2014-06-25 / Features

Unveiling For Boxing Champion Emile Griffith Celebrated At St. Michael’s Cemetery

BY JASON D. ANTOS


Luis Griffith (l.), along with family and friends in the boxing world, lifts the sheet off of Emile Griffith’s tombstone at St. Michael’s Cemetery during a special one-year memorial unveiling and celebration of the six-time middleweight and welterweight world champion. 
Photo Jason D. Antos Luis Griffith (l.), along with family and friends in the boxing world, lifts the sheet off of Emile Griffith’s tombstone at St. Michael’s Cemetery during a special one-year memorial unveiling and celebration of the six-time middleweight and welterweight world champion. Photo Jason D. Antos Muhammad Ali, the legendary heavyweight champion, was once quoted saying, “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”

No words better described the boxing talent of Emile Griffith. Known as “The Gentle Champion”, the St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands native was laid to rest at St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst. On June 21, a special one-year unveiling for the six-time welterweight and middleweight world champion was held at the cemetery and was attended by Griffith’s friends and family.

“This marks the end of the journey for Emile,” said his son, Luis Griffith. “He was one of the greatest boxers and was loved by all.”

Bob Duffy, president of Ring 8 (Veteran Boxers Association of New York) introduced several speakers, including Henry Hascup, who delivered a detailed biography of Griffith’s life and career.

“Emile fought 112 times from 1958 until 1977, and appeared at Madison Square Garden more times than any fighter in history,” Hascup recounted.

“He also won a Golden Gloves title and had an impressive career of 85 wins, with 23 of them being won by knockout.”

Griffith, a charter member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame, passed away on Jul. 23, 2013 at 75 in Hempstead, Long Island.

The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of Griffith’s tombstone followed by a moment of silence and finally 10 chimes from a 10-count ringside bell.

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