Outside the Ring: Joe Dwyer

By Jill Diamond on July 19, 2015
Outside the Ring: Joe Dwyer
He was a voice of reason. He’d know what to do, when things seem to be falling apart.

I hope never to be comfortable with my love for the sport. I know the risks. I acknowledge the animal body my spirit is housed in…

Sports and Philanthropy: A series of articles dedicated to those who’ve given their all and still give more. Each article will feature a different community champion; no belts, no medals, no ratings… just good people passing it on.

We’re under the gun. The pressure is mounting on all sides, when in truth there should be one side… our side, all of us.

I speak for myself. I speak for no organization or group I’m affiliated with. I speak with the passion that one arrives at when they are trying to make their way through a labyrinth of conflicting emotions. Boxing is like that for me. I hope never to be comfortable with my love for the sport. I know the risks. I acknowledge the animal body my spirit is housed in. I am a vegetarian-combatant and that alone makes no sense.  All that does is our connection to others. That’s why I must write this.

The problem, as I see it, is not about the police. It is about the excessive use of force by any figure in authority: physical, emotional, political. I will not demean my feelings for the Blue but saying how much I support them. It’s like saying many of my friends are Jewish or Black or Latino. I will say that before you take a gun to work you must start the day by loving all people.

I knew a cop like this once. He could be gruff, traditional and sarcastic, but he grew and changed with the times. He was a soldier, he was a father, he had friends who were diverse and compelling, and he reconciled all of it. When the police turned their backs on New York’s Mayor he said, “That’s enough. No one wins. As a community we must sit down together.” I cannot say he loved all people, but he reserved judgement. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe, that will have to do for now.

His name was Joe Dwyer. He was a voice of reason. He’d know what to do now, when things seem to be falling apart. Seems to be, because probably, they were always this way, we just didn’t have cell phones and social media. But once you know, you have to do something. So, what do we do?

Joe would say to me, “You can whine about things or you can change them. If you’re going to change them, let’s talk; if you’re going to whine about them, hang up the phone.” Joe, I want to talk.

Interview done in 2010

His friends called him Joey D. He was a boxing guy and a man active in many related philanthropies. A proud policeman, and a reasonable person.

NABF President
NABF Vice President & Championship Chairman
Former IBF Championship Chairman
Chief Inspector, NYSAC
Inspector, NYSAC
US Navy Middleweight Champion
NYS Middleweight Champion
Metropolitan AAU Middleweight Champion
Board Member of Ring 8
Active Member of WBC Cares

What do you consider your specialty?

I consider making title bouts my forte. I can empathize with what a judge is going through during a fight, having sat on the “high chair” for six years. It is often a thankless job.

What makes a good judge?

While I feel ex-boxers often make the best judges, I find many people who never engaged in the sport to be highly competent officials. Ex-fighters can empathize what the fighters are going through during the bout, stamina, being cut, effective aggression, etc.

On the other hand boxing has many highly competent females officials, Melvina Lathan, Adalaide Byrd, C.J. Ross, Julie Lederman, Robyn Taylor, Gwen Adair, and not to be forgotten, Eva Shain, and Carol Castellano.

Do you think officials should go through periodic recertification?

Certification of Officials is extremely important: by the Sanctioning Body, the ABC, as well as State Commissions. We are never past the point of learning something new.

What about unification?

The Unified Rules are the best available rules to maintain uniformity of title bouts. Credit for their formation must be credited to Larry Hazzard, the former Chairman of the NJSAC, a terrific administrator as well a one of the finest referees I have had the pleasure of watching in action.

One of the best matches you’ve seen?

The recent Cotto vs. Margarito bout stands out as one of the most exciting bouts in recent years.

You say that sanctioning championship bouts is your forte. So, what makes a champion?

In approving Sanction Requests, I must consider ratings, experience, conditioning, as well as competitiveness of the bout. A level playing field must be maintained, giving the manager or promoter who has but one boxer the same consideration as the premier promoters (King, Arum, Shaw, etc.).

Who inspires you the most?

People I admire. Don Jose Sulaiman, for his untiring efforts in creating the finest organization (in my opinion) in boxing. Bob Arum (we’re both Brooklyn bred), Don King for his tenacity, Dan Goossen for his flair, Bruce Trampler as the best builder of boxing careers that I have ever met, Bobby Goodman as one of the most caring matchmakers, Brad Goodman for his untiring efforts in making top matches, Jimmy Burchfield for sincere caring for his fighters.

How do you feel about New York’s first Woman Commissioner of Boxing?

When the day finally arrived, I could not be happier than the appointment of my friend Melvina Lathan. She was a most competent judge, who I had the pleasure of working with on many bouts. She is an elegant representative of boxing as well as a devoted wife (to Dr. Billy Lathan, a great ringside physician) and all New Yorker’s can be proud of this recent appointment by Governor David Patterson. A great choice.

A bad call?

Nothing hurts the sport more than a bad call in the eyes of the fans.

What are your priorities?

Doing the best at whatever you pursue, a happy marriage, a caring family, and a good quality cigar.

How do you want to be remembered?

That in all my dealings I always cared for the welfare and safety of the boxers. Nothing should be more important than one’s family name, so maintain your integrity at all costs not to tarnish that family name.

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Outside the Ring: Allen Furst
Outside the Ring: Lonnie and Muhammad Ali
Outside the Ring: Bruce Silverglade
Outside the Ring: Mauricio Sulaiman
Outside the Ring: Luke Downdey
Outside the Ring: Kevin Iole
Outside the Ring: Barry Halbritter
Outside the Ring: Chicago Youth Boxing Club
Outside the Ring: Robert Guerrero
Outside the Ring: Mike Tyson
Outside the Ring: Teresa Tapia
Outside the Ring: Israel Vasquez
Outside the Ring: Holt McCallany
Outside the Ring: Monique Sciberras
Outside the Ring: Joe Dwyer

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  1. Bob 02:11am, 07/21/2015

    Thank you, Jill, for letting the world know what a great man Joe was. He had incredible backbone, integrity, decency and dignity. Joe made the world a better place, he was a wonderful man and a boxing guy to his core.

  2. Joe Masterleo 04:37pm, 07/20/2015

    Thoughtful column, Jill.  Few people in life, and fewer in sport know that the path to unifying self and other lies in the reconciling of many polarities and tensions, many of them painfully conflicting. The ring is but a metaphor for same. Though not entirely succesful at the reconciliation game (who is?) give Dwyer credit, for he seems like a man with enough foresight, backbone and savvy to know that such lends meaning and purpose to a life.  Would that every mentor had that kind of focus and wisdom.  Every man is a god in ruins, en route to an oft unattainable perfection.

  3. KB 08:09am, 07/20/2015

    Most interesting. Have heard a lot about him, but now I know what he must have been like. Thank you, Jill