Yesterday morning at the Salvation Army/Red Shield Community Center, 2915 High St. in Denver, a small group of family and friends gathered in a service to salute the passing of Bob Cox (founder of the Cox/Lyle Boxing program housed in the Salvation Army/Red Shield building), who passed away at 81 years of age on April 24, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he resided but considered Denver his home as well.
Salvation Army Captain Ron McKinney and his wife Captain Roberta McKinney officiated the at times emotional service, them careful to remind those in attendance Cox wanted this to be a celebration of his life, not a time of sadness.
Bob Cox (a Denver East High School graduate) and his good friend (Denver cable television magnate) Bill Daniels (Daniels Fund) financially supported Denver heavyweight contender Ron Lyle in his run at becoming Heavyweight Champion of the World (a run that never came to fruition) but a lifelong friendship would then evolve as Greg Cox, son of Bob Cox, had become Ron Lyle’s biggest fan.
After the sudden death of Greg Cox in a tragic motorcycle accident back in 1981, the elder Cox founded the Cox/Lyle Boxing program (fully funded by Bob Cox), with the Greg Cox Annual Memorial Boxing Tournament becoming THE major event of the organization.
Ron Lyle ran the Cox/Lyle boxing program until his sudden death in 2011, Bob Cox decided changing the tournament name to include Lyle was the right thing to do it immediately becoming the Greg Cox/Ron Lyle Annual Memorial Boxing Tournament.
Bob Cox was a stern but humble man who loved life and with his good friend Bill Daniels would leave a legacy of giving back to the sport they loved, amateur boxing.
Mr. Cox kept in touch with me on a regular basis him always concerned with what was happening in the Denver amateur boxing community and made sure I was aware of his coming into town (until the last few years him enjoying the long drive from Las Vegas to Denver) for the boxing tournament honoring his son, that giving him even more time with his daughter Susan Cox-Carlin and grandson Greg Carlin (named after his deceased uncle) who he so dearly loved.
Words spoken by Peter Droege (formerly Daniels Fund), Tito Tovar (Cox/Lyle Boxing Head Coach) and Captain Ron McKinney adequately summed up the feelings for Bob Cox by most of those present.
Bob Cox was simply a great man who loved amateur boxing.
I’ve come across few in my lifetime who’ve left an indelible impression on me with their compassion, humility, caring and love making me feel good about this world.
Mr. Bob Cox as one of those few, me fortunate enough to have met him and even more fortunate to have him as my friend.
Stephen Johnson feature writes for BORICUA BOXING.com