The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame: The 2015 class
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame will hold its third annual induction ceremony at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Aug. 8. The star-studded event, hosted by actress Rosie Perez and (International Boxing) Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein, will see some of the game’s best honored for their careers in boxing in the state of Nevada. It’s quickly becoming the place to be in Sin City every August induction weekend.
This year’s inductees include:
Nevada-resident boxers: Roger “The Black Mamba” Mayweather, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Johnny Tapia
Non-Nevada resident boxers: Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Lennox Lewis, Marco Antonio Barrera, Felix Trinidad and Gene Fullmer
Pioneer category: James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jack Johnson, Joe Gans and Tex Rickard
Non-boxer participants: Lee Samuels, Pat and Dawn Barry, Steve Sneddon, Dr. Donald Romeo, Chuck Hull and Dr. Robert Voy
Let’s take a quick look at few of the inductees…
Roger “The Black Mamba” Mayweather: A former world champion at both junior lightweight and junior welterweight whose 41 fights in Nevada are an NVBHOF record. Faced Vinnie Pazienza, Livingstone Bramble, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Pernell Whitaker, Freddie Pendleton, Rocky Lockridge and Harold Brazier, among others. Garnered the nickname “The Mexican Assassin” after dispatching many top Mexican fighters during his professional run. Mayweather ended his career with a 59-13 (35) record. After his fighting days ended, he went on to become one of the sport’s top trainers. He currently trains out of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad: Born Eddie Gregory, he ruled the light heavyweights as champion from 1980 until 1982. Muhammad beat rugged Marvin Johnson to capture the title and lost it to 175-pound legend Michael Spinks. He logged a 50-8-1 (39) record and faced the very best light heavyweights of his era. He is now a highly-respected trainer who works out of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” Tapia: New Mexico’s favorite son won world titles at junior bantamweight, bantamweight and featherweight. He had a rabid, devoted following in his native Albuquerque and was one of the most popular and exciting fighters of his time. He built an impressive 59-5-2 (30) ledger during his career. A non-stop buzzsaw in the ring who was as relentless to his opponents during the fight as he was kind and respectful to them afterward. Tapia, sadly passed in 2012 at the all-too-young age of 45. Viva “Mi Vida Loca”!
Non-Nevada resident boxers
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay): The most famous boxer ever, simply “The Greatest.” The first man to hold the linear heavyweight title on three occasions. Amassed an impressive 56-5 (37) record in his legendary career. Turned pro in 1960 after he won a gold medal as a light heavyweight at the Rome Olympics. Fought Floyd Patterson, Ron Lyle, Jerry Quarry, Bob Foster, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes, Sonny Liston, Archie Moore and Joe Bugner, among others. A groundbreaking civil rights advocate, Ali is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Outstanding to see Ali going into the Hall and he will be inducted by “Iron” Mike Tyson.
Sugar Ray Robinson: Widely regarded as the best fighter in the history of boxing. Robinson was 175-19-6 (108) in a 25-year career. The Boxing Writers Association of America named its “Fighter of the Year” award after him. Went 40-0 before a loss to legend Jake LaMotta and then proceeded to go 88-0-2, bringing him to an amazing 128-1-2. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler: The “Bad Baldie from Brockton.” Arguably the greatest middleweight who ever lived. His third round stoppage of Thomas Hearns in 1985 is considered one of the most exciting fights ever. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Retired with an impressive 62-3-2 (52) record and made 12 successful, consecutive world middleweight title defenses.
Lennox Lewis: A 1988 Olympian, Lewis went 41-2-1 (32) as a pro. Canadian raised but Britain-based as a pro, he faced legends Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, among many others, as heavyweight champion in world title fights, also ultimately defeating every fighter he has ever faced (defeating Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman in rematches). He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Marco Antonio Barrera: “The Baby-Faced Assassin”. One of Mexico’s most exciting fighters, the International Boxing Hall of Fame-bound slugger, a world champion at bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight, went 67-7 (44) as a professional. Marco was hugely popular thanks to exciting wars with Erik Morales, Manny Pacquiao, Junior Jones and Rocky Juarez.
Felix “Tito” Trinidad: Puerto Rico’s hugely popular Trinidad, a former world champion at welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight, went 42-3 (35) as a pro. His box office appeal scored huge pay-per-view numbers in bouts against US stars like Oscar De La Hoya, Fernando Vargas and Bernard Hopkins. Still adored in his native Puerto Rico today, he is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Gene Fullmer: “Cyclone” Fullmer went 55-6-3 (24) in his career. The former middleweight champion has a resume that includes fights against Dick Tiger, Benny Paret, Sugar Ray Robinson, Carmen Basilio and Joey Giardello, among others. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The five all-time legends to be inducted in the “Pioneer” category
All members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Fighters James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jack Johnson, Joe Gans and promoter George Lewis “Tex” Rickard.
Six inductees who have made a significant contribution to the game outside the ropes in the “Non-boxer participants” category
Widely regarded as the industry’s best publicist, Top Rank Promotions’ Lee Samuels, longtime Las Vegas-based husband and wife/coach/manager (professional and amateur), Pat and Dawn Barry, highly-regarded Reno boxing writer Steve Sneddon, former US Olympic team and professional ring physician Dr. Donald Romeo, classy, tuxedo-clad ring announcer Chuck Hull (who brought a distinctive voice and significance to the role of master of ceremonies on fight night. He played a part in paving the way for current stars like Michael Buffer, Jimmy Lennon Jr. and Lupe Contreras) and Dr. Robert Voy, chief medical officer for the US Olympic Committee and former president of USA Boxing.