A rose for Chetrit: Developer scion, Lo Russo step into the ring to fight cancer

"Haymakers for Hope" charity boxing event sees two real estate players box it out to fight cancer

New York /
Nov.November 21, 2016 07:30 AM

A group of mostly 20-somethings in black hoodies that read “Miguel Chetrit – El Rosa Blanco” anticipated the entrance of their prizefighter. “Miguel,” it turns out, was the nomme de guerre of real estate scion Michael Chetrit, son of the elusive developer Joseph Chetrit. Sam, one of the older Chetrit brothers in attendance that night, also grew up boxing, he said, as did his brother John, also present. “I think he’s going to do really well,” said Sam, who when asked what he and his brothers do in the Chetrit Group family business said that they each held “very unique” positions.

Michael joined other pugilistic hopefuls from real estate and Wall Street at the annual “Haymakers for Hope”, a charity boxing event that packed the Hammerstein Ballroom Friday night for 48 rounds of fight, as amateur fighters raised money to find a cure for cancer.

The Chetrit TRData LogoTINY gang carried white roses. The hoodies they wore were emblazoned with the words of the famous José Marti poem, “Cultivo una rosa blanca,” a short verse about sharing beauty with both friend and foe alike. “For him too, I have a white rose,” the poem concludes in translation. In the ring, the 20-year old Chetrit, who weighed in at 195 lbs, was dominant from the start, getting in far more punches than his somewhat nimbler adversary, 27-year-old private equity guy Mike Zhang. But by round two, Chetrit had started to slow a bit, and the match suddenly looked far more even. By the end of the bout it was not so clear who the winner would be, but in a split decision it was El Rosa Blanco’s hand that stayed raised. White roses flew out towards him onto the ringside floor.

Earlier in the evening, Ron Lo Russo, who until recently was president of the Tri-State area for Cushman & Wakefield, took a beating at the hands of Gregory Copeland, an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton. Lo Russo looked cool and confident to start his match, getting in his fair share of jabs, a phoenix-in-flames tattoo on his upper arm exposed. After round one, Toby Dodd, a Cushman man and himself a boxer, said he thought Lo Russo was doing pretty well, but didn’t have time to say more before the round two got underway. “I’m sorry,” he said, “I have to scream now.”

Copeland got the better of Lo Russo in the second round, though. Lighter and taller, he rocked Lo Russo with an overhand right, and used nimble footwork to avoid Lo Russo’s flurry of punches.

Lo Russo finished the match firmly on his feet and after the unsuccessful bout, appeared to be in good spirits. When asked by a reporter about the fight, he suddenly had other business to take care of. “Ron’s a great boxer.” Dugan said, “I thought he did well against a much younger guy.”

Lo Russo, whose father-in-law died last year from a rare blood cancer, raised over $91,000 for the cause.

Participants in previous years include Douglaston Development’s Ben Levine, CBRE’s Jeff Sharon and affordable housing developer Steven Wissak.


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