Ex-Union City Police Capt. Joe Botti to be enshrined in National Boxing Hall of Fame


Former Union City Police Capt. Joe Botti will be enshrined in the National Boxing Hall of Fame next year, the ex-prizefighter announced.

Joseph Botti will be inducted in the National Boxing Hall of Fame in 2024. Photo courtesy of Botti.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“When I received the call from the Hall of Fame’s director that I was selected I was speechless. It truly is a once in a lifetime honor,” Botti said in a statement.

Botti is no stranger to getting recognized for his contributions to the sweet science, as he was previously selected Trainer of the Year by the New Jersey Golden Gloves and was enshrined in the N.J. Boxing Hall of Fame last month.

He will also be the only 2024 inductee from New Jersey.

Botti has been getting in the ring in various capacities for 46 years: He has been a fighter, trainer, manager, gym owner, promoter, as well as an author.

The former ranking member of law enforcement founded and directed the Union City Boxing Club between 1989 and 2013. Amateurs, professionals, world ranked boxers as well as world champions frequented the gym.

“The most enjoyable part of teaching for me is taking a kid that knows nothing about the sport and guiding him to his first amateur and professional victory,” Botti added.

His fighters have been showcased on all the major networks from HBO, Showtime, ESPN to the MSG network.

“Although training successful fighters is very exciting, the most satisfying thing for me is when I run into a former fighter years later and he tells me how boxing saved his life. Being a boxing coach is like being a surrogate father,” Botti explained.

In 1994, Botti became the first promoter in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area to match two female boxers against each other at Edison Elementary School in Union City.

“U.S.A. amateur boxing had just legalized female boxing and I decided to put a female match on one of my amateur shows. I had to use two females from my own gym because I couldn’t find any other female fighters to match them against,” he recalled.

“Quite a few friends in the sport kept telling me that I was going to ruin boxing. The night of the show the venue was packed. It was standing room only and national television came to cover the event. The funny thing is, after the successful bout, most of the trainers who were giving me a hard time started training females themselves.”

Botti has written two books on the sport, the first being “Thunder & Lightning: The Fighting Gatti Brothers,” which chronicles the lives and boxing careers of world champion Arturo Gatti and his brother Joe.

He also wrote “Joe Jennette: Boxing’s Ironman,” which details the career and struggles of biracial boxer Joe Jennette, who competed from 1904 to 1922, and competed in the longest boxing match of the 20th Century.

Botti is currently working on his third tome on colorful boxing promoter Don Elbaum.

He will be enshrined on April 24, 2024 in San Clemente, California along with “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ronald “Winky” Wright, Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti [posthumously], among others.

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