Former New England Golden Gloves champion Greg Cuyler, 23, of Hartford, won many battles inside the ring, but early Sunday morning he lost his life outside a Hartford nightclub. Cuyler, once the eighth-ranked amateur flyweight in the country, according to USA Boxing, was shot in the leg and chest at The Main Tower lounge in the city’s north end around 1 a.m., police said. Cuyler was the city’s fifth homicide victim of the year.
The shooting that led to Cuyler’s death was one of three shootings in a 24-hour period in Hartford this past weekend. Years ago, Cuyler was one of a number of boxers former world title challenger “Iceman” John Scully befriended and taught how to box. Scully, who trains heavyweight Lawrence Clay-Bey and rising star “Bad” Chad Dawson, traveled the country on many boxing trips with Cuyler. Many of Cuyler’s boxing exploits are forever preserved in a scrapbook Scully keeps.
Scully used to refer to Cuyler as O.G., and in a 2003 entry on Scully’s Web site about a Vegas trip the two went on, www.icemanjohnscully.com
, Scully wrote that Cuyler is 5’5” and skinny but “thinks he’s 6’0” and diesel.” It was during that trip that Cuyler convinced a woman who doesn’t pay attention to rap videos that he was the heavily muscled 50 Cent.
“He was a really funny kid,” said Scully in an article in the Hartford Courant. Cuyler’s boxing talent was such that he went to Northern Michigan University on a full scholarship. He was part of the university’s boxing program, headed by Al Mitchell, but left the school a year later after a friend of his back in Hartford was shot and killed.
Unfortunately, Cuyler would also lose his life to gun violence. Hartford Police have not confirmed whether Cuyler was the intended target of the gunman.
Antonio Pena, also known as Andrew Taylor, is wanted for questioning in the investigation of the fatal shooting of Taylor. According to a press release from the Hartford Police Department, Pena is believed to be in possession of a firearm and should be considered armed and dangerous. Police also confirmed Pena is possibly driving a 2001 dark green Toyota Tundra Pickup, bearing a Connecticut Combination Registration of 99979C, or a 2005 white Dodge Durango thought to be a rental vehicle.
Hartford Police are cautioning that anyone coming into contact with Pena that he should be considered armed and dangerous and they should not approach him, but contact Hartford Police immediately. HPD Major Crimes Detective Timothy Shaw, lead investigator in the case, is asking anyone with information about the whereabouts of Pena, or the incident, to contact him at (860) 527-6300, extension 5241. Confidential tips may be left on the HPD's gun tip hotline, (860) 525-GUNS.
In December, Scully experienced the birth of his first child, Sarita Carol Scully. This week he will be attending the funeral of a Hartford boxer who, to Scully, was an adopted son.
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