The International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame [IWBHF] induction ceremony, presented in large part by the World Boxing Council [WBC], took place in Ft. Lauderdale, FL Saturday, July 11, 2015.
The inductees walked the red carpet before the event, with inductee Laila Ali drawing the biggest crowd. To put it lightly, Ali came into boxing with very large shoes to fill. She lived up to the famous Ali name by earning 24 wins without a loss, including 21 KOs.
Noticeably absent was fellow 2015 inductee Ann Wolfe. Wolfe has recently found renewed fame with the viral popularity of her knockout of Vonda Ward and for her work training fighters, most notably James Kirkland. Event administrators indicated that Wolfe simply did not board her plane and gave no notice or cause. The reason for her absence is still unknown.
In addition to Ali and Wolfe, inductees included four other modern boxers: Jeannine Garside, Dierdre Gogarty, Terri Moss, and Laura Serrano.
Serrano of Mexico had an eighteen-year, twenty-eight-bout career including wins over Chevelle Hallback, Kelsey Jeffries, and fellow 2015 inductee Deirdre Gogarty. She is perhaps best known for her 1994 debut bout against Christy Martin.
Also inducted was non-boxer Sparkle Lee. Lee was the first female referee appointed to the New York State Athletic Commission where she has presided over several world championship bouts.
The ceremony included a posthumous induction for Phyliss Kugler in the pioneer category. Kugler fought to an astounding 55-1 record back in the 1950s. Her award was accepted by family.
Sue Fox, the prime mover behind the concept, creation, and implementation of the IWBHF, felt Ft. Lauderdale, FL was the ideal site for the induction ceremony.
“I’m thrilled to have our 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in conjunction with the National Women’s Golden Gloves in Ft. Lauderdale, FL again this year” said Fox. “The opportunity to locate the ceremony where there are so many associated with the sport at one event
is a very fitting way to honor our 2015 IWBHF inductees.”
This year’s inductees brings the total number of inductees to fifteen in the IWBHF’s second year. More information about the IWBHF is available at http://www.iwbhf.com/.
Bill Barner is a former certified “USA Boxing” Judge, Referee, and Trainer. He is a former sparring partner for several amateur and professional fighters and currently practices criminal and immigration law in South Florida for BarnerRossen PA. He has appeared in The Ring Magazine, Bleacher Report, VOICE Magazine, Youngstown Vindicator, USABF, and is a regular contributor to East Side Boxing. Barner also provides ring announcing services for boxing and other ring sport. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @BarnerBill.