NORTH BINGHAM, PA, July 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Zeke Wilson of Mills, PA was named Man of the Year by the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame on July 13, 2013 as part of the annual Induction Weekend festivities. His award was presented by Scott Burt, administrator of the program in Belfast, NY. The award was followed by a luncheon held in his honor.
Zeke was selected for this honor because of his long history in the sport of boxing, for his positive influence in the sport, for his precedent-setting efforts to eradicate racial discrimination in the sport and to increase accountability of state officials as chronicled in the book The Eighth Round, and for his unending work with children in the Twin Tiers through involvement in Junior Olympic powerlifting and in drug prevention through his non-profit, Big Zeke's Power Kids.
Wilson began boxing training at the age of fourteen. Over his career he earned many honors, including the 1975 South Carolina State Championship, the 1976 South Carolina Golden Gloves, the 1977 USA AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Heavyweight Box-off at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, which qualified him for a seat on the US Boxing Team. As his experience in the sport grew, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and became a member of the Marine Corps boxing team. In July of 1980, he competed successfully in the Marine Base Championship at Camp Pendleton, CA. After serving four years in the Marine Corps, Zeke was honorably discharged with a Good Conduct Medal and Meritorious Masses. One week later, he had his pro debut in Madison Square Garden. Just one month later, he became a sparring partner for then-current World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes. His career continued to advance, and in addition to fighting on a professional level he also formed Wilson Promotional Group and MW Productions to train, manage and promote both amateur and professional prizefighters.
While promoting professional boxing, Zeke encountered a form of racism that was effecting boxing and preventing the growth of minority promoters in the sport. Although no one had ever challenged same-race discrimination in the court system, Zeke dug in his heels and fought in federal court. His precedent-setting case forever changed boxing legislation and the way that state commissions administrate their duties—in addition, the standard his case set has impacted citizens in all walks of life who have since been able to use his precedent to fight this type of discrimination in all professions and in their personal lives. Wilson chronicled his struggle in his book entitled "The Eighth Round", which is now being adapted into a motion picture for release into theaters later this year.
Zeke serves as the AAU State Chairman for the Powerlifting Program and as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Big Zeke's Power Kids (www.BigZekesPowerKids.org), which provides growth opportunities and encourages a drug-free lifestyle for kids. Zeke volunteers a good deal of time in counseling juveniles and helping them to see the necessity of setting goals and working to attain them. His program has impacted countless teens throughout Western New York and the northern tier of Pennsylvania.
The Eighth Round, available as a book in paperback and ebook format, is currently being adapted into a movie and Wilson hopes that others will gain strength from his life story.
The Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame boasts a museum containing a wide assortment of original, rare, and whimsical boxing memorabilia, all housed within the barns used for training by bareknuckle boxing legend John L. Sullivan. Private tours are now available by appointment by contacting Scott Burt by phone at (585) 610-3326 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilson is available for personal and multimedia appearances through Arlene.Kaye@wilsoninternational.us or by phone at (585) 596-5226.
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