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Matt Farrago Still Helping Boxers, Forms "Ring 10"

By Mitch Abramson
 
The inaugural fundraiser for Ring 10, a new boxing charity formed by Matt Farrago, who left his presidency of Ring 8 in Sept. of 2010 over philosophical differences, will take place on Saturday at Russo’s on the Bay from 1-6 p.m. in Howard Beach, NY.

Farrago said he was “pushed out” of Ring 8 over a disagreement over the direction of the boxing charity and the proper way to help fighters.

He formed Ring 10 in Oct. of 2010 and currently helps a number of fighters, including Iran Barkley, providing him a furnished apartment in the Bronx, equipped with a flat screen television, which the charity set up for him eight months ago, Farrago said.

Farrago says he pays for Barkley’s medical care, and the apartment is paid through a network of social services, which Farrago said he also set up. Farrago said that Barkley, who beat Thomas Hearns twice, was homeless before he came to his aid. According to reports, Barkley has continued to fight, in his mid 40’s, in unsanctioned bouts as recently as three years ago.

“He’s like the poster boy for what Ring 10 does because we literally took him off the streets and put him in the apartment,” Farrago said. “He’s so well fed that now when he comes to out events he doesn’t eat too much because he doesn’t want to gain weight.”

Ring 10, Farrago says, is also lending a hand to Wilfred Benitez, the youngest boxing champion in the sport’s history and a three-time world champion, who is suffering from dementia and is living in Puerto Rico. Ring 10, through its contributors, for the past eight months, has sent Benitez a monthly check in the amount of $300 to help allay the costs of medication, Farrago said.

“Do you know what Wilfred has done for us? Farrago said. “Nothing. It’s not about what he can do for us. He gave me thrills watching him and I just want to help him. These guys don’t owe us anything, and I would do this for a guy who’s not a champion because they’re still part of the same brotherhood.”

Farrago is hoping to raise around $10,000 on Saturday through, in part, a silent auction and the cost to attend. Tickets are priced at $150. A number of famous fighters are scheduled to appear, such as: Jake LaMotta, Riddick Bowe, Tony DeMarco, Ernie Shavers, Vito Antuofermo, Aaron “Superman” Davis and Lou Savarese. Bert Sugar and the comedian Pat Cooper are also on the list to appear.

For more information on the event, Farrago can be reached at 631-948-6028.

Mitch Abramson covers the boxing scene for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com

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