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Boxing champion Andy Ganigan of Waipahu dies in Las Vegas

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 06:12 p.m. HST, May 02, 2012


Boxer Andy Ganigan, a former world champion and member of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame, died today in Las Vegas, according to his niece, Michell Shue. Ganigan's death comes two years after an assault in his hometown of Waipahu left him severely debilitated. He was 59.

"Since the assault his body can't fight off diseases. He never recovered," Shue said in a telephone interview with the Star-Advertiser. "His body basically just shut down after two years of fighting." She said Ganigan died with family members by his side.

Ganigan was a boxing sensation in the 1970s and 80s, with a 34-5 record, including 30 knockouts and a lightweight division championship. He was named to Ring Magazines' list of  "100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time" in 2003, 20 years after he retired.

But the last two years of his life were spent as a near-invalid after an apparently drunken and unprovoked attack on March 26, 2010.

Five weeks ago, Matthew M. Kupa, who pled no contest to first-degree assault, was sentenced to five years probation and 18 months in jail with early release for substance abuse treatment by Circuit Judge Glenn Kim. Deputy prosecutor Scott Bell had sought the maximum penalty, a 10-year sentence.

A witness told police she saw the 6-foot, 290-pound Kupa, barefoot, shirtless, throwing repeated punches at the 5-foot-6, 160-pound Ganigan before two other men pressed Kupa against a glass panel and instructed him to "stop already." A security guard said he saw Kupa standing over Ganigan. Kupa told police he was drunk and did not remember anything.

———

Star-Advertiser reporters Dave Reardon and Ferd Lewis contributed to this report.







