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Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Wladimir Klitschko, George Kimball Make Hall of Fame

Michael Woods

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The call for the Hall came, and it’s an honor that can get at the emotional core of even the most battle hardened, and characters like Floyd Mayweather, who isn’t one to very often show an emotional side to fight fans.

But Floyd insists he’s humbled by the honor, and he will in June, fate and COVID willing, hit Canastota to join fraternity members Wladimir Klitschko and Andre Ward, to soak up the applause and consider what an impact he made, to fans of the savage and sometimes sweet science. It’s not merely fraternity, either; the Hall widened out their program and is now opening their doors to more of the women who have contributed so mightily to the sport all others aspire to.

Here is the release which went out Wednesday, to trumpet the new honorees. NOTE: I called Marge Marash, wife of sports-writer George Kimball and she seemed touched to hear from an old friend of her hubby.

“I truly believe George deserves it,” Marge told me.

WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO, FLOYD MAYWEATHER, ANDRE WARD, LAILA ALI, ANN WOLFE, MARIAN TRIMIAR & DR. MARGARET GOODMAN ELECTED TO INT’L BOXING HALL OF FAME

Posthumous inductees to also enter Hall include Davey Moore, Freddie Brown, Jackie McCoy, George Kimball, Jay Larkin & Jackie Tonawanda

CANASTOTA, NY – DECEMBER 15, 2020 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced today the members of the Class of 2021. Living inductees include champions Wladimir  Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward in the men’s Modern category; Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe in the women’s Modern category; Marian Trimiar in the women’s Trailblazer category and Dr. Margaret Goodman in the Non-Participant category.

Posthumous inductees are: featherweight champion “The Springfield Rifle” Davey Moore in the Old Timer category; Jackie Tonawanda in the women’s Trailblazer category; cut man Freddie Brown and manager / trainer Jackie McCoy in the Non-Participant category; journalist George Kimball and television executive Jay Larkin in the Observer category.

Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. Biographies on the Class of 2021 can be found on www.ibhof.com

“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2021 and are very much looking forward to honoring the newest class of inductees to earn boxing’s highest honor,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy.

The Hall made changes which affected the makeup of this class.

As previously announced, the Class of 2020 – Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Christy Martin, Lucia Rijker, Barbara Buttrick, Frank Erne, Paddy Ryan, Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva, Dan Goossen, Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser – will be honored with the Class of 2021 following the postponement of the 2020 Induction Weekend.

The 2021 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend is scheduled for June 10-13 in Canastota, NY. Many events in “Boxing’s Hometown” of Canastota throughout the four-day celebration, including a 5K Race / Fun Run, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, VIP Cocktail Reception, Parade of Champions and the Official Induction Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds, are scheduled. The Hall of Fame Weekend evening events include Friday night’s Fight Night at Turning Stone and Saturday’s Banquet of Champions. Both events will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in nearby Verona, NY.

For more information on events planned for the 2021 Induction Weekend please call (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram.

COMMENTS UPON RECEIVING INDUCTION NEWS

“Thank you for the great news. It is an honor to be a Hall of Famer. 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.” — Wladimir Klitschko

“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. 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.”  — Floyd Mayweather

“I’ve been waiting for this call for most of my life. 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.” —Andre Ward

“It truly is an honor to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, CANASTOTA, Class of 2021. Being that my father was also inducted many years ago, makes this honor extra special to me. 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.” —Laila Ali

“I got goosebumps. I don’t think a lot of people understand what I did. I came off the streets, trained with the best and boxing saved my life. This makes all the work I did worth it. This means completion. I completed what I set out to do in life and in boxing. In boxing a lot of people have to live life first. I lived boxing first and boxing helped me through life. I would not be where I am in life if it wasn’t for boxing and this just puts the icing on the cake.”

–Ann Wolfe

“Wow! This is really an honor. I appreciate the recognition very much. This is exciting news.”

–Marian Trimiar

“This means everything. I can’t tell you how much I love boxing. I’ve always loved boxing and I love the fighters and it’s all about the fighters. The fact that I’m recognized in this way means so much because it means alot for the healthcare of the fighters, the safety of the sport and promoting improvements to the sport to make it better for everyone involved. It’s the best honor I could even imagine.”

–Dr. Margaret Goodman

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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