Jack Green has worn many hats over the years, so it’s fitting that his burgundy fedora has become his signature.
Whenever Green goes to an out-of-town fight card, organizers of those shows know that the president of the Buffalo Veteran Boxers Association is in the house because they see the slender gentleman wearing that stylish, hard-to-miss hat, with matching pants offset by the navy blue BVBA blazer.
Green will be just as hard to miss tonight at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens during the annual Ring 44 Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony. He’ll be standing at the door greeting the guests upon their arrival for the 6 p.m. dinner.
A few tickets remain for the event in which the local boxing community will honor former No. 1 light middleweight title contender and five-time amateur national champion Ross Thompson, longtime trainer Ray Casal and late boxer/artist Tony Sisti. Marcus Floyd of PAL Boxing Club will be honored as Ring 44’s Amateur Boxer of the Year, and Ring 44 Sergeant-At-Arms Dick Wipperman will be honored as the association’s Man of the Year. For tickets, call 316-5120.
“This is pretty much the crown jewel of Ring 44,” said state Golden Gloves President Don Patterson. “It means a lot to the boxing community to acknowledge all fighters, young and old.”
Green is among the reasons for that. He is the second-longest reigning president of the 51-year-old association, having taken office in 1999 as the fourth leader of the BVBA. (Jim Harkins was the first president and had a 34-year term.)
One of the first things Green did once he took over as president was turn a dinner-dance into a more formal awards dinner.
In addition to overseeing the organization’s dinner with the assistance of other members of the association’s board of directors, he runs monthly meetings and puts out a newsletter.
Green also attends various amateur and professional fight cards in and outside the Western New York area. He serves as the boxing community’s official host when entertaining out-of-town guests, including dignitaries from boxing associations in England and Sweden.
Green and his associates also help set up prospective boxers with the right gym so that when they start getting involved with the sport, they’re in as comfortable a setting as possible.
“It’s all about being of service,” Green said.
“He’s a great advocate for boxing and probably the main guy who spreads the word in the community about boxing so he’s been very instrumental for publicizing the sport and keeping the awareness of boxing up,” Patterson said.
The 67-year-old Green, a father of three and grandfather of nine, is retired from his job as a sales representative in the trucking industry.
He was a longtime volunteer high school and elementary school basketball coach locally and even coached ex-University at Buffalo men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon during his youth.
Green’s grandson Mustafa Jones – a 6-foot-7 junior at Cardinal Hayes in New York City – received second team All-Bronx High School basketball honors in the New York Daily News and has been offered scholarships by several Division I mid-majors, including UB, according to rivals.com.
Green didn’t plan on sticking around this long as Ring 44 president. He planned on being a one-year-and-done leader after turning down initial requests to be the head of the association. He finally said ‘yes’ when officers said they wanted to honor Green’s father, Johnny.
Johnny Green was a great fighter who became one of the best trainers in the area. Jack Green, whose birth name is John T. Green Jr., boxed briefly as a youngster until his father told him he wanted him to get an education first. After he achieved that, then he’d allow him to box.
Jack, who attended Catholic school and graduated from Millard Fillmore College (UB’s evening division), returned to the sport later to help Johnny train his proteges – serving as his father’s eyes when he lost his sight.
After his father died in 1993, Green was out of boxing until the BVBA came calling.
It turns out Green’s family was supportive of his involvement with the association, but that’s not the only reason he decided to stick around.
“The tremendous respect the membership has for me, they definitely feel that my staff and me represent them completely,” Green said. “I’m very honored they feel I’m their representative and that motivates me to stay on. It’s just inspiring to me that they believe I’m qualified to represent them on a national level.”