The tallies are in for the latest batch of inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Ex fighters Tim Bradley, the over achiever junior welter rumbler, cocky Brit super middle Carl Froch and Mexican sniper, bantamweight Rafael Marquez are among those chosen to get that Hall call to Canastota.
After a run of high profile pugilists reaching eligibility status, this year saw a more down to earth assemblage of folks able to gain this ultimate honor. So, some lower key contributors to the sport got tapped for inclusion.
Solid as a rock pro’s pro broadcaster Tim Ryan gets a nod, which fans of his professionalism displayed on ABC in the 80s and 90s will support vigorously.
Matchmaker Brad Goodman, the Top Rank mainstay, has a relatively thankless job, making pairings to feed the beast that is the digital age. He will feel that much better while working his arena during 12 hour days/nights that his skill is being acknowledged. Another Top Rank talent who is instrumental in loads of behind the scene successes, executive Brad Jacobs, earned a slot in the Hall, as well.
The Daddy O of Denim, steady handed tutor Joe Goossen will join brother Dan in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, solidifying the Goossen name that much more as bedrocks of the industry.
Unsung pugilists Alicia Ashley and Laura Serrano drew invitations for entry, happily for two practitioners who plied the trade in solid fashion during a quieter era for the ladies side.
Seth Abraham piloted HBO’s golden era in the 90s, so his induction speech will likely be a weekend fave. He will recall working with and jousting with “partners” like Don King, as the pay per view model gained steam when it became apparent that boxing wouldn’t be accepted by advertisers enough to generate enough fuel to satisfy purse demands of Mike Tyson and the like.
“This is one of the greatest days of my life,” said an over the moon Tim Bradley when given the news. “This is a dream come true. This is my heaven, the International Boxing Hall of Fame.”
Goodman reacted with similar emotion: “Oh my God! It’s the greatest news I’ve heard and it means the world to me!”
Same goes for trainer Goossen, who trains pugs and also does on camera analysis: “I’ve got to tell you, I’m absolutely stunned. To think I’ll be in the Hall of Fame with my brother Dan is probably the best thing I’ve heard since he died. When I got into the sport back in 1970, I would have never thought in ten million years that I would really make a mark and eventually end up in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. I’m shocked and honored.”
Abraham showed his acumen is paired with humility. “This is a great honor, but the accolade really belongs to HBO SPORTS,” he said after getting the good word. “I have always believed that HBO's undisputed crown as ‘The Network of Champions' was earned by many. And many are deservedly in the Hall of Fame. Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley, Lou DiBella, George Foreman, Emanuel Steward, Harold Lederman, Roy Jones Jr., Lennox Lewis, Sugar Ray Leonard, Bert Sugar. I hope in the years ahead other deserving HBOers join this esteemed company. For now, I am thrilled to be in this fabled House of ‘The Sweet Science!”
Ryan also noted that his stature grew when working in concert with other stalwarts. “This is a real thrill for me to join Gil Clancy in the International Boxing Hall of Fame,” he said. “And I’m glad that the sport of boxing still has worldwide popularity as it did during my tenure with Gil. All sports change – some for better and some for not – and I think boxing is on the right track by taking care of its athletes with more attention to safety and governance. Everybody that loves it and appreciates the sport is doing their part.”
Tiger Jack Fox, Pone Kingpetch and JoAnn Hagen will enter the Hall posthumously.
All are to be feted June 8-11, 2023, said executive director Ed Brophy. “We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2023 and are very much looking forward to honoring the newest class of inductees to earn boxing’s highest honor.”
For more information on the 2023 International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend call (315) 697-7095 or visit online at ibhof.com.