Boxing came to Hinchliffe in the late 1930s, another chance for tough poor kids to show their stuff that soon evolved into a family spectator sport. By the late 1930s' the stadium was already hosting Diamond Gloves championship bouts, predecessor to the Golden Gloves. Paterson's own Lou Duva won a championship here in 1940 in the Bantamweight Division. Later, as a world-class trainer and promoter, Duva built a career enabling other champions.
Paterson native Lou Costello, legendary Hollywood comic, was also a boxing enthusiast. Well into the 1940s Costello could be found at Diamond Glove matches with his chum Duva and their mutual friend Gaetano Federici, whose portraits of Costello, Ingrid Bergman, and "Jack Dempsey's Arms" had made him a kind of a sculptor to the stars.
Bouts were guest-refereed by boxing champions Jack Dempsey in '43 and Joe Louis in '49, who then hobnobbed in the stadium with sports celebrities like Babe Ruth, Pee Wee Reese, Herman Franks, Max Baer, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Rocky Graziano, Rocky Marciano, Jake LaMotta, and Dixie Walker. Larry Doby and other hometown stars would come back to Hinchliffe to see and be seen at major boxing events, and find themselves sharing attention with superstars of screen and radio.
And in 1946 it was the semi-finals of the Diamond Gloves Championships here that made sports history as the first telecast of an athletic event in New Jersey (July 31).