Presidents Message

hall-of-fame-presidents-messageIt was back in 1993 when President McKay with the assistance of Victor Villarreal founded the El Paso Hall of Fame and El Paso Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Since then many superb athletes, officials and citizens have been duly rewarded for their outstanding careers in boxing and the martial arts. The very first ceremony witnessed a host of great individuals being honored. Since then the hall has continued to honor El Paso and the near southwest outstanding athletes and this evening will continue that tradition. Enjoy your dinner, camaraderie, slide show, film, photography, and then sit back and cheer on some of the El Paso southwest’s finest warriors and citizens. It all starts with an introduction of the Halls board of directors. Next is a flag ceremony from the Young Marines, and a resounding rendition of our National Anthem by Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer is a fourteen year old youngster with leukemia and yet willing herself to the joy of life and a determined resolution to be the best she can be in our material world where most people seldom see or contribute to the betterment of individuals stricken by leukemia.


Your attendance is surely to be enhanced with our star-studded line-up of old-timers and present day warriors along with a collector’s booklet detailing our awardees and inductees achievements. Check out our sponsor’s directory too as without them the valuable booklet couldn’t be done. Then get ready for the fireworks. Your master of ceremonies is the renowned Ray Sanchez. Our guest speaker is the current WBO World Welterweight Champion, Austin Trout, from Las Cruces, New Mexico and trained by Louie Burke. The six time amateur world champion, the amazing and talented Jennifer Han, without a doubt the most successful female warrior ever in the southwest and possibly in America, is getting a twofer. She is being inducted into both the boxing and martial arts hall of fames.  Also on tap for induction is Jennifer’s amazing father, Master Bae H. Han, a superior instructor and father of the Han Dynasty in Northeast El Paso. Wow, up next is Jorge Munoz, a six-time Texas State Boxing Champion and a two-time National Boxing Champion. Yes indeed, Jorge is ‘Top Gun’ and ‘The Cream of the Boxing Crop’ in El Paso men’s amateur boxing history. The amazing martial arts instructor, Master Tim Meeks will be inducted as will the boxing champion and military hero, Francisco ‘Panchito’ Alvarado. Those latter two will be followed by the greatest brother team of championship boxing and officiating in New Mexico and southwest Texas history, Rocky and Louie Burke. Louie, a former ESPN Champion himself, is naturally our choice for Boxing Coach of the Year. Posthumously, Jiu-Jitsu Master James Butler will be inducted as will Benny Benavides who recently was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in Anaheim, California. The present annual Spring Games for handicapped children at the SAC is celebrated in Butler’s memory. We also will induct the three time regional Golden Gloves Champion and professional champion of Mexico, Rene Herrera,  and the best ever sports reporter to cover boxing in El Paso history, the affable, gregarious and unflappable Bill Knight. There’s more. Up for a Legend Award is the late but great Sammy burke of Las Cruces, New Mexico as is the Magic Man, seven-time world kick boxing champion, Cliff ‘Magic’ Thomas.

Our 2011 awards for outstanding performances include WBO Super Welterweight Champion Austin Trout from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Trout has defended his title twice and is our choice for professional boxer of the year. Alongside Trout will be his renowned trainer, Louie Burke, who was voted the top boxing coach of the year.  Burke’s legendary training resume and boxing career were rewarded by his recent induction into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, an amazing honor to say the least. The boxing amateur of the year award goes to the 2011 El Paso Regional Golden Gloves champion, Josh Enriquez. Josh, sporting an 18-2 won – lost record, suffered a tough loss by decision in the quarter finals of the Texas State Golden Gloves Championships in Forth Worth, Texas but is vigorously training to make his mark in 2012.

Jennifer Han once again proved that she is not only the champion darling of boxing in the southwest but champion of all she surveys in all fighting disciplines. For her sensational wins in the ring in 2011 she easily gains the best female professional boxing award.

Taichi Hayashi, already a member of the El Paso Martial Arts Hall of Fame, was voted the best martial arts instructor for 2011. A youngster, fourteen year old Danamaris Bacquier, took honors as the best amateur female martial artist in part due to her resounding victory at the Tae Kwon Do National Championships

Have a Happy all    
Hall President Thomas W. McKay