“Toy Tiger”Art Hafey 2020 boxing inductee

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TRENTON — Another hall of fame induction awaits Art Hafey.

The former top featherweight contender of the professional boxing world will be inducted in the fall into the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

Hafey and his wife Cathy plan to attend the induction event scheduled for October 4 in Hollywood, Ca.

He is among 16 listed for induction that include former champion Oscar De La Hoya, who won world boxing titles in six weight classes.

“It’s good to be on that list,” he said.

Hafey is already in the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame, as well as the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

The West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame is a newer but similar version of the California Boxing Hall of Fame that previously inducted Hafey.

The West Coast version was founded in 2015 and is based out of Studio City, Ca.

Hafey was a rising star in Canada when he went to California in 1972 to pursue the world featherweight championship. His overall record shows he won 53 bouts, lost eight and had four draws. He scored 36 knockouts and two is his losses were by technical knockout.

Two of his most memorable bouts were against Ruben Olivares. Hafey won by TKO in the fifth round against him in 1973 but he lost by split-decision to Olivares in 1974.

He lost his last bout that year on points to Octavio Gomez, then won 15 straight before losing his last bout by TKO to Danny Lopez on Aug. 6, 1976 at the Forum in Inglewood, Ca.

Hafey regrets the way his career was handled during the five years there, ending with a loss to Lopez.

“I went from nobody to the No. 1 challenger for the world featherweight title,” he said. “They can’t do anything to compensate for what I lost.”

Part of the pain was the wins he registered in non-title bouts without getting a fair shot at the title.

By the time he met Lopez, Hafey had already lost sight in his left eye from a brain hemorrhage he suffered in a previous match.

“That’s the fight that really ended my career,” he said. “People think my fight with Danny Lopez ended it.”

Hafey recalled defeating Salvador Torrez in Mexico, which he thought would earn him a title shot but was denied him.

“He gets a crack at the title,” he said. “That night, I would have won the title. Physically and mentally, I was ready.”


Editor’s Note: The two losses Hafey suffered that did not go the distance were by technical knockout, as opposed to an outright knockout where he was rendered unconscious.


Art Hafey stands beside some of his boxing memorabilia. (Goodwin photo)