The El Paso Boxing & Martial Arts Hall of Fame Banquet took place on Saturday June 9th from 7:00PM to 11:00PM at the El Paso Multipurpose Center at 9031 Viscount El Paso, Texas. Three world champions and the all-star cast of inductees attended. The banquet included an evening of camaraderie, dinner, slide show, film and photography of the southwest’s finest warriors and citizens. Along with a flag ceremony from the Young Marines and a resounding rendition of our National Anthem by 14-year-old Jennifer Lopez who is stricken by leukemia.
Taichi Hayashi, was voted the best martial arts instructor for 2011. Male martial artist of the year whent to Tatsuo Goya, head instructor at El Paso Jiu Jitsu. Fourteen-year old Danamaris Bacquier, took honors as the best amateur female martial artist in 2011 because of victory at the Tae Kwon Do National Championships. Jennifer Han’s father, Master Bae H. Han of the Han Dynasty in Northeast El Paso was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Martial arts instructor, Master Tim Meeks was inducted and posthumously, Jiu-Jitsu Master James Butler was inducted as was Benny Benavides into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
The 2011 awards for outstanding performances include WBA World Light Middleweight Champion Austin Trout from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Trout has defended his title twice and is the halls choice for professional boxer of the year. His renowned trainer, Louie Burke, 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. The boxing amateur of the year award will go to the 2011 El Paso Regional Golden Gloves Champion, Josh Enriquez. A Legend Award will be given to the late Sammy Burke of Las Cruces, New Mexico as will seven-time world kick boxing champion, Cliff ‘Magic’ Thomas.
Two-time USA Boxing Champion & Three-time Women's National Golden Glove Champion, Jennifer Han was inducted into both the boxing and martial arts hall of fames. Jennifer Han also received the best female professional boxing award for her wins in the ring in 2011. Jorge Munoz, a six-time Texas State Boxing Champion and a two-time National Boxing Champion was inducted into the boxing hall of fame. Boxing champion and military hero, Francisco ‘Panchito’ Alvarado was recognized by being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame for his lifelong achievements. Louie Burke, was chosen for Boxing Coach of the Year. And Louie’s brother Rocky Burke, who was a standout amateur boxer and former professional boxer was also inducted. Rocky is an active boxing official and also a referee for Showtime Boxing. Three-time regional Golden Gloves Champion and former WBC champion of Mexico, Rene Herrera has been inducted and El Paso Times veteran sports reporter of over 30 years, Bill Knight was inducted as well.
The hall’s board of directors is made up of a hand full of professionals actively involved in boxing and martial arts, which includes, trainers, officials, writers and promoters. Board members include President Thomas W. McKay and board of directors Ladislao Vicencio, Steven Arredondo, Frank Diamos, L.B. McKay, Art Lopez, Miguel Andrade, and Burnette Johnson.