Holyfield, Barrera, Tapia, Jimmy Lennon Jr. head Boxing Hall of Fame class

The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced today the members of the Class of 2017. Inductees include three Modern category boxers who all enter the Hall in their first year of eligibility; Mexico’s three-division champion “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera,undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield and three-division champion Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” Tapia (posthumous). Non-participants and observers to be inducted include Australian trainer Johnny Lewis, veteran judge Jerry Roth, journalist / broadcaster Steve Farhood and broadcaster Barry Tompkins.

“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2017 and are very much looking forward to paying tribute to the new inductees in Canastota next June,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy.

The 2017 Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 8-11th in Canastota, NY. Over 10 events, including a golf tournament, banquet, parade and autograph card show, are planned. An impressive celebrity lineup of boxing greats of yesterday and today will attend this year’s Induction Weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be the Official Enshrinement Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds in Canastota, New York on Sunday, June 11th to welcome the newest members.

The Hall of Fame also released names of posthumous honorees: Eddie Booker in the Old-Timer Category; and ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Sr. in the Non Participant Category. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. Biographies on the Class of 2017 can be found on www.ibhof.com

COMMENTS UPON RECEIVING INDUCTION NEWS

“I’m honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and I’d just like to thank Jesus for giving me the tenacity to not quit.”

– Evander Holyfield

“This is the best news for me. I’m very happy to hear this news that I have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and I am excited to go to Canastota!”

– Marco Antonio Barrera

“I’m going to use his words. What he used to say is, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it’s how many times you pick yourself up to be successful.”

– Teresa Tapia, wife of Johnny Tapia

“Awesome. That is amazing news. I think it is so extremely meaningful for my family. My mom was brought to tears when she heard that he was nominated. She is 94 years old now and I guarantee you she is going to be at the ceremony with so much pride. Our whole family will. We are thrilled and honored.”

– Jimmy Lennon Jr., son of Jimmy Lennon Sr.

“What an honor. It’s something you never think is going to be bestowed upon someone and when it is, it’s just a wonderful feeling not only for yourself, but for your family and the guys that were responsible for that happening and they were the fighters.”

– Johnny Lewis

“It feels terrific. I can’t describe it. I’m absolutely thrilled. I did a lot of title fights over the years – over 200. I’m thrilled.”

– Jerry Roth

“This is highest honor I could possibly receive. I have such respect for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. I’ve been a visitor so many times but next year will be special for obvious reasons. It serves as validation for a career that has been boxing, and pretty much nothing but boxing, for almost 40 years. I am truly touched and honored and I can’t wait until June.”

– Steve Farhood

“Wow. I’m really flattered. To be recognized by the boxing community in general and by my peers in the media in particular is the highest compliment I could be given as a broadcaster. You want the respect of your peers and that’s what I’ve always strived for. I couldn’t be happier.”

– Barry Tompkins

BARRY TOMPKINS AND STEVE FARHOOD ELECTED TO INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME

Longtime SHOWTIME Sports announcers Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood were elected into the 2017 class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame as first-time nominees, it was announced on Tuesday.

Tompkins and Farhood earned induction in the Observer category, which recognizes outstanding achievements of print and media journalists, publishers, writers, historians, photographers and artists. They join a 2017 class headlined by boxing greats Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera and Johnny Tapia. In the non-participant category is world-renowned ring announcer, the late Jimmy Lennon, Sr., who will posthumously join his son, the all-time SHOWTIME Sports ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr., in the Hall. The induction ceremony will take place during International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend in Canastota, NY, June 8-11, when Farhood and Tompkins will join fellow SHOWTIME Sports Hall of Famers Al Bernstein (2012) and Lennon, Jr. (2013) in Canastota.

Tompkins and Farhood are the one-two punch behind the prospect-orientated SHOWTIME Sports series ShoBox: The New Generation, for which Tompkins calls the blow-by-blow action and Farhood serves as expert analyst alongside former world champion Raul Marquez. Tompkins and Farhood, who have both been in the boxing business for decades, are also the voice of SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME.

“Steve and Barry are pillars of the SHOWTIME boxing announce team,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Both men are as dedicated and committed to the sport and to their craft as anyone in television. Moreover, they are supportive colleagues and dear friends to many of us in boxing. On behalf of all of us at SHOWTIME, congratulations on this great and well-deserved honor.”

The recognition by the International Boxing Hall of Fame is the result of a career’s worth of hard work and accomplishments for Tompkins and Farhood.

Before joining SHOWTIME in 2012, Tompkins was the No. 1 voice of boxing at NBC (1974-1979), HBO (1979-88), ESPN (1988-1996) and FOX Sports (1996-2011). He has called hundreds of boxing matches, including more than 200 world title fights; among them legendary battles Aaron Pryor-Alexis Arguello I — his personal favorite — Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson-Trevor Berbick and countless others.

Tompkins, who has deservedly earned a reputation as one of boxing’s ‘good guys’, is in the midst of a career spanning 40 years. In addition to boxing, his countless credits include play-by-play commentary of the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, eight Olympic Games, tennis majors and more.

Farhood has been involved in boxing for 38 years, during which he’s become universally respected for his integrity, honesty and expertise. In his distinguished career, he has served as announcer, writer, researcher and author. A former editor-in-chief of The Ring and KO magazines, Farhood has been the voice of ShoBox since its inception in 2001. Farhood is the “ironman” of the acclaimed series, having served all but one of 228 ShoBox telecasts.

A regular contributor to SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® and Premier Boxing Champions telecasts, Farhood is a four-category winner of awards by the Boxing Writers Association of America (Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, Fleischer Award for Excellence in Print Journalism, Good Guy Award and Walker Award for Long and Meritorious Service).

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