The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today Hall of Fame referees Larry Hazzard, Joe Cortez and Richard Steele are set to participate in 2015 Hall of Fame Weekend festivities June 11-14th.
“These three Hall of Famers were involved in so many iconic bouts featuring legendary fighters,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “It will be exciting for fans to see them in Canastota and recall the memorable fights they officiated.”
Hazzard began refereeing professional bouts in 1978 and officiated over 40-world title fights featuring such champions as Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Michael Spinks, Dwight Qawi, Yoko Gushiken, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Pernell Whitaker and Riddick Bowe. He also refereed non-title bouts of Ray Mancini, Alexis Arguello, Thomas Hearns and Hector Camacho. Hazzard was commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board from 1985 until 2007 and was reappointed in 2014. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Cortez officiated his first world title bout, WBA junior welterweight king Aaron Pryor’s TKO 12 over Miguel Montilla, in 1982. Among the notable bouts he has refereed include Tyson vs. Holmes, Duran vs. Barkley, Bowe vs. Holyfield I, Foreman vs. Moorer, De La Hoya vs. Vargas, Mayweather vs. Hatton and Chavez vs. Haugen in front of 132,274 fans. He’s also worked fights involving James Toney, Mike McCallum, Naseem Hamed, Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad and Lennox Lewis. In 2011 he was elected into the Hall of Fame.
Among the legendary fights Steele was the third man in the ring for include Aaron Pryor vs. Alexis Arguello II, Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno I, Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns II, Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Zab Judah. Steele retired in 2006 and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2015. Living inductees include heavyweight champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed, lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken, manager Rafael Mendoza, referee Steve Smoger, journalist Nigel Collins and broadcaster Jim Lampley. Posthumous inductees in the Old-Timer and Non-Participant categories will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing stars from the United States and abroad, including “The Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta, Nino Benvenuti, Michael Spinks, “Irish” Micky Ward, William Joppy, Ray Mercer, George Chuvalo, Peter Manfredo Jr., Pipino Cuevas, Ruben Olivares, Buddy McGirt, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Carlos Palomino, Winky Wright, Sergio Martinez, Fernando Vargas and Terry Norris, are scheduled to participate in the weekend.
Grand marshal of the Parade of Champions, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 14th, is Jon Seda, star of the hit NBC drama Chicago P.D.
For more information on the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.