The 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame class has been announced today, with former four-division titleholder Thomas "Hitman" Hearns leading the way.
Hearns (61-5-1, 48 KO) would have been inducted long ago, of course, but his last fight came in 2006 at the age of 47. Also known as "The Motor City Cobra," the 6'1" Hearns had one of the biggest right hands in the history of the sport, and is the main fighter on whom Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward's great reputation was built. Legendary fights with Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler are just highlights of what was a fantastic career, and his induction is a no-brainer.
Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson (44-5, 28 KO) has also been elected. Johnson, who fought 1990-2006, won world titles at flyweight and super flyweight. He won his first world title in 1996, defended it seven times, and immediately moved up a division to win another belt. Late in his career, he gave Rafael Marquez a couple of tough fights, and was the first man to defeat Fernando Montiel.
Freddie Roach is also being inducted as a trainer. He's made his name through Manny Pacquiao, and of course currently trains Amir Khan and many other fights as well. In the past, Roach has trained Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, Israel Vazquez, James Toney, Gerry Penalosa, and many more. He was also a one-off selection of Oscar De La Hoya for Oscar's fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, and took Naazim Richardson's place when Bernard Hopkins fought Joe Calzaghe.
Longtime broadcaster Al Bernstein, who currently works for Showtime and has done hundreds and hundreds of major events over the years, is also being inducted, as is journalist Michael Katz.
Posthumous inductees are Cocoa Kid, Leo Houck, Jake Kilrain and Newsboy Brown in the old-timers category; promoters Hugh D. McIntosh and Rip Valentin; and James Wharton in the pioneer category.