By Paul Upham: The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, USA has announced that actors Burt Young and Federico Castelluccio have been named Grand Marshals of the 20th Annual Boxing Hall of Fame Parade of Champions scheduled for Sunday June 14 at 1pm.
“The Hall of Fame is extremely excited about welcoming these two great actors to Canastota to celebrate the sport of boxing,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “It is a thrill to have them as the 2009 Parade of Champions Grand Marshals.”
Young is an Academy Award-nominated actor best known for his portrayal of Sylvester Stallone’s brother in law “Paulie” in the legendary Rocky
film series. Young, who learned his craft from legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, has appeared in such motion pictures as Back to School, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Transamerica, Convoy and Chinatown. He has also made celebrated appearances on television shows The Sopranos, Law & Order, Miami Vice, The Rockford Files and Walker, Texas Ranger. Young has also received accolades for his paintings, which are highlighted in art galleries around the world.
“To be here at the Boxing Hall of Fame, amongst men of courage, valor and decipherment is for me, top draw. Any fighter, whether champion, or aging six rounder, somehow seems touched or stamped with elements of dignity, honor and strength, forever more. Hello to those of you I know, and to the fellows I don’t, I certainly do from your life exploits,” said Young.
A talented actor, Castelluccio is best known for his portrayal of hitman Furio Giunta on the critically acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos from 2000-2006. His film credits include Made with Jon Favreau, Fire with Robert Klein and Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin. He has also appeared on such notable television programs as NYPD Blue and Law & Order: Criminal Intent and soap operas As the World Turns and The Guiding Light. Born in Naples, Italy, Castelluccio is an accomplished artist and has exhibited his paintings in galleries in New York City and Washington, DC.
“I am very honored to be a Grand Marshal for the Boxing Hall of Fame. I’ve been a huge boxing fan since I was a young boy and I happen to really admire some of this year’s inductees. I’m looking forward to meeting them on their big day!” said Castelluccio.
The Parade of Champions, set for Sunday June 14 at 1:00pm, will pass through the streets of Canastota and lead to the grounds of the Hall of Fame Museum prior to the start of the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the new class of inductees. Living inductees to be honored at the Official Induction Ceremony are bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis
, junior lightweight champion Brian Mitchell, matchmaker / publicist / promoter Bob Goodman, promoter Akihiko Honda, journalist Hugh McIlvanney and broadcaster Larry Merchant. Posthumous inductees will also be honored.
Over 40 boxing stars, including Marvelous Marvin Hagler
, Ken Norton, Angelo Dundee, Emile Griffith, Micky Ward and Leon Spinks will be highlighted in the Parade of Champions.
“With the line-up of marching bands, boxing celebrities, Burt Young and Federico Castelluccio, this should be our biggest parade ever and an unforgettable day for all," said parade chairperson Charlene Barres.
The 2009 Parade of Champions is sponsored by Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe.