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Local Boxing Promoter Andre Kut Heads for Hall of Fame!

Local Boxing Promoter Andre Kut Heads for Hall of Fame!

Andover, NJ (October 25, 2015)
Written by Carl Barbati of the NJ Herald

Andre Kut grew up on the tough streets of the Bronx and he got into more than his share of fist fights in basements and alleyways.

As a teenager, more than one police officer suggested that he do his fighting inside a boxing ring.

That became his life.

As a boxer, then a trainer, then a manager, then, for the past 11 years as a promoter, Kut has done it all in the sport.

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And, in a business sometimes known for shady deals and shaky scruples, Kut has spent the past four decades growing a reputation for straight talk and getting things done.

“If there were more people like him involved in our sport, we¹d all be a lot better off,” said New Jersey State Boxing Commissioner Larry Hazzard. “Everybody knows Andre, everybody respects him. He has helped to keep this sport alive in this state.”

Kut’s lifelong commitment to the sport will be officially honored on Nov. 12, when he will be inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.

Typically low-key and humble, Kut had to admit that this latest recognition did hit him in the gut at least a little.

“Well,” he said, “it’s always nice to get a phone call like that. It’s nice to know that what you’re doing is getting noticed.”

But, the modest Kut is quick to turn the topic away from himself and toward his favorite topic. It’s not boxing. It’s his family.

“Believe me,” he said. “I would not have been able to do anything I’ve done without my family being behind me.”

His wife of 41 years, Cathy Kut, is a local Realtor who¹s active in United Way and other community groups. She also knows a hook from a jab and can be found ringside at events promoted by her husband¹s company, KEA Boxing.

His three sons - who all played sports at Pope John High School, have been part of the family business in one way or another over the years, too.

Youngest son Alex, a businessman in Georgia, is the most active today, helping run things from there and flying home to help with the staging of
events. Eldest son Kris is a teacher and coach at The Citadel, which all three sons attended. Middle son Eric is a U.S. Air Force major.

Kut starts talking about them and his face changes from gym-rat tough guy into a grinning father and grandfather eager to show off some photos.

By all accounts, that’s the only showing off that Kut does.

“He doesn’t talk about himself like he¹s some kind of big shot,” said Henry Hascup, longtime president of the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame. “He’s a professional. He wants to come in and get the job done. As a promoter, he represents more than the fighters, he also represents the fans.

“Regarding the boxers, he follows all rules. Regarding the fans, the paying public, he cares very much that they have a good time at his shows and they come away with a positive feeling about the sport of boxing.”

Hall of fame credentials, for sure. But, Kut says his career is far from over, and that there are several goals that he’s still shooting for. World champions? He¹s worked with a few and wouldn’t mind a few more, but That’s not his main objective at this moment.

Right now, Kut just wants to continue putting on professional boxing shows wherever he can and as often as he can, and he¹d like to make them as big as he can and draw as many fans as he can.

Though he’s done events in Philadelphia and Mount Airy, Jersey is still his place, including past events in North Bergen, Parsippany, Atlantic City
and Trenton.

He said he’d love to someday do a show in Sussex County. He’d also love to see more boxing gyms open amid the recent surge of mixed martial arts gyms.

“For kids, especially,” Kut said, “training in a boxing gym doesn’t mean you¹re ever going to step into a ring. It just means you’re training like a
boxer, and that’s some pretty good training.”

Kut’s next boxing shows are still in the planning stages, so there are no definite dates to announce, but they’ll be coming soon, he said. His shows in recent months and years have added to his reputation, one fight after another.

“He puts on a good show,” Hazzard said. “He delivers what he promises.”

That’s something to be said in the boxing business. It’s especially notable coming from Hazzard, the undisputed dean of U.S. boxing commissioners and a man known more for blunt talk than for handing out anything resembling a compliment.

The New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame’s 46th Annual Dinner & Induction Ceremonies will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, at The Venetian, a catering
facility in Garfield. Tickets are $85. For more information, visit njboxinghof.org or contact Hall of Fame president Henry Hascup at hhascup@yahoo.com.

From the Bronx to Andover to the Hall of Fame

Andre Kut had what he describes as a “good, not great” career as an amateur boxer, mostly in the 175-pound category.

When it was about time to try turning pro, however, he went a different route.

He’d been lucky enough to catch the eye of Tommy Parks, one of the all-time legendary trainers in U.S. boxing history and a regular in championship
rings with Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and others.

The older black man from Newark and the aggressive white kid from the Bronx formed a friendship, and, instead of turning pro, Kut became a protege of Parks, working with and learning from him. Even later in life, Kut said, his own children thought of Parks as a grandfather-type figure around the house.

Eventually, Parks would retire and Kut would go out on his own to start A successful career as a trainer. In 1992, now married with a family in
Andover Township, Kut started his own company, KEA Boxing, the initials representing his sons Kris, Eric and Alex.

At first, KEA trained and managed professional boxers, shifting to full-time promoting in 2004. Kut has traveled the U.S. and beyond with various boxers and he’s dealt with hundreds of managers and promoters.

“Meeting people, making deals never gets old,” he said. “You want to work out deals that are good for everybody.”

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