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Les Bonano
2021 Finalist
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame

New Orleans Boxing, 1974-present

A fixture on the local boxing scene since 1974 when Bonano, then an investigator in the Orleans Parish sheriff’s department was asked by Charles Foti to begin an inmate program in the parish prison. Two of the products of that program, Jerry Celestine and Phillip Brown, went on to be ranked contenders who fought for world titles. The inmate program was so successful that Bonano expanded to it include amateurs fighting out of a gym on Broad Street. Bonano then branched out into managing, promoting and training boxers on the pro levels. As a promoter he has put on hundreds of shows in Louisiana and Mississippi working with promoters like Bob Arum and Lou DiBella. Bonano managed contenders like John “Super D” Duplessis and Clifford Etienne and gave dozens of others their start. Bonano has now stepped back from promoting, but still manages fighters like undefeated local junior middleweight Marcus McDaniel. Simply put, there has not been much going on in boxing in the last four decades without Bonano being involved in some capacity.

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