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Leewardboy wrote:
Met Andy Ganigan while working at OSCo. Nice guy. Condolences to his family.
on May 2,2012 | 11:05AM
Papamoo wrote:
I too was fortunate enough to have worked with Andy at OSCo. He was truly a humble and quiet leader. He exemplifies what a true hero is and was first class all the way. RIP Andy and to the Ganigan Ohana, my thoughts and prayers go out to you during this most difficult time.
on May 2,2012 | 02:15PM
cojef wrote:
Very sad chapter in the life of this great Champ. He put Hawaii on the map with his feared left hook. The big bozo Kupa still lives, what an irony. Condolences to the family for their loving care given to this great fighter.
on May 2,2012 | 11:10AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
I hope Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kim can sleep at nights.
on May 2,2012 | 11:13AM
braddah wrote:
I agree! What injustice!
on May 2,2012 | 03:48PM
808warriorfan wrote:
I'D LIKE TO MEET MATT KUPA IN A DARK ALLEY.....HOPE HE ROTS IN HELL
on May 2,2012 | 11:18AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Not me!
on May 2,2012 | 02:20PM
chief wrote:
This clown gets early release and probation, the judge and the system is a big joke!
on May 2,2012 | 11:19AM
ehowzit wrote:
KUPA MUST BE PROUD.
on May 2,2012 | 11:23AM
eastside808 wrote:
RIP Andy. With deepest sympathy to the family of Andy Ganigan who represented the aina well. Aloha Pumehana.
on May 2,2012 | 11:24AM
tsboy wrote:
since Ganigan basically died of his injuries, isn't this punk Kupa responsible for his death? sorry, but 18 months and five years probation is a frickin joke.
on May 2,2012 | 11:36AM
Shawn211 wrote:
Kupa will also be judge on judgement day.
on May 2,2012 | 11:44AM
Anonymous wrote:
I believe there will be a judgement day. For those who don't, my guess is, at times like this, they hope they're would be one.
on May 2,2012 | 03:28PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
Mean while..this crumb Kupa gets off with a slap on the wrist for an unprovoked attack. This another example why the citizens should be able to elect our judges instead of them not being accountable.
on May 2,2012 | 12:00PM
goodvibrations wrote:
Sounds like Andy didn't try to fight back either. Yeah, right, he was drunk so he doesn't remember beating someone to a pulp. He'll pay someday...
on May 2,2012 | 12:33PM
olos73 wrote:
That seems to be a common defense nowadays, "I was drunk and cannot remember." Too bad, your time will come.
on May 2,2012 | 02:35PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
I liked to be judge for a day and handle all unnessary deaths and drug dealers. Kahoolawe here they come along with live bomb shells. Let's see who walks! This system is the biggest joke in Hawaii nei. What is going on? The good old days will never come again. What a SHAME. I do hope that the judge can sleep at nights because GOD doesn't and he knows all.
on May 2,2012 | 12:37PM
MakaniKai wrote:
Tahitigirl55: Your words speak for a lot who remember the Nei back in the day....Ahh miss em. Much Aloha to the Ganigan Ohana.
on May 2,2012 | 02:36PM
junia wrote:
Prayers of peace for the entire family. He shocked the world when he put El Gato down with 1 shot (left hook) and O'grady too, but most of what we'll remember is his kindness in sharing what he knew at our gym in waipahu and the rest of the aina. RIP my brother. Brothers (sisters) - stay away from the booze and wake up.
on May 2,2012 | 12:49PM
Admirable wrote:
Andy Ganigan was a great local fighter that brought pride to a lot of people in Hawaii. My deepest condolences to his family.
on May 2,2012 | 12:56PM
jimbone wrote:
Most of ALL hawaii judges are JOKES...This guy needs to be gone..
on May 2,2012 | 01:28PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Ganigan was a real humble gentleman just like Ben Villaflor. True champions. Condolences to the family. Hope Kupa meets a violent end to his sorry life.
on May 2,2012 | 01:34PM
meathead wrote:
Andy Ganigan will be remembered fondly. Condolences to his remarkable family who cared for him during his last days. No one should be excused for drinking, everyone makes the conscience choice to drink and they should be held accountable. I hope the Prosecutor charges KUPA for at least manslaughter. He shouldn't be able to walk without prison time for what he has done.
on May 2,2012 | 01:35PM
katana77 wrote:
You would wish Judge Kim would get drunk and forget where he could put Kupa in the system......unbelievable. Sympathies to the family on a star that helped to put Hawaii on the map in the sports world. I didn't think we had Sasquatch's here in Hawaii.....must have been a long swim.
on May 2,2012 | 02:02PM
ethan wrote:
I'll never forget that big lion on Ganigan's back when I was a kid. Terrible news.
on May 2,2012 | 02:07PM
