Former heavyweight champion of the world Lennox Lewis of the United Kingdom joins six other living boxing celebrities to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame next June. 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Hall of Fame's Induction Weekend and its events held in Canastota.
At a press conference held today, BHOF Executive Director Edward Brophy said Hall of Fame staff was excited about the class of 2009 and look forward to honoring the 20th class of inductees.
"All living inductees are anticipated to attend and participate in 2009 Hall of Fame weekend festivities," Brophy said. "Over the years the boxing community has fallen in love with Canastota. Boxers and fans come back every year. And Canastota has spent 20 years welcoming people from around the world to our village.
Also inducted will be bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales, junior lightweight Brian Mitchell of South Africa; matchmaker, publicist and promoter Bob Goodman; promoter Akihiko Honda of Japan; journalist Hugh Mcllvaney of the United Kingdom and broadcaster Larry Merchant.
Posthumous honorees include middleweight champion William "Gorilla" Jones; welterweight champion "Mysterious" Billy Smith and middleweight champion Billy Soose in the Old-Timer category; manager Billy Gibson and Commissioner Abe J. Greene in the Non-Participant category; journalist Paul Gallico in the Observer Catergory and Tom Hyer in the Pioneer category. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.
Hall of Fame festivities will be held June 11 through 14 and include more than 20 events. A golf tournament, banquet, parade, autograph card show and ringside chats as well as fist casting are just a few of the events held during the weekend.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary, the Hall of Fame has scheduled a fireworks display to be held during one of the evenings that weekend.
For more information, visit ibhof.com or call 697-7095.