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Opening bell set for boxing's induction weekend

The opening bell will soon ring for the 20th annual Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, June 11 to 14. Many boxing legends of yesterday and today will participate in festivities in Canastota and help the Hall of Fame celebrate the landmark 20th anniversary.

The four-day celebration will officially begin with the opening ceremony at 5 p.m. on Thursday (June 11th) on the Hall of Fame grounds, followed by a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. at the Canastota High School on Roberts Street.

The weekend will also feature more than 20 events including public workout sessions, ringside lectures, banquet, golf tournament, 5K Race, Fun Run, the Parade of Champions with actors Burt Young ("Paulie" in Rocky) and Federico Castelluccio ("Furio" on The Sopranos) serving as grand marshals and the Official Induction Ceremony on Sunday June 14 at 2:30 p.m.

New inductees to be honored are bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, junior lightweight champion Brian Mitchell, matchmaker/publicist/ promoter Bob Goodman, promoter Akihiko Honda, journalist Hugh McIlvaney and broadcaster Larry Merchant. Posthumous inductees will also be honored.

"It truly is amazing to think that 20 years has gone by since the ribbon was cut to open the Hall of Fame Museum," said Hall director Ed Brophy. "We're excited about looking back at the two decades of memories and at the same time looking forward to creating new ones."

An impressive lineup of boxing legends including Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor, Michael Carbajal, Leon Spinks and Canastota's Carmen Basilio are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities.

For more information on the 20th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, call 697-7095 or ibhof.com.

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