BOXERS THOMAS HEARNS AND MARK JOHNSON
ELECTED TO INT’L BOXING HALL OF FAME
Michael Buffer, Freddie Roach, Al Bernstein and Michael Katz
also enter Hall of Fame
CANASTOTA, NY – DECEMBER 6, 2011 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced today the newest class of inductees to enter the Hall. Living inductees include multi-division champion Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, two-division champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” ring announcer Michael Buffer, trainer Freddie Roach, broadcaster Al Bernstein and journalist Michael Katz.
“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2012 and very much looking forward to honoring the 23rd class of inductees,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy.
The 23rd Annual Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 7-10th in Canastota, NY. Over 20 events, including a golf tournament, banquet, parade and autograph card show, are planned. An impressive celebrity lineup of boxing greats of yesterday and today will attend this year’s Induction Weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be the Official Enshrinement Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds in Canastota, New York on Sunday, June 10th to welcome the newest members.
The Hall of Fame also released names of posthumous honorees: Cocoa Kid in the Modern Category; Newsboy Brown, Leo Houck and Jake Kilrain in the Old-Timer Category; promoters Hugh D. McIntosh and Rip Valenti in the Non Participant Category; and James Wharton (Young Molineaux) in the Pioneer Category. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.
For more information on the events planned for the 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.ibhof.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.
COMMENTS UPON RECEIVING INDUCTION NEWS
“To me this is an amazing accomplishment. It makes me so happy to know that I made it after all these years and so many fights. I’m thrilled! Muhammad Ali is my idol. He’s the man that got me into the boxing business. It’s great that I will be on the Hall of Fame Wall with him.”
– Thomas Hearns
“This is wonderful! This is an awesome moment for me. The Hall of Fame is the biggest award that an athlete can receive. I strived my whole career to be in the Hall. I can’t say enough. This is a dream come true, just wonderful.”
– Mark Johnson
“Oh my God. I’m so overwhelmed. I can barely speak. I’m instantly overwhelmed. When I think of all the great inductees, from legends from 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 career in boxing.”
– Michael Buffer
“I appreciate this very much. This the best day of my life! It’s a great honor to join trainers like Ray Arcel, Eddie Futch and Angelo Dundee in the Hall of Fame.”
– Freddie Roach
“I appreciate this very much. I’m actually kind of dumbstruck. Wow! I’m overwhelmed, really. (Hall of Fame broadcaster) 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. I’m very active in the sport of boxing and I have lots of things I’m looking forward to in the future and this is great because it validates the past, it validates being involved in the sport. I couldn’t be more excited. One of the unique qualities of the Boxing Hall of Fame is the fact that it places an importance on those of us who aren’t boxers but hopefully have added something to the sport.”
– Al Bernstein
“I’m very, very excited! I’m more than honored. I’m shocked to be listed with guys like Jimmy Cannon, Dan Parker, Dave Anderson and one of my all-time idols Barney Nagler. This is incredible and one of the greatest all-time honors that I could ever imagine.”
– Michael Katz