NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck YMCA will dedicate the boxing room during a ceremony on Saturday to honor the legacy of Joe Triano and Joe Rossi, two borough men who established the Golden Gloves Boxing program that is now in its 65th year.
For over six decades the youth in Naugatuck learned valuable life lessons about dedication, pride, integrity and respect from the two former boxing kingpins. Triano and Rossi — both members of the Naugatuck Hall of Fame — brought the sport of boxing to the borough.
“The Triano/Rossi Golden Gloves is one of our legacy programs,” YMCA CEO Susan Talbot said. “We have done some renovations (of the boxing room) and reached out to both the Triano and Rossi families to make this a very special night to recognize two men who dedicated themselves to the youth of Naugatuck.”
Triano died 1999 at the age of 74. Rossi, a 2007 inductee to the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, died in 2010 at the age of 92. The rededication ceremony will include two plaques that will adorn the entrance of the boxing room to honor the men.
The Triano/Rossi Golden Gloves is a co-ed program that teaches boxing to age groups ranging from 5 to 13 years old. The program begins in December and ends in April with a tournament that turns the tiny confines of the gymnasium in the basement of the YMCA into a Madison Square Garden atmosphere as the young boxers enter “The Eye of the Tiger” playing as family, friends and boxing fans offer a standing ovation.
Promoter and head referee Dave Cassetti, the mayor of Ansonia, is in his 10th year with the program and is a former New England middleweight champion who sported a 49-6 record in his career. Head instructor Scott Selinske leads a group of volunteers that train the young boxers.
“We also have a strong contingent of adults who train in the program,” Talbot added.
Talbot said the Y’s renovations plans also include a new HVAC system and new bleachers in the gymnasium. However, Saturday night will be an evening to reflect on legacy.
“We want to celebrate the legacy that these two men, Triano and Rossi, left. … This night will be all about the legacy that these two men have left to the town of Naugatuck,” Talbot said.
The rededication ceremony starts at 5 p.m. at the YMCA, 284 Church St. A Golden Glove competition will follow the ceremony. For more information, call the YMCA at 203-729-9622.