By Boxing Bob Newman
Boxing lost another member of its esteemed fraternity as referee Richard Pakozdi passed away Friday morning after a tough battle with Cancer. He was 67. Among his accomplishments, Pakozdi reffed three world title bouts.
An athlete in his youth, Pakozdi was a golden gloves boxer and played minor league baseball in Florida. Pakozdi began refereeing in the amateurs, especially in the Rochester, New York area, including golden gloves, Empire State Games and the Aquinas Mission bouts.
Pakozdi entered the pro officiating ranks in 1991 and within two years scored the job of third man in the ring for Oscar de la Hoya’s sixth pro bout with Mike Grable. Other future or former champs Pakozdi reffed during his twenty-five years in the squared ring were Lonnie Bradley, Aaron Davis, Hasim Rahman, Charles Murray, Julio Cesar Green, Tim Witherspoon, Shannon Briggs, Carlos Molina, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Alberto Machado and Demetrius Andrade. As mentioned earlier, he also reffed three world title bouts: Luis Ortiz-Bryant Jennings (WBA interim heavy), Jesus Cuellar-Claudio Marrero (WBA interim feather) and Christy Martin-Dakota Stone #1 (WBC super welter).
Pakozdi also is a past recipient of the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame’s Carmen Basilio award.
For the last seventeen years, Pakozdi worked in the field of neuro-muscular therapy. He owned and operated Advanced Health Therapy Center in Brockport, NY. Pakozdi specialized in Bowen Therapy, which focuses on the central nervous system and he was one of only three specialists practicing Bowen therapy in New York State.
Pakozdi is survived by his wife of thirty-seven years Connie, his daughter Jackie Iwasko (Mark) and two grand daughters Chloe and Victoria.
Truly one of the good guys in boxing, Richard “Dick” Pakozdi took charge in the ring in an understated way, was unassuming outside it and always quick with a smile. Fightnews.com extends its condolences to the Pakozdi family.