaxico Burress, Otis “OJ” Anderson, and Amani Toomer, all three retired from the New York Giants. Not to be left out, legends of the boxing world including Tony Santana, Ed Leahy, Peter Quinones, and Bobby Czyz, who started his career at Paterson’s Lou Costellos’ Boxing Gym also worked the crowd through the evening.

Sign Up for E-News

Local legend Ed Cotton, best known for his role as the referee when Mike Tyson was knocked out by Lennox Lewis in 2002, was also in attendance at the standing room only event.

The event took on a political tone with dignitaries such as Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh, Freeholder Terry Duffy, and Superior Court Judge Ray Reddin. Peter Murphy, currently seeking a return to the top spot within the Passaic County Republican Organization, and has sponsored the event each year since its inception was also present.

Never one to miss an opportunity to inject some local drama into the affair, Leahy managed to recruit 19-year old Ka’sim Coffie into the ring to replace a missing fighter. Coffie, working the event as a waiter for the evening, didn’t need much encouragement to put on the gloves when he was told by Leahy “take off our uniform, you’re boxing tonight!” 

Coffie, whose first name translates into “controller of anger” became an instant local celebrity when he was successful in the ring and was later selected as Fighter of the Night. “What a night, huh,” Leahy exclaimed to TAPinto Paterson. “Thank God for those Paterson boys, they saved the show.”

With the Irish boxers taking four of the six matches it was only Coffie and his fellow Ike and Randy’s Gym boxer Isaiah Mack representing the winning side when the evening ended. The Diamond and Golden Gloves winners are both trained by Ossie Duran, the Ghanaian Gladiator, who said they are both “good boys.”

“They work very hard,” says Duran.  

Both local boxers have their sites set on continuing to excel in the sport, as well as to help to their community, with Coffie, from the city’s Eastside neighborhood, saying that  “he will continue to work hard, and be a part of a boxing charity event that gives back to help other kids in the hood.”

“Coach wants me to be a champ, I’m gonna be a champ,” Isaiah Mack said confidently “I’m destined to be a champ.”

Pete Quinones who has worked on the event since 2010 said that is a special one for the local boxing community “because it raises money for the kids.”

“It’s a really good thing that Rich Hennion does every year. I’ve been working on the show since 2010 and we expect it to get even bigger next year.”




TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, June 18, 6:30 PM

First Bethel AME Church, Paterson

Marijuana Legalization: The Just Side of the ...

Law & Justice


Tue, June 19, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza


Tue, June 26, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Your Mental Health Deserves a Tune Up

June 8, 2018

Dear Editor:

For a long time mental illness has been "masked" with drug, alcohol, sex, and others.

The climbing rate of the act of suicide, including one in our very own backyard earlier this week, shows that we have to fight harder and collectively in reducing the stigma.


Sharrieff Bugg

Stigma Free Paterson

Growing in Grace Counseling Group

New Jersey Blood Services Declares Blood Emergency

June 13, 2018

New Jersey Blood Services/New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply for hospitals throughout the area.


In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually ...

Wimberly Statement on Secretary Carson’s Proposal to Raise Rent on Low-income Housing

TRENTON, NJ – Assembly Housing and Community Development Chairman Benjie Wimberly made the following statement on U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s proposal to raise rent on low-income housing:

“Secretary Carson’s proposed plan to increase rent for those living on housing assistance is housing discrimination, plain and ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 15, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Bloomfield Parents Protest Board of Education Decision to add Armed Guards to All Public Schools

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Emotions ran high prior to and during tonight’s Board of Education meeting at Bloomfield High School.

Prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, about 25 parents protested outside of the main entrance with signs expressing their disapproval of the placing of armed guards in all district schools.  Several parents had megaphones, while many drivers passing by on ...

Senator Pou’s Statement on Hurricane Maria Evacuee Session

June 9, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Senator Nellie Pou (D-Paterson) released the following statement regarding the Hurricane Maria Evacuee session to be held on Monday, June 11, in Paterson:


I am happy that we are able to bring these types of informational sessions to the residents of Paterson and surrounding areas to ensure that Hurricane Maria evacuees are made aware of the programs available to them ...