Hall of Fame Inductees

By Robert Ecksel on December 6, 2011
Hall of Fame Inductees
Among the posthumous honorees is the Cocoa Kid, who retired with a 176-56-10 record


The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, has announced its newest class of inductees.

Living inductees include Thomas Hearns (61-5-1), Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson (44-5), trainer Freddie Roach, ring announcer Michael Buffer, boxing analyst Al Bernstein, and journalist Michael Katz.

Posthumous honorees are the Cocoa Kid (176-56-10) in the Modern Category; former flyweight contender Newsboy Brown (57-13-5), the versatile Leo Houck (79-10-6), and heavyweight contender Jake Kilrain (29-5-11) in the Old-Timer Category; promoters Hugh D. McIntosh and Rip Valenti in the Nonparticipant Category; and James Wharton (Young Molineaux) in the Pioneer Category

“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2012,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy, “and very much looking forward to honoring the 23rd class of inductees.”

“This is an amazing accomplishment,” said Tommy Hearns. “It makes me so happy to know that I made it after all these years and so many fights. I’m thrilled.”     

Too Sharp Johnson described his induction as” an awesome moment for me. The Hall of Fame is the biggest award that an athlete can achieve. I strived my whole career to be in the Hall. This is a dream come true.”

“I’d like to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart, who voted for me and congratulate those inducted with me today,” said Freddie Roach. “I started my career in professional boxing with Eddie Futch and now we will be together, forever, enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame with the greatest legends of the sport. I am truly honored and humbled.”

“When I think of all the great inductees,” remarked Michael Buffer, “from legends 100 years ago to so many great fighters and non-participants that are now being inducted, to be thought of in such great company is the greatest compliment I can receive in my boxing career.”

“I’m actually kind of dumbstruck,” Bernstein admitted. “Don Dunphy was a great mentor to me and a great idol. Just the thought of being in the same place as him is special.”

There was no available comment from Michael Katz, but suffice to say he was one of the purest writers, if not the purest writer, ever to grace a newspaper or website.

The 23rd Annual Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 7-10 in Canastota, NY. The Official Enshrinement Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds will be on Sunday, June 10.

For more information call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095 or visit www.ibhof.com.

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  1. the thresher 03:52pm, 12/08/2011

    Yessir!

  2. Robert Ecksel 12:52pm, 12/08/2011

    The Thresher—The good thing about knowing nothing is that one knows so little one doesn’t even realize one knows nothing. The circle is unbroken.

  3. the thresher 12:07pm, 12/08/2011

    “Any Hall of Fame worth its salt should include Chang as well as Yuh, Gushiken and Hilario Zapata.”—Noted fight collector and historian Lee Groves


    Myung Woo Yuh finished with a 38-1 record and made 17 successful title defenses during his first reign. Yes, that’s 17 title defenses…HOW COULD HE BE IGNORED? THIS IS A DISGRACE, BUT THEN THE BWAA MUST HAVE A QUOTA ON ASIAN FIGHTERS OR A TIME LINE ON WHEN THEY ARE ALLOWED IN. UGH ARGHH.

    And oh yes, it is ever soooo important to induct writers and announcers before boxers get in. What’s that all about?

    In my opinion, the IBHOF has become irrelevant. What you have now are a bunch of YOUNG website writers (who are more fan than writer) joining the BWAA and thereby becoming eligible to vote. That’s just plain insane. The entire process is infected with a virus.

    This years picks are sickening insofar as who was left out. Not re who was inducted, though Johnson would not have been my pick.

  4. the thresher 08:15am, 12/08/2011

    Too Sharp Johnson over Ken Overlin. Typical. At least the Cocoa Kid finally got in.

  5. the thresher 05:49am, 12/08/2011

    Great, great post Mike. I was jus thinking about Johnny and Don. Great minds think alike. :)

  6. mikecasey 03:46am, 12/08/2011

    For me, Ted, Buffer encapsulates the wrestling-style circus that boxing has become. He couldn’t hold a candle to Johnny Addie. Ditto the OTT commentary these days in which we are told the crashingly obvious as if we are all slightly retarded. Don Dunphy was great for his economy of words and his great knowledge of the sport. The atmosphere and the tension was no less in those days. On the contrary, it was far more exciting. We DO have a big virus today and it is pervading every part of the presentation and the now non-existent dress code. I watched Quarry’s classic win over Ron Lyle again the other night. Jerry and Ron LOOKED like fighters - not borderline transvestites who seemed more concerned about whether their hair was getting mussed.

  7. the thresher 04:43pm, 12/07/2011

    Ring announcer Michael Buffer certainly deserves it over the many boxers like Benn, Nunn, Curry, Yuh, Dariuz, Eubank, Zapata, Archer. This entire process has become a joke and is infected with a virus.

  8. the thresher 04:39pm, 12/07/2011

    Dan Rafael says:

    “On Tuesday the 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame class was announced, with the induction ceremony at the Canastota, N.Y., shrine set for June 10.

    “As a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, I’ve been voting in the “modern” fighter category (meaning, for eligible boxers whose last fight was no earlier than 1943) for about a decade. I don’t vote in the categories for observers, nonparticipants, pioneers and old-timers. They are voted on by the Hall of Fame’s board of directors and historians selected by the Hall.


    “There were 45 names on the ballot for modern fighters this year, and electors could vote for up to 10, with only three to be elected. (If there is a tie, there could be more.)

    “I voted for five candidates, including the three newcomers to the ballot: Thomas Hearns, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson and Dariusz Michalczewski. I also voted for a pair of holdovers whom I have been voting for in recent years, former featherweight champion Naseem Hamed and former junior flyweight champion Myung Woo Yuh.

  9. mikecasey 02:21pm, 12/07/2011

    Agreed, Ted!

  10. the thresher 10:04am, 12/07/2011

    Mike, I can’t believe this. Unreal.

  11. the thresher 07:55am, 12/07/2011

    I’m back. Just got the virus fixed. What these scumbags do is infect you with a virus and then ask you to buy their software protection. Where is homeland security when you need it?

  12. mikecasey 06:49am, 12/07/2011

    They might well think it’s Alaska, Boss. I jest not.

  13. Big Boss Man 06:39am, 12/07/2011

    What part of Asia did these guys forget?

  14. The Thresher 06:03am, 12/07/2011

    Yep. Forget the fighters. Got to get those writers and announcers in there.

  15. Pete The Sneak 05:41am, 12/07/2011

    Awesome group of both fighters, announcers, writers and trainers being inducted in the 23rd IBHOF class. Great to see Cocoa get his deserved recognition as well as Newsboy and the all the rest of the fighters, both living and posthumously. I’m also happy for Mike (neck brace) Katz, who along with the late Bill Gallo were my favorite two boxing writers when Mike was with the NY Daily News. Got to meet Mike several times at the old Felt Forum (MSG) where he was always a fixture at the Thursday night fights at the Forum back in the day and the man was always a gentleman who didn’t mind sharing his thoughts with the average fan. Al Berstein is one of my favorite Boxing announcers and I’m thrilled for him as well as the guy I call :The Official Voice of Boxing,” Michael Buffer. Congrats to all for making and having made the Sport of Boxing the wonderful, dramatic, incredible sport that it truly is. Peace.

  16. mikecasey 04:19am, 12/07/2011

    My stomach is ready to rumble, but well done to Cocoa Kid and the oft-forgotten Newsboy Brown and Leo Houck. Very pleased for the Hit Man too.

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