Rich Marotta, founder and CEO of the newly-established Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF), announced the NVBHOF’s historic inaugural class of inductees at a news conference today, which was held at the Richard Steele Boxing Club in North Las Vegas. Induction will take place in 2013. Details on the ceremony will be released in the coming months. Voting for the inaugural class of the NVBHOF was conducted by its officers and its Board of Directors. The results are as follows:
NEVADA RESIDENT BOXER:
· MIKE TYSON (50-6, 44 KOs). The former undisputed heavyweight champion was also the youngest man to wear the heavyweight crown during his first of three title reigns. He was renowned for his punching power and became boxing’s biggest draw. Tyson is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· MIKE McCALLUM (49-5-1, 36 KOs). Held the WBA super welterweight, WBA middleweight and WBC light heavyweight titles. McCallum is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· DIEGO CORRALES (40-5, 33 KOs). Held the IBF junior lightweight title and unified the WBO and WBC lightweight belts with a knockout victory over Jose Luis Castillo in arguably the greatest fight of his era.
NON-NEVADA RESIDENT BOXER
· JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ (107-6-2, 88 KOs). México’s greatest fighter, this three-division world champion was unbeaten in his first 90 bouts. Made his Nevada debut in 1985, knocking out Roger Mayweather in the second round to retain his WBC lightweight title. Nevada record was 21-4.(12 KOs). Chavez is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· LARRY HOLMES (69-6, 44 KOs). Known as ‘The Easton Assassin,’ Holmes had one of the great jabs in boxing history. He won the title from Ken Norton in an epic bout in 1978 and held it until 1985. A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Holmes was 18-3 in fights in Nevada.
· OSCAR DE LA HOYA (39-6, 30 KOs). The ‘Golden Boy’ won 10 world titles in six weight classes. He was the biggest pay-per-view star of his time and his bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 set the record with 2.5 million buys. He’s now the president of Golden Boy Promotions.
· SUGAR RAY LEONARD (36-3-1, 25 KOs). A 1976 Olympic gold medalist, Leonard was boxing’s top star of the 1980s. His wins over Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran remain among the most significant in the sport’s history. Leonard was 11-0-1 in 12 Nevada fights.
· EDDIE FUTCH. The legendary Futch, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, is regarded by many as the best trainer in boxing history. He trained greats such as Joe Frazier, Riddick Bowe, Michael Spinks and Alexis Arguello. He also mentored several great trainers and taught Freddie Roach the business.
· FREDDIE ROACH. The International Boxing Hall of Fame member is most known for his work with Manny Pacquiao, but he trained a series of great fighters, including the late Johnny Tapia and Mike Tyson. Roach is a five-time trainer of the year.
· MILLS LANE. Lane became arguably the top referee of his time with a fair but no-nonsense style that commanded the respect of the fighters he worked with. A former pro boxer with a 10-1 record, Lane worked many big fights, including Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield II, Pernell Whitaker-Oscar De La Hoya and Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield II. Lane was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame and will be inducted in June.
· JOE CORTEZ. Nicknamed “Fair but Firm” for not only his familiar catchphrase but also his style, Cortez was one of boxing’s great referees during his 32-year career. Cortez worked many of the big fights of his era, including Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley-Fernando Vargas, Erik Morales-Manny Pacquiao and Lennox Lewis-Hasim Rahman. Cortez is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· AL BERNSTEIN. A familiar voice for more than 30 years as an analyst and play-by-play man on boxing broadcast, the affable Bernstein is best known for his work at ESPN and Showtime. He also served as the boxing analyst for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics in both 1992 and 1996. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· ROYCE FEOUR. Feour covered boxing in Nevada for more than 40 years, the last 37 at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was ringside for all of the big fights as Nevada earned its label as the boxing capital of the world. His first major fight was Sonny Liston-Floyd Patterson in 1963, and he covered all of the big stars of the five decades.
· BOB ARUM. A one-time U.S. attorney in the Kennedy Administration, Arum became perhaps the most significant promoter in history. He promoted more than 20 fights involved Muhammad Ali and was also the promoter of stars such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, among many others. Arum’s Top Rank Inc. is based in Las Vegas and put on many of Nevada’s biggest events. Arum is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· DON KING. King was a numbers runner in Cleveland whose quick wit and indomitable work ethic led him to become one of boxing’s greatest promoters. He led the careers of dozens of stars, including Mike Tyson, Felix Trinidad and Larry Holmes. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
· MARC RATNER. Ratner was the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission from 1992 through 2006, earning a reputation for honesty and fairness, as well as the top regulator in the sport. Prior to becoming executive director, Ratner was the chief inspector for the commission and worked closely with his predecessor, Chuck Minker. Ratner is now the vice president of regulatory affairs for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
· JAMES NAVE. A local veterinarian, Nave was a member of the Nevada Athletic Commission for 11 years, from 1988 through 1999, and served two terms as its chairman. He was considered one of the sport’s top regulators and was a fierce advocate for fighter health and safety. Nevada made major strides in enforcing safety regulations during his tenure.
· SIG ROGICH. Rogich served on the Nevada Athletic Commission for 12 years, from 1974 through 1986, including several stints as chairman. For many years after his term on the commission ended, Rogich worked closely with major promoters to help bring major boxing shows to Nevada. The president of the Rogich Communications Group, Rogich was a confidante and advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
· KIRK KERKORIAN. A one-time amateur boxer of some note who was known as “Rifle Right Kerkorian,” Kerkorian helped bring big-time boxing to Nevada. He helped usher Las Vegas into the mega-resort age and his MGM Grand played host to some of the biggest fights in boxing history.
A non-profit corporation operated exclusively for charitable purposes, the NVBHOF will be dedicated to honoring boxers and those who have contributed significantly to the sport in Nevada. The other equally important part of the Hall’s mission will be to help those from the sport of boxing in need of financial assistance, as well as to help other boxing-related organizations which do the same. It will also support youth and amateur boxing programs, including the club boxing programs at the University of Nevada, Reno and UNLV.
“States such as California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and most recently New York have their own Boxing Halls of Fame. I was astounded to learn that Nevada, with its rich boxing history, passionate fan base and the reputation as the Boxing Capital of the World, did not have its own Hall of Fame — a place to honor those who helped build its rich history in the sport,” Marotta said. “So we set out last summer to establish the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame as a non-profit, charitable organization to give back to the sport and its fans. In addition to an annual gala Induction Ceremony and Dinner, the NVBHOF will conduct other fund-raising events throughout the year to stay active within the state.”
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame is an IRS 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization. Donations to the NV BHOF are tax-deductible, as are tickets purchased to NVBHOF-sponsored events. Donations can be made by visiting the NVBHOF website: www.nvbhof.com. You can “like” NVBHOF on Facebook (facebook.com/nvbhof) and follow it on Twitter (@nvbhof).