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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 21 January 2021

Joe Winters, revered NY businessman and boxing manager - including to Joe Ward - dies aged 54

The Irish-American, who built or accrued over 100 companies and was renowned for his philanthropy, died following a short battle with Covid-19.

Joe Winters (R) tends to Joe Ward as his friend and boxing-management partner Adam Glenn (L) watches on.
Joe Winters (R) tends to Joe Ward as his friend and boxing-management partner Adam Glenn (L) watches on.
Image: Times Square Boxing

REVERED NEW YORK businessman and boxing manager Joe Winters has passed away at the age of 54 following a short battle with Covid-19.

Winters, a former amateur and professional fighter, was joint-manager to Ireland’s former amateur sensation Joe Ward in the pro ranks under the umbrella of his boxing management company, Times Square Boxing.

The Irish-American was adored in his native Long Island where, in conjunction with his family business, Winters Bros Waste Systems, he championed providing opportunities to people with autism following the childhood diagnosis of his son, Sean, now in his 20s.

Winters, whose mother, the late Brigid Winters (neé Doherty), was from Waterford, and many of whose extended family still live in the county, built or acquired over 100 businesses during his daytime career.

He is survived by his wife, Michele, and his sons, Patrick and the aforementioned Sean.

joe-winters-and-joe-ward Joe Winters and Joe Ward at Ward's unveiling as a professional fighter in Dublin in 2018. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

“Our family has lost a loving, caring and dedicated husband, father, brother and uncle,” the family wrote in a statement. “Long Island has lost a true icon and philanthropist.

“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Joe have lost a dear friend and source of inspiration,” the statement continued. “Joe leaves behind a company and a team that only he could have built with such determination and direction of excellence that would make anyone proud.”

In boxing, Winters amassed a 68-7 amateur record before going 13-2-1(6KOs) as a cruiserweight and heavyweight pro, fighting on New York cards alongside names such as Buddy McGirt, Donny LaLonde and Ireland’s Seamus McDonagh.

Winters remained involved in the sport even as he ventured into the business world and incidentally came extremely close to signing Ireland’s 2008 Olympic silver medalist Ken Egan to a professional management deal in 2009 only for Egan to respectfully change his mind in person at the 11th hour.

Ten-time Irish champion Egan described Winters’ passing as “terrible sad news”, adding that he “had the privilege of [Winters'] company way back in 2009 in NY. We had great discussions on the pro game and the possibilities. R.I.P Joey.”

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Joe-Winters Joe Winters (1966-2021).

Almost a decade later, Winters formed the Times Square Boxing management company with Adam Glenn — so-named after the former Times Square Gym, which belonged to Glenn’s legendary father, Jimmy Glenn, in which Winters and Glenn Jr first fell in love with the sport.

Winters and Glenn signed a number of highly rated US prospects and, to much fanfare on this side of the Atlantic, Irish boxing great Joe Ward who ditched the vest and turned pro with the Times Square duo as well as promoters Lou DiBella and Ken Casey (Murphys Boxing) in 2018.

“He was a great man,” said Ward on Wednesday. “The first time I met him, I knew he was a very caring, kindhearted, loving, honest man.

“He wasn’t just my manager — he was a friend and he made me part of his family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time. He will be truly missed.

“Until we meet again, Joey.”

Image from iOS (3) The late, great Jimmy Glenn with his close friend Winters.

Adam Glenn, who also lost his father — an iconic New York boxing figure and owner of the famed Jimmy’s Corner bar — to the coronavirus in May, said of his close friend and business partner’s passing: “Since I was a kid, Joey has been a part of my life. Our fathers were best friends and he was like a big brother to me. He always felt like another one of my dad’s children and my father, Jimmy Glenn, loved him and his brothers like they were his own.

“When I got older, I was lucky enough to know Joe as a man and a friend. Joey was selfless, loyal, driven, caring and generous of spirit. To all those he cared about, he gave generously of his most precious resource, himself. We were all so very lucky to have him in our lives. He inspired us with his energy and enthusiasm, and cared for us all with his huge heart.

“I was so proud to call him a friend and to have him as part of my family. I felt so proud and privileged that he respected and cared for me enough to be my partner. His example inspires me and, much as I do with my father, who also passed from COVID, I will strive to follow his example and make him proud. We love you Joey.”

- Updated at 14:59 with quotes from Joe Ward.

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