Boxing Hall of Fame: Mayweather, Klitschko, Ward selected
Unbeaten multi-division champs Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward are the headliners in an incredible 13-person class that was chosen to the International Boxing Hall of Popularity’s Class of 2021 on Tuesday.
Mayweather won world titles in 5 weight classes — extremely featherweight, light-weight, extremely light-weight, welterweight and extremely welterweight — while going 50-0 with 27 knockouts and developing himself as the best fighter of his period.
Ward was 32-0 with 16 knockouts and won titles at extremely middleweight and light heavyweight.
Likewise chosen in the guys’s modern-day classification was previous heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko, who hence joins his older sibling, Vitali, in the Hall of Popularity. Women’s modern-day fighters chosen were Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe. Ali is the child of the famous Hall of Famer Muhammad Ali.
Others chosen were fighters Davey Moore, Jackie Tonawanda and Miriam Trimiar, along with cut male Freddie Brown, trainer/manager Jackie McCoy, reporter George Kimball and Showtime tv executive Jay Larkin.
“It is a great honor for me to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a first-ballot nominee and a member of the 2021 class,” Mayweather stated. “Throughout my career, I gave everything I could to the sport of boxing, and now, to be recognized by one of the most prestigious honors in the sport for that hard work and dedication is very humbling. I am looking forward to attending the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in June and being honored alongside the other members of the class of 2021, too.”
Ward, who is now a tv boxing expert for ESPN, is the last American male to win a gold medal in Olympic boxing. He caught gold at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
He debuted as a professional as a middleweight, however discovered his specific niche when he transferred to extremely middleweight. He won Showtime’s Super 6 competition and after a dominant perform at 168 pounds, he went up and lightened heavyweight champ, also.
He was as complete of a boxer as there was in the game and was known for his thorough preparation.
“I’ve been waiting for this call for most of my life,” Ward said. “It finally came. I’m a first-ballot Hall of Famer. God has been good to me. I can finally rest now. This chapter of my life is complete.”
Klitschko, a 1996 super heavyweight gold medalist at the Atlanta Olympic Games, went 64-5 as a pro with 44 knockouts. He is best known for his streak of 18 consecutive successful title defenses.
He defeated 10 men who at one point in their careers held a version of the heavyweight title.
“Thank you for the great news; it is an honor to be a Hall of Famer,” Klitschko said. “I’m so impressed with the dedication and passion the Village of Canastota has for boxing. All of the champions feel so honored and blessed to be in the Hall of Fame. It’s amazing.”
Ali followed her famous father’s footsteps into boxing and ended up being arguably the greatest female boxer of her time. She was 24-0 with 21 knockouts and headlined the first card featuring women in the main event when she defeated Jacqui Frazier-Lyde in 2001. Frazier-Lyde is the daughter of Joe Frazier, her father’s fiercest rival.
“Being that my father was also inducted many years ago, it makes this honor extra special to me,” Ali stated. “I learned so much inside the ring that I have applied to every area of my life outside of the ring. Boxing will forever be my first love … and knowing that I will be on the Hall of Fame Wall, inspiring others who come behind me for years to come, is a blessing that I will never take for granted.”
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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.