MIKE TINLEY

Inducted on November 14, 2002

Mike TinleyBorn May 30, 1960 at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, I was educated in the Camden Public Schools, Woodrow Wilson High School and later Camden County College, majoring in business. Being born in Camden and growing up through the violent 1960’s and 1970’s, things were tough. My mother headed a single parent family, and was the backbone for her 5 children (myself, my brother, and three sisters). Growing up, I enjoyed basketball and football, and was urged to try boxing by Eugene Bradley, a lifelong friend. I quickly fell in love with the sport, and started my amateur boxing career in 1975. My amateur career began with a string of victories in Newark, Union and Garfield; in 1980, I went to the 1980 New Jersey State Golden Gloves, losing to Chris Reid. After turning professional in June 1981, I won several early fights at Totowa, New Jersey by knockout as part of Lou Duva’s stable and beat local Camden and Philadelphia fighters such as Lou Rivera. I also learned the finer points of boxing by being Sugar Ray Leonard’s sparring partner, and by later training with Emanuel Steward. My biggest victories were over Andre Cooper (for the New Jersey Middleweight Championship), Bruce Johnson for the ESPN Championship, Jorge Amparo, Robbie Sims (twice) and Teddy Mann. I lost to Iran Barkley (USBA Middleweight Championship), Doug Dewitt (the fight was even after 12 rounds, and we fought a 13th round!), and Michael Nunn, who were all world champions. I retired from boxing in 1990. Since 1987, I have been a recreation aide for the City of Camden, and have encouraged young children to escape poverty by getting an education. My talent as a boxer was a gift from God for which I am grateful. It has brought me a little fame, a little money, and friends like Reggie Haines, Rocky Lockridge, Steve Weisfeld, and Henry Hascup who all helped make this day possible.

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