Inaugural Jack Martorelli Memorial Boxing Tourney set for Oct. 15

Proceeds to benefit gym named after St. Louis Boxing Hall of Famer

Missouri Correspondent

Mark your calendars for the Inaugural Jack Martorelli Memorial Boxing Tournament set for Saturday, Oct. 15.

The tournament will benefit the Jack Martorelli Legacy Boxing Gym for at-risk youth and underprivileged children. Currently, the non-profit organization is run out of Mike Sleme’s garage. Sleme is Martorelli’s cousin and serves as one of the gym’s trainers and as the non-profit’s secretary-treasurer.

“Mike came up with the idea for the gym, and I asked Jack’s wife Madge for her blessing to get the organization started,” said Mike Howard, another cousin of Martorelli’s and president of the new non-profit. “She said, ‘He would love the idea.’”

The amateur boxing fundraiser will be held at the Florissant Civic Center at 1 James J. Eagan Drive in Florissant. The event will include 50/50 raffles and food and drinks will be available. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the first bout begins at 7 p.m. There will be 12 bouts and winners will receive champion belts at the event.

Howard, an Iron Workers Local 396 retiree, will be relying on his fellow Local 396 Brother Kirk Douglas, Jr., for assistance in planning for the event. Douglas owns Frankie D’s Boxing Club and organized a sold-out boxing fundraiser last year to benefit the daughter of a Local 396 member who had passed away.

“Kirk has been a great asset in helping us get the fundraiser off the ground,” Howard said. “We’re hoping to raise enough money to buy a physical boxing gym to carry out Jack’s legacy. He was a Golden Gloves champion in his youth and remained dedicated to the sport throughout his life.”

Martorelli, a 53-year Operating Engineers Local 513 member who served as the union’s president/business manager for 12 years and an IUOE International Representative for seven years, died Aug. 27, 2020.

Many remember Martorelli’s work with the annual Thanksgiving-Eve Guns ‘N Hoses Boxing Tournament to raise money for BackStoppers, which provides support for the families of fallen police and fire fighters in Missouri and Illinois. Martorelli helped found that fundraiser in 1987 and its tradition continues today

He was also veteran president of the St. Louis Port Council, the local affiliate of the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Dept. and the Seafarers International Union, and he served in many other charitable roles.

Ringside tickets for the event are $40 a person and $320 for a table of eight and general admission tickets are $30 a person and $240 a table. Credit cards or cash will be accepted for advertising in the event’s program.

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