This Year’s IBHOF Nominees

By Ted Sares on October 18, 2012
This Year’s IBHOF Nominees
If Matthew Saad Muhammad is in, how can Arturo Gatti be excluded? (Robert Ecksel)

But hold on for a moment! What about those who have been excluded from both lists? What about Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, and Steve Collins…

“Inexplicably, Yoko Gushiken has not been inducted into the International Hall of Fame. Let’s rectify that…”—The Author

“Benn’s savage draw with Eubank in 1993 was England’s answer to Hagler-Hearns…”—The Author

This year’s Boxing Writers Association of America’s biographies can be viewed on the BWAA’s website and were complied by:

Lee Groves,
Jack Obermayer, Boxing Digest
Cliff Rold,
Springs Toledo,

And they did a fine job.

First time nominees are Arturo Gatti, Virgil Hill, and Henry Maske—all decent choices. As for return nominees, my favorites (though all returning nominees are excellent selections) are pioneering Japanese Flyweight Yoshio Shirai; Japanese legend and counterpart to the late Salvador Sanchez, Masao Ohba; South Korean Myung Woo Yuh; and Miguel “Happy” Lora. I’d rate each heads and shoulders over Hill and Maske as I would Naseem “Prince” Hamed who warrants serious attention and Yoko Gushiken. However, arguing for Gatti’s inclusion gives one pause and makes for a compelling and interesting argument. After all, if Matthew Saad Muhammad is in, how can Gatti be excluded? The two were virtually mirror images of one another though Gatti didn’t taint his legacy by staying too long. (See:

But hold on for a moment! What about those who have been excluded from both lists? What about Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, and Steve Collins, the latter of whom amazingly beat Eubank and Benn twice each? What about old-timers Tony DeMarco (inducted into WBHOF) and Davey Moore? There are, of course, many others.


Whether Benn eventually gets into the IBHOF remains to be seen, but if he fails, it will not be because of his lack of providing incredible excitement and indelible memories for boxing fans throughout the world. Nigel Benn was an eccentric, a one of a kind and will not be forgotten by boxing aficionados and those with a sense of historical context. After all, he was a two-time world champion who fought the best of UK competition at a time when that competition was keen and perhaps the best in the world. He beat two great American fighters, he always gave the crowd its money worth, and he finished with a great KO percentage.


As for Collins, he remains my strongest choice. He successfully defended his new Super Middleweight title eight times before retiring in 1997 with a TKO win over Craig Cummings in three rounds. Curiously, he had begun his career in 1986 with a three-round TKO over one Julio Mercado in Lowell, MA. He bookended his career with 16 wins in the beginning and 15 at the end with the final TKO as icing on the cake. He was an extremely tough, seasoned, iron-chinned, determined and talented fighter who had long paid his dues training in the Boston area. He was considered to be one of the toughest pound-for-pound fighters of the late ‘90s having never been stopped in a high profile career.


Chris “Simply the Best” Eubank (45-5-2) fought from 1986 to 1998; Carl “The Cat” Thompson (34-6) duked from 1986 until 2005; Benn (42-5-1) did his fearsome work from 1987 to 1996; Michael “The Force” Watson (25-4-1) toiled from 1984 until 1991. They traveled on the U.K. Expressway, a uniquely fast, ferocious, and furious pathway. They had a lot in common, as they were, first and foremost, warriors in the true sense of the word. They would risk their own well-being to render havoc on an opponent, and in many instances, the price paid was terrible.

It’s high time these warriors got the attention from the IBHOF that their U.S. counterparts received. “Of course, Tommy ‘Hitman’ Hearns, ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, are all in. No problem whatsoever, but It’s time to put more emphasis on the word ‘International.’”

As far as non- boxers go, I’d like to see Jim Lampley (WBHOF) and Harold Lederman (WBHOF) both get in. The passion they have displayed for the sport we all love has been above and beyond.

In the end, I hope objectivity outweighs sentiment and that the choices made are few in number but ones that resonate positively with most serious boxing fans.

