The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today legendary middleweight champion Nino Benvenuti will be among returning Hall of Famers attending festivities planned for the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend June 11-14th.
“From the Olympic gold medal to world titles in two weight divisions, Benvenuti was a superstar in boxing in the 1960s,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “We are very excited to welcome the Italian idol back to Canastota to participate in the 2015 Hall of Fame Weekend.”
Born in Trieste, Italy, Benvenuti is the 1960 Olympic welterweight gold medalist. He turned pro in 1961 and scored wins over Gaspar Ortega and Denny Moyer before stopping Sandro Mazzinghi in six rounds for the world junior middleweight belt. He moved up in weight to engage Hall of Famer Emile Griffith in a middleweight championship trilogy that saw him win, lose and regain the strap in 1967 and 1968. Following successful defenses over Don Fullmer, Fraser Scott, Luis Rodriguez and Tom Bethea, he lost the title to Hall of Famer Carlos Monzon in 1970. After unsuccessfully challenging Monzon in the rematch he retired with an 82-7-1 (35 KOs) record. In 1992 Benvenuti was elected into the Hall of Fame.
Benvenuti will be one of the boxing stars featured at “A Night of 15 Rounders” on Friday, June 12th at the Rusty Rail Party House during Hall of Fame Weekend. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres and the program, consisting of fight highlights, speeches, photograph and autograph opportunities, will get underway at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $60 each.
Other 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 greats from the United States and abroad are scheduled to participate in weekend.
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.