Big Chuck Asks: “Who the Heck was Billy Costello?”
Tucked away in a small pocket park on the outskirts of downtown Kingston, N.Y., stands a statue to a local sports hero. Billy Costello.
I happened to k\notice it recently when I was passing through the city. It made me wonder. Who was Costello and how many people remember him? And why did he deserve his own statue?
Bill Costello was born in in Kingston on April 10, 1956. He boxed as a kid in the city and won the Golden Gloves Award in his weight class in 1978. He turned professional in the late 1970s. He was managed by Mike Jones, who also managed Gerry Cooney. He was a popular boxer in the Hudson Valley area and, later, in New York City where he eventually moved (Kew Gardens, Queens). He fought a televised fight on CBS in November, 1982. In 1984 he fought Bruce Curry for the WBC junior welterweight title in Texas. He won and it remained his only boxing title. He had an unusually long boxing career. Twenty years.
After, he returned to Kingston and worked in construction. He died on June 29, 2011 at his home. He was 55 years old.
His hometown paid tribute to their local boxing legend by erecting a life-sized statue of him in 2012.
And now you know the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey).