It’s that prestigious time of the year again, when the new class of International Boxing Hall of Fame is announced. 2024 in Canastota will, in June, again celebrate the greats, both living and passed. As RingTV.com reports, the Class of 2024 comprises of:
Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, Ivan Calderon, Michael Moorer. With Jane Couch and Ana Maria Tomas in the women’s section. Also, trainer Kenny Adams, manager Jackie Kallen, and publicist Fred Sternberg will be inducted.
In terms of the ‘Old Timer’s’ section, the name Luis Angel Firpo makes a perhaps surprising appearance. Firpo, who played his part in what might have been the single most astonishingly violent and action-packed world heavyweight title fight slugfest ever captured on film, will be inducted next year. The epic with Jack Dempsey celebrated its 100th anniversary in September of this year, with the multi-knockdown thriller being given plenty of deserved written tributes.
Back to the modern fighters for now. “Chico” Corrales is of course best known for the utterly spellbinding war he engaged in, and won, with Jose Luis Castillo. That fight, in the opinion of people like Dan Rafael, is one of the greatest of all-time. For that fight alone, Corrales arguably deserves entry in the HOF. And Diego won plenty of other fights, and he won himself multiple world titles in two weights division, these being super featherweight and lightweight.
Hatton is of course a total superstar in the UK, and his fights in the US made him very popular there also. Hatton’s big win came against Kostya Tszyu, while “The Hitman” also picked up wins over top fighters such as Castillo, Paulie Malignaggi, and Luis Collazo.
Calderon was one slick operator, the two-time champ, at mini-flyweight and at light flyweight, engaging in over twenty world title fights. Calderon was as smooth as he was gifted.
Michael Moorer we know best as a heavyweight, yet the first southpaw in history to become world heavyweight champ was a deadly light heavyweight, with Moorer’s viciousness really something to see. All four of these fighters, these world champions, are worthy of a place in the HOF, don’t you agree?
Back to Firpo. Surviving relatives of “The Wild Bull of The Pampas” spoke with Ring, and the emotion was evident.
“In our hearts, the wait never ended,” Maria de Lourdes Perez Barbieri, the great niece of Firpo, said upon hearing how Firpo will be enshrined in The HOF. “This is something that fills me with an enormous pride. That fight in 1923 in New York is branded with fire on the hearts of every Argentine and every boxing fan, and now we can say that time has done justice to that victory! It is an acknowledgement to his physical and mental strength, and to his humility too.”
Firpo actually lost to Dempsey, but the fact remains, he is more than worthy of a place in The Hall. Heck, the Dempsey-Firpo fight is in a class all by itself.
Next summer promises to be a special time for all those who gather in Canastota.