FBI involved in search for title belts stolen from Boxing Hall of Fame

Kevin Iole
This championship belt belonging to Hall of Famer Carmen Basilio was one of six stolen on Nov. 5 from the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y. (Courtesy photo)

Six irreplaceable championship belts have been stolen from the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., and the FBI's Antiquities division has joined in the effort to recover the precious artifacts.

Executive director Ed Brophy said four of the belts were worn by ex-welterweight and middleweight champion Carmen Basilio, a member of the Hall's Class of 1990. The other two were owned by ex-middleweight champion Tony Zale, a 1991 inductee.

"The boxing community is a close-knit family who care deeply for the sport. We are asking the boxing community and the entire sports world to provide any information that may be helpful in the return of these belts," Brophy said in a statement.

According to Syracuse.com, the theft was the first in the Hall's 25-year history. Brophy told the site the theft occurred at 2:45 a.m. local time on Nov. 5, when display cases were broken into. He said a window was broken to gain entry into the Hall.

Anyone with information on the theft or the whereabouts of the belts is asked to contact Canastota Police Chief Jim Zophy at 315-697-2240.

Syracuse radio personalities Gomez and Lisa have put up $5,000 in reward money for the return of the belts.