December 13, 2009 - 10:00 pm
Bruce Trampler knew something was up when he didn’t receive his ballot for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Trampler, Top Rank’s matchmaker since 1981 and a longtime Hall of Fame voter, didn’t get a ballot this year because he happened to be on it. On Tuesday, it was announced Trampler will been inducted into the hall, located in Canastota, N.Y., along with 12 others, including former featherweight champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez, manager Shelly Finkel, commissioner Larry Hazzard, broadcaster Howard Cosell and writer Ed Schuyler Jr.
“That’s pretty good company,” Trampler said. “It’s a big thrill you can’t put into words. My personal feeling is it’s a company honor, and if I had to guess, I’m going in purely because of my association with Top Rank.”
Trampler, 60, helped launch the professional careers of several world champions, including Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Kelly Pavlik, Miguel Cotto and Michael Carbajal. He becomes the fourth member of the Top Rank family to be inducted into the hall, joining chairman Bob Arum, matchmaker Teddy Brenner and publicist Irving Rudd.
“Bruce Trampler represents the best of the best,” Arum said. “There’s no one in the history of the sport who has developed talent or put together the most exciting matches the way Bruce has.”
Trampler boxed as an amateur while attending Ohio University. After graduating in 1971, he landed a job working for trainers Angelo and Chris Dundee.
“I did everything you could imagine,” he said. “One of my first assignments was to pick up Muhammad Ali at the Miami Airport. He was coming to train for his fight with Jimmy Ellis and I was shaking like a leaf.
“But we didn’t have any mishaps, and while there were a lot of lean years, a lot of tough years, looking back, I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish.”
In addition to handling a myriad of jobs in boxing over the decades, Trampler also worked as a baseball agent who at one time represented LeTroy Hawkins and Brian Dallimore, the son of former UNLV baseball coach Fred Dallimore. Trampler also was a screenwriter whose work appeared on the 1980s television series “New Love, American Style.”
But his keen eye for talent and his knack for putting competitive fights together are what he is most famous for and earned him boxing’s most prestigious honor.
“When you have the opportunities I’ve had, opportunities no one else had, I was blessed and extremely fortunate,” he said.
• BIRTHDAY INVITE — Manny Pacquiao turns 31 Thursday, and he’s planning a big birthday celebration in the Philippines. Among the invited guests is Miguel Cotto, who Pacquiao beat up last month.
Pacquiao said he had great respect for Cotto and would be honored to have him come to General Santos City for the party.
No word on whether Cotto will take Pacquiao up on his offer.
• SALITA REGROUPS — In the aftermath of his devastating first-round knockout loss to WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan last week in England, Dmitriy Salita has spent the week in Israel.
Salita was knocked down three times in the first 76 seconds and he said he’s still stunned by what happened.
“I was cold and I didn’t get into the fight,” he told the Associated Press.
Salita, an orthodox Jew who grew up in Ukraine and lives in New York, was making his first trip to his ancestral homeland.
“It’s a very strong emotional and spiritual experience,” he said.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913.