REMEMBERING ETESS, HYDE, BENANAV: 30 YEARS AGO BOXING/TRUMP LOSES LOYAL FRIENDS
March 25, 2023
Loyalty….. Silence usually follows the word if you are to ponder who is loyal to you? Now President Trump may have his silent moments of wondering who is loyal to him? Rewind 30 years ago and then business/casino mogul Donald Trump lost 3 solidly loyal staff members in a helicopter crash. The copter, heading back to Atlantic City from a New York City Press conference to announce the Hector Camacho vs Vinny Pazienza fight when a rotor detached and caused the crash. Along with the three Trump executives killed in the crash, Pilot Capt. Robert Kent of Ronkonkoma, New York and Co-Pilot Lawrence Diener of Westbury, New York also died in the crash.
No one knows if any of the executives would’ve later followed Trump into the political arena, or perhaps the executive’s would’ve brought the boardwalk Casinos to greater sustained prominence and President Trump never would’ve ventured into politics? Whatever the case, our Nation’s leader would’ve had three great choices to consider for any role in his administration.
Mark Etess, 38 years old: When it comes to the boxing community, Etess’s loss was the biggest blow, considering all that he did to bring great fights to Atlantic City. Helping bring the Mike Tyson vs Michael Spinks fight to Atlantic City, he was recognized as the sports and entertainment genius and the Trump Taj Majal was going to be his baby. Although now the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, they kept the showroom name of “Mark Etess Arena” in honor of the man who put his passion and poured his love into his craft.
Stephen Hyde, 43 years old: From all accounts of the Casino business dealings, if Trump was the strict father behind the deals, it was Hyde’s soft touch and humane approach that would seal the deals and his attention to detail is what kept the Casinos in smooth operation.
Jonathan Benanav, 33 years old: The youngest of the victims in the crash, Benanav was Director of Hotel Operations and Executive Assistant Manager of the Sands Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
About the Editor
Army Veteran and former Professional Boxer Simon Ruvalcaba started boxing at the age of ten and Had a 71 fight amateur career which featured a 139 lbs. 1998 8th U.S. Army Boxing Championship out of Camp Casey, Korea and a spot on the prestigious Army Boxing Team at Fort Hood, TX. After a journeyman pro career of 18 fights, which included sparring sessions with many champions and contenders including Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Simon started writing and has contributed to many publications and websites including fighthype.com, pound4pound.com, Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) and also writes a monthly boxing column for Tahoeonstage.com. He has also been the Boxing Instructor for Ken Shamrock and The Lions Den and MMA and Bareknuckle star Paige VanZant’s first boxing coach!
Born and Raised in South Lake Tahoe, California he now resides in Sun Valley, Nevada and spends as much time as possible with his Sons Gabriel and Oscar! Beyond boxing, Simon is an all around sports fanatic and is passionate about the teams that he roots for!