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A City Rich In History: Our Community Is Lucky To Have Raised Many Individuals That Have Put our City on The Map

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

March 2, 2023

(L) "Smokin” Mike Perkins...He was not just a Champ in the Ring, he was our hometown hero" Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper (Pictured here at age 26 vs Trevor Berbick - 01/17/86) (R) Curci Village held the groundbreaking to kick off the completion of the surrounding grounds and the addition of an exterior elevator so visitors can access the second floor

After living 30 years in Hallandale Beach, I have had the wonderful chance to meet many residents including members from the founding families of our great City. I can say I have spent more time in Hallandale Beach than any other community including my hometown of Levittown, Pennsylvania. So, this is home. Through the years I have met so many wonderful people that were born and raised in Hallandale. I have come to learn that there is plenty of rich history particularly in the Northwest and Southwest sections of our City.

Our community is lucky to have raised many individuals that have put our City on the map. Many of these residents went to Hallandale High and continue to give back to the City. Sadly, one of these residents, Micheal Leon Perkins was laid to rest this Saturday. He was Might Charger. As a young child and student, he was known for his singing skills that he practiced in Ebenezer Baptist Church. He competed in many talent shows at school and at Dixie Park where he held his first job at 13 as a park aid. Dixie Park is now known as Peter Bluesten Park. While he was known to be a singer, everyone figured he would be an R&B star. God had other plans for him.

In 1979 right after high school Mike found a love of boxing. In 1981 he won the Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship. This opened many doors for him. He relocated to New York City, he trained with and competed with some of the best. At one of his first professional fights, which he lost, he met Sugar Ray Leonard.. After the fight Sugar Ray said to him, “even though you lost you came out smokin.” Since then, the name stuck and he became “Smokin” Mike Perkins.

Mike traveled the world and fought locally too. He was the Main Event in many bouts including: The Diplomat, Madison Square Garden, Bermuda, Nassau, Atlantic City and the United Kingdom, just to name a few. Sadly, his trainer suddenly passed away which changed Mike's course.

In 1993, Mike came back to Hallandale and married his longtime girlfriend Denise Brown. He continued to train with the hopes of getting back in the ring. He worked many jobs and landed one with North Construction where sadly he was injured and lost mobility. It was then he received the great news that Denise was pregnant and then Mike Jr. was born.

Mike was a true pillar of our community. He mentored and continued to be an inspiration to everyone. He was always singing and joking. He was not just a Champ in the Ring, he was our hometown hero. I wish his family peace and love during this sad time.

As life would have it, Saturday started out with more history. We held the groundbreaking for Curci Village. Curci Village is where the original 1906 home of the Curci Family was built and remains today. They were one of the original founding families of Hallandale. The Curci Home was restored and dedicated on the National Registry. The home is set up for tours and has many artifacts that give visitors a feel for what life was like back when Hallandale was just in its infancy.

While the home was opened a few years back only the first floor was accessible. The groundbreaking is to kick off the completion of the surrounding grounds and the addition of an exterior elevator so visitors can access the second floor. The second floor contains many historical documents.

In addition there will be a large patio, gazebo, decorative water fountain to replace the original one and new fencing. The home truly is a gem. The construction is scheduled to be completed within 10 months. Once completed the location will be a wonderful spot for visiting, family gatherings, events and weddings. If you have a passion for history we are looking for volunteers for our Historical Committee.

This weekend was “Food and Groove” in Hallandale Beach. Our CRA Staff and the many volunteers outdid themselves this year. The event was sold out with over 1,600 attendees. There was a fabulous dance band and a DJ that kept the party hopping. The food from our many local restaurants was amazing. Special thanks go out to FIU and SOBEWFF for making us part of this amazing event for another year. Also, I would like to thank Gulfstream Park for opening Pegasus Park, which is a wonderful event space.

As always, I am available for your questions, concerns, and ideas to help make our City a better place. Please feel free to reach out to me at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. Or email me at:

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