Remembering Cedric Kushner
The boxing fraternity lost longtime New York City-based boxing promoter Cedric Kushner, who passed away Thursday morning from a heart attack at the age of 66.
Kushner promoted many shows seen on HBO throughout his career and was known for his unique and inventive promotional flair in events like his “Heavyweight Explosion” pay-per-view show or his one-night, round-robin heavyweight tournament, “Fistful of Dollars.”
While Kushner wasn’t active over the last couple of years, he had a storied career as a promoter working with some of the game’s best fighters including Shane Mosley, Joel Casamayor, Shannon Briggs, Jameel McCline, David Tua, Michael Grant and Hasim Rahman, to name but a few.
Kushner, a South African who moved to the USA in the 1970s, got involved in boxing promotions after a successful career as a music promoter working with legendary acts like Fleetwood Mac, Journey and the Rolling Stones.
As the news of his passing spread, boxing’s social media presence lit up, fondly remembering one of boxing’s true characters.
“He was one of boxing’s great characters. As a person, I lost a good friend. I loved the guy. I called him ‘Uncle Ced.’ He was a big part of my life. He was a great international promoter. And for well over a decade, he was one of the most powerful guys in the whole sport. He was just a funny guy and a character. He promoted – I don’t know how many – world champions, all the great fighters out of South Africa. There was a period of time when Cedric was the promoter of most of the top 10 heavyweights in the world and he’s promoted heavyweight champions. Cedric had an amazing career. ‘The Walrus,’ may the four winds blow him home safely ” – Promoter and close friend, Lou DiBella
“Ced was a character but a good man. He had a great sense of humor and sly insightful way about him. His perception of the fight game was unique. He had many triumphs and a few low blows thrown at him. My pleasure to have known him.” -Top Rank Promotions matchmaker Bruce Trampler
Cedric Kushner was a character who enriched my time covering boxing in New York. For many years, he was boxing in New York. Boxing in the Big Apple will be worse without his presence.” – Feature Writer for FightNews.com, Matt Richardson
“We had a lot of fun. Cedric was a hardworking guy, a gregarious guy. We learned a lot from him. Everyone will tell you that he made the work a lot more enjoyable because of the way he was. He enjoyed himself, the business and the people in the business.” – former Cedric Kushner Promotions’ matchmaker Eric Bottjer
“He grew up under apartheid in South Africa, so Cedric Kushner cited his biggest thrills as having lunch with [Nelson] Mandela, [Marvelous Marvin] Hagler and [Roberto] Duran. (Coining a saying Kushner used in describing a certain fighter Cedric) ‘He’s a mediocre boxer but a world-class burglar.’ Huge success promoting Fleetwood Mac in rock and world champs in the ring, his boxing family mourns. He had seven or eight IBF champs at one point. He lived life large. RIP Uncle Ceddy – Boxing writer Michael Marley
“Briefly, Cedric Kushner was on the very top of the boxing world as promoter of the heavyweight champ [Hasim Rahman] and pound-for-pound king [Shane Mosley]. RIP.” – ESPN’s Dan Rafael
“Rest in peace, Cedric Kushner” – Boxrec.com
“A man who was very passionate about boxing. We had some very meaningful fights together. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing.” – Former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin
“Cedric was one of my husband’s closest friends. He was very close to [husband] Dan [Duva] and our family. Ironically, he died the day before the anniversary of Dan’s death. It’s sad that they both died on almost the same day because Cedric and Dan talked on the phone almost every day. Ced would always spend Christmas Eve with our family and bring toys to our kids. My kids always thought of him as this huge, Jewish Santa Claus. He was a funny man.” – Close friend and CEO of Main Events, Kathy Duva
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Cedric Kushner. May he rest in peace” – Golden Boy Promotions.
From the entire Ucnlive.com team, rest in peace, Cedric.