Hugo wrote:
The original "Hawaiian Punch". I think "Brian" would agree. The best local kine boxer since Bobbo Olson. Da udder "Hawaiian Punch" was Danny Ongais, "da goin' Samoan". If it got wheels, Danny would/could drive da wheels off it. Hugo, one olde kine local haole
on May 2,2012 | 03:00PM
blackmurano wrote:
Did you see this "punkl" Kupa picture with the words "Hawaiian Punch" and kind of smiling after being sentence by the Judge.
on May 2,2012 | 03:25PM
Anonymous wrote:
18 months in jail and probation for this? And his defense is "I can't remember?" Unbelieveable.
on May 2,2012 | 03:26PM
SOLID3 wrote:
RIP Andy! Glenn Kim? you aint no judge so you don't deserve the titile. It's time for a change and let the people elect our Judges. Which politician with balls is willing to put this on his agenda for running for office. If you drink and get stupid toooo Bad! we don't want to hear how sorry you are, I bet this person still drinks. Aloha Local people
on May 2,2012 | 03:26PM
Bean808 wrote:
So tell me Judge Kim, someone like Kupa is drunk, beat the living day lights out of one of your loved ones and the guy gets probation, you're going to be ok with it?
on May 2,2012 | 03:38PM
braddah wrote:
Kupa is probably still laughing at what he did....
on May 2,2012 | 03:48PM
MrRealistic wrote:
I guess being drunk and not remembering is a good defense. Seems to work.
on May 2,2012 | 04:30PM
RKC808 wrote:
I used to watch him fight at the Blaisdell arena back in the 70's. The arena would be packed and it would get really loud , especially after he knocked someone out. I still remember Johnny Lira and Roberto Vasquez coming here to fight Ganigan. He did pretty good against the legend Alexis Arguello. They must be reminicing in Heaven now about their fight. Of course who will forget his battle with Sean O'Grady .
on May 2,2012 | 04:51PM
uchinunchu wrote:
I met and spoke with Mr. Ganigan a couple of times after he retired. Despite the fact he was a great champion, he was a soft spoken and humble man who never should have deserved what happened to him. I knew his brother while working at PHNSY, and he was also a humble, soft spoken friendly guy. What I don't understand is the sentence that Kupa received. I would expect at least a manslaughter conviction for his crime. What Kupa did was far worse than someone driving drunk and killing someone and say I don't remember driving, I was drunk.
on May 2,2012 | 05:12PM
ejkorvette wrote:
Prayers to the Ganigan Family. Your Papa is at true Peace now. His Soul now will be Championed by the Almighty! One does not have to be Big to take down a Punk, Creature, Animal on 2 legs, a Coward like this Disease of a person named Matthew Kupa. He will be Dealt with Properly. He will meet and be Judged by the Correct Judgement. The Hawaii system has Repeatedly Proven Itself to be CORRUPT, INEPT, INCOMPETENT, and Severely Broken on Purpose. They Too Will be Dealt With and Correctly Judged. Appropiately, Severely, and all of the Lawyers, Judges, will Pay for all of their Crimes Retroactively. They and their Families!!!
on May 2,2012 | 06:20PM
jtamura69 wrote:
These judges should be tested every year and given a psychological evalutation. Judges have gone soft and have given up on justice. A no contest plea is a joke and makes a joke out of our judicial system. No wonder nobody want go to jury duty.
on May 2,2012 | 06:33PM
magicman1433 wrote:
Yet another example of Hawaii's pathetic slap-on-the-wrist justice system in action...
on May 2,2012 | 07:44PM
sickmanfraud wrote:
If all is right in this world perhaps the honorable Judge will find himself guilty of a lack compassion and understating the severity of this crime. As for Kupa, watch out karma has its way.
on May 2,2012 | 09:40PM
jota2330 wrote:
This should have been changed to a murder case. Nice job Kim...not even worth calling you a judge.
on May 2,2012 | 11:37PM
mellowyellow11 wrote:
ANOTHER LOW LIFE GOT A LIGHT SENTENCE NOT BEFITTING THE CRIME. ANOTHER EARLY RELEASE FOR A GUTLESS RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE BY A GUTLESS, IMMATURE, MAMAS BOY . WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD GO AND PUNCH OUT AN ELDERLY PERSON HALF HIS SIZE WITH NO PROVOCATION. THAT KIND OF MAN IS JUST A CHILD IN A MAN'S BODY. AND THIS JUDGES DECISION TO NOT GIVE HIM THE 10 YEARS HE DESERVED IS ONLY GOING TO JEOPARDIZE OTHERS THAT CROSS PATH WITH THIS MAN-CHILD IN THE FUTURE. HANG EM. GANIGAN WAS A LEGEND THIS GUY WAS A NOBODY AND WILL PROBABLY DIE THAT WAY.
on May 2,2012 | 11:44PM
mellowyellow11 wrote:
HELLO
on May 2,2012 | 11:44PM
mellowyellow11 wrote:
HELO
on May 2,2012 | 11:44PM
Rickyboy wrote:
Aloha Andy. Mahalo for the memories. You made Hawaii proud. Matthew Kupa forever will be known for snuffing him out , are you so proud now?
on May 26,2012 | 12:28PM
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