Inducted November 14, 1986
Paul E. Minai was born in North Arlington, New Jersey, and graduated from Queen of Peace High School.
His first encounter in the ring was at the age of sixteen. With his father in his corner, he boxed in a one night amateur boxing show at North Arlington High School. Paul stopped his opponent in the second round. After that fight his father brought him to Bufanos Gym in Jersey City where he started training. That was the beginning of his continuing involvement with the sport of boxing.
After moving to Belleville, Paul boxed as a New Jersey amateur for two years. He then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for three years, serving fifteen months in Korea. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 1955. It was in the Marines that Paul did most of his boxing. He credits his enjoyment and success in boxing to the Bufano brothers, Joe, Dominick, and Danny of Jersey City who schooled him in his early years. “It was their teaching and training that enabled me to continue boxing in the Service.” stated Paul.
The highlight of his boxing was in Memphis, Tennessee, while stationed at the Naval Air Station. Paul Minai was the Navy’s leading open boxer, who held the spotlight in most of the Mid-Southern State Golden Glove Tournament of Champions. He boxed four Golden Glove Champions, defeating three and losing in the finals to the fourth who was voted the outstanding boxer of the tournament.
A year and a half after his discharge from the Marines, Paul married Geraldine Lubereski. They lived in Belleville and had three daughters, Paula, Ramona, and Linda.
Paul is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Belleville Council 835, the New Jersey Boxers Hall of Fame, and past president of the Veteran Boxers Social Club of New Jersey. In 1977 he was honored by the Veteran Boxers Social Club of New Jersey for his tireless efforts in continuing the sport.
For the last sixteen years he has been active in boxing as a trainer, second, and manager. Paul’s first pupil was Bobby Mann of Nutley who compiled an amateur record of 35 and 5 and was 7 and 2 as a pro. Another Nutley boxer was Frank Gabriele with an amateur. record of 17 and 2. This was the beginning of the Jersey Spartans Amateur boxing team, organized by Paul Minai and trained by Dominick ~Btifano and Paul Minai at Bufano’s Gym. Other boxers trained and managed by Paul were Rick Hamlish, of Belleville, Tommy Merola, outstanding Newark Middleweight, and popular hard hitting Don “Duffy” Nisivoccia, of Newark. Don won the New Jersey Golden Glove Championship and the New Jersey State Pro Bantum Weight title. Additionally, other boxers out of the Jersey Spartan amateur boxing team under the guidance of Dom Bufano and Paul Minai were Golden Glove champion Jose Fuentes, Jerry McGriles, Eddie Castro, Ceaser Lanardo, and state ABF champion Bobby Waselewski.
At present Paul is training Mark Farley who is 3 and 1 as a pro.