As predicted in my article earlier this year, De La Hoya, Trinidad, and Calzaghe will make up the 2014 IBHOF class. Obviously, if you've read my article, I campaigned for Riddick Bowe to get in over Calzaghe. But I highly doubted that would actually happen and I'm fine with that. 2014 is a stacked class and the modern inductees are all appropriate. Can the same be said for all of other categories? Let's take a look:
Modern Referee - Richard Steele
Chavez-Taylor I aside, this was an obvious choice. Steele refereed his first world title fight in 1976 (Carlos Zarate-Paul Ferreri) and his last one in 2006 (*Floyd Mayweather Jr-Zab Judah). Either way, Steele is arguably the most famous referee of all time, in any sport...
Old-Timer Referee - Eugene Corri
Corri reportedly reffed over 1000 bouts, some of which involved pound-for-pound greats such as Sam Langford, Jimmy Wilde, Mickey Walker, Tommy Burns, Freddie Welsh, Georges Carpentier, Ted "Kid" Lewis, and Packey McFarland, among others.
Promoter - Barry Hearn
Hearn is the founder of Matchroom Sport, which has a relationship with Sky Sports much like Golden Boy does with Showtime today. It was a sure thing he'd eventually be inducted.
Journalist - Graham Houston
I should know more about Houston, but I don't. It might be ironic, but I just don't follow journalists. Anyways I read good things about him and apparently he's been writing about boxing since the 1960s. You can check out his recent work at Boxing Monthly and fightwriter.com.
Photograhper - Neil Leifer
I'll just link to the IBHOF website profile for this one.
George "K.O." Chaney
Chaney was an exciting KO artist, but his accomplishments are a bit thin when he stepped up to the major leagues.
I never really thought of Ledoux to be more than a top European level fighter. Retiring Jim Driscoll (who had recently just come out of retirement) is honestly a highlight on his resume.
This induction I actually expected to happen eventually. O'Dowd was one of the better world middleweight champions throughout history.
Criticisms aside, I'm happy for all of these fighters and their surviving families. I just don't understand how Chaney and Ledoux can be worthy of enshrinement over some other fighters... But I haven't released a piece breaking down the old timer HOFers yet, so I'll leave it at that for now.
Allen goes back before my knowledge of the sport is any better than what most fans know of today's fighters. So just read the IBHOF profile. He probably deserves the nod.
For those interested in attending the induction ceremonies and related festivities, here are the details:
The 25th Annual Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 5-8th 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 8th to welcome the newest members.
*Steele's last world title fight was technically David Diaz-Jose Armando Santa Cruz, but it was just an interim title that most people don't acknowledge anyways...
Random & Unrelated Observations:
-At the Rigondeaux-Agbeko presser today Bob Arum said the Pacquiao-Rios PPV did over 