Again, I think on balance the BWAA did a fine job with this year’s list.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Arturo Gatti Tribute (R.I.P)

Yoko Gushiken highlight

Yoshio Shirai - Pascual Perez

Masao Ohba vs Betulio Gonzalez

Myung-Woo Yuh Highlight

Prince Naseem Hamed Highlights (by GP)

Steve Collins vs Nigel Benn 2 - 1/2

Steve Collins vs Nigel Benn 2 - 2/2

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  1. the thresher 05:33pm, 10/22/2012

    Thanks, Nick

  2. nick 10:15pm, 10/20/2012

    George Chuvalo is in the World Boxing Hall Of Fame in California. However, so many fighters before Chuvalo deserve to be in the hall. Mike Casey writes that it is criminal that Tony DeMarco and Davey Moore are waiting (I presume he is talking about the one who died after his tragic loss to Sugar Ramos) Perhaps more criminal should be that only five fighters from Asia are in the hall. Canada, which has certainly not produced as many champions as Asia has at least four men in the hall. the Philipines has two, Japan one, Thailand one, and South Korea one. How many world champions have each of these countires produced? On ESB, Mr Sares once wrote about the exclusion of Asian fighers, and this is something that has not really been addressed as much.

  3. B Red 04:16pm, 10/20/2012

    Ted, yeah that’s crazy about Chuvalo, you should write an article about the greatest chins and the worst chins from famous fighters. Chuvalo, Hagler and Ali are amongst the top of my list

  4. THE THRESHER 03:36pm, 10/20/2012

    It sure is Red. Also Chuvalo is not even on the list. WTF!!

  5. B Red 02:49pm, 10/20/2012

    Benn and Eubank deserve to be in. It’s very strange that they’re not in the hall.

  6. the thresher 05:07am, 10/20/2012

    I like Quarry as a possibility.

  7. nick 01:28am, 10/20/2012

    Mr. Sares is absolutely correct about the term International. Over three quarters of these fighters who are nominated are from foreign countries, yet the hall has more than half from the United States. My choices this year if I could vote would be Horacio Accavallo from Argentina, Masao Obha from Japan, and Harry Jeffra, a fighter from the 40’s who won the Batamweight title and featherweight title. The Hall should however really add 20 years to their old timers list, always allowing 50 years after that, so that Jeffra could get in on that, and then that would make room for Naseem Hammed. I suspect that next year the three new nominations will be De La Hoya, Trinidad and Calzaghe, with all three geting inducted. I do feel that it is strange that Eubanks and Benn are not up for nominations, but as for Collins, even though he beat the other two, I would have to disagree with Ted on him for now. I would have to put some one like a Jerry Quarry ahead of him.

  8. bikermike 08:25pm, 10/19/2012

    gotta say….it makes a pretty tough call….lotsa fights at top level…all of
    Ted….I hear ...echoing down the canyons….maybe other fighters may deserve their recognition….not just Gatti…..he’ll be there   eventually…just to much heart and guts

  9. the thresher 04:23pm, 10/19/2012

    Me too, Lee. The Cat was something else as David Haye found out. The man was a walking closet classic. Thompson is a star member of the club that includes Gatti, Saad Mohammed, and Danny Lopez.

  10. Lee 04:19pm, 10/19/2012

    Nice to see my man The Cat getting some love here. More than once that man’s astonishing comebacks from the brink have moved me to tears, and I say that without any shame whatsoever.

  11. Lee 04:15pm, 10/19/2012

    Ted, that Eubank was all warrior cannot be disputed. Anyone that witnessed his unforgettable wars with Benn, Watson, Thompson etc will attest to that. It is also likely that had the Watson tragedy not happened, then he would have finished Collins when he had him down instead of holding back as he did!

  12. the thresher 03:53pm, 10/19/2012

    Benn, Eubank, and Collins compared well. Thompson was like Saad Mohammed or Gatti. No one here even knows who the Cat was. One writer on ESB once refrerred to him as a “journeyman.” Unf—kingbelievable. Watson would have been great had he not been injured. These guys were the cream of the crop with Minter, Honnyghan, Green, etc. at the next tier. The Brits have always been known for their gri and determination.

  13. pugknows 02:41pm, 10/19/2012

    Ted, how do you compare these English fighters to ones in the U.S”? jUST CURIOUS.

  14. THE THRESHER 02:07pm, 10/19/2012


  15. THE THRESHER 02:03pm, 10/19/2012

    MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX11, Brian Mitchell was not globally popular either but he got in. Trying to determine the criteria for entry is very difficult. Sometimes it’s political would be my guess as in the case of Barry McGuigan. Also, maybe ib the case of Mitchell.

    But serious boxing fans should have known all about Benn, Eubank, and Collins and to leave them off the list is egregious IMO.

  16. the thresher 01:45pm, 10/19/2012

    Each year that a fighter is left off makes it that much more difficult to get in since new ones will be put on the list. Guys like Oscar, Roy Jones, Joe Calzaghe are sure bets which means that 3 others will not even get on the nominees list.

  17. the thresher 01:42pm, 10/19/2012

    Watson-Eubank was every bit as savage as Benn-Eubank #1. It ended in tragaedy and Chris was never the same just as Benn was never the same after the G-Man tragedy. Heartbreaking stuff.

  18. the thresher 01:27pm, 10/19/2012

    Lee, ok on the second point. But on the first one, being ‘eccentric’ had nothing to do with what he did once the bell rang. And also what he did with Michael Watson after the tragedy. Eubank was a warrior first, and ‘eccentric’ second.

  19. Lee 11:48am, 10/19/2012

    Ted, I’m afraid I must take issue with a couple of points you raised in this otherwise worthy piece. Firstly the epithet ‘eccentric’ would more aptly be assigned to Eubank-with his Jodhpurs, monocle and lisping affectations of refinement; and secondly, it would be the first Eubank-Benn tussle (won by Eubank in the 9th) that could more accurately be described as the British Hagler-Hearns.Their second fight, the draw, was something of an anti-climax.

  20. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 11:46am, 10/19/2012

    “Benn, Collins and Eubank” were elite fighters between 160 to 168 pounds, but they are not globally popular. They all stayed to close to their own region and didn’t get the proper exposure around the globe as they should have. That there will likely make it hard as hell to get into Canastota, N.Y….... As for Arturo Gatti, well, he’s in the same boat as Vinny Paz. Both guys won titles and both guys fought everybody around, but they also lost several key fights… Winning the big one is the key…

  21. Jofre 11:24am, 10/19/2012

    Tex, not only are they still waiting, they are not even on the ballot. Here are the 45 on the ballot for MODERNS - Last bout no earlier than 1943.
    1 Georgie Abrams
    2 Horacio Accavallo
    3 Joey Archer
    4 Jose Becerra
    5 Johnny Bratton
    6 Jimmy Carruthers
    7 Donald Curry
    8 Hiroyuki Ebihara
    9 Tommy Farr
    10 Tiger Jack Fox
    11 Ceferino Garcia
    12 Arturo Gatti
    13 Betulio Gonzalez
    14 Yoko Gushiken
    15 Naseem Hamed
    16 Carlos Hernandez
    17 Rafael Herrera
    18 Virgil Hill
    19 Al Hostak
    20 Harry Jeffra
    21 Peter Kane
    22 Pone Kingpetch
    23 Santos Laciar
    24 Tippy Larkin
    25 Jose Legra
    26 Miguel (Happy)  Lora
    27 Raul (Raton) Macias
    28 Ernesto Marcel
    29 Henry Maske
    30 Dariusz Michalczewski
    31 Freddie Mills
    32 Rinty Monaghan
    33 Masao Ohba
    34 Sven Ottke
    35 Ken Overlin
    36 Gustave Roth
    37 Lou Salica
    38 Dave Sands
    39 Petey Scalzo
    40 Samuel Serrano
    41 Yoshio Shirai
    42 Kid Tunero
    43 Wilfredo Vasquez
    44 Myung-Woo Yuh
    45 Hilario Zapata

  22. Tex Hassler 10:54am, 10/19/2012

    I agree with Mike Casey, it is just flat wrong, as we say in Texas, that Tony DeMarco and Davey Moore are still waiting.

  23. jofre 08:34am, 10/19/2012

    Mike, I agree, the exclusion of Tony DeMarco and Davey Moore is inexcusable. Gus Lesnevich is another notable exclusion. And poor Ken Overlin can’t buy a vote even though he is on the ballot.

  24. the thresher 07:52am, 10/19/2012

    Bill, about the BWAA. there is only one person over there I really want absolutely nothing to do with. Aside from that, I have no animus towards them.. As a Christian, I must forgive and forget—as difficult as that is at times. And this is one of those times.

  25. the thresher 07:41am, 10/19/2012

    Bill, I only write about fighters from the mid-forties to the present because I can recall the historical context in which they fought. It’s a personal thang.

  26. the thresher 07:39am, 10/19/2012

    Check this out:

  27. dollarbond 06:27am, 10/19/2012

    I was a bit surprised that you talk positively about the BWAA.  I thought you had no use for them.  What gives?  The other thing is why don’t you ever write about old timers?

  28. the thresher 06:26am, 10/19/2012

    Pug. Absolutely not. I suggesting that more comparative research and analysis needs to be done on Collins, Benn, and Eubank .

  29. pugknows 09:24pm, 10/18/2012

    Are you suggesting an anti-Brit/Ireland bias here?

  30. john coiley 11:31am, 10/18/2012

    quite a cast…

  31. Mike Casey 11:05am, 10/18/2012

    Criminal to me that Tony DeMarco and Davey Moore are still waiting. They are several classes above some of the names in that hall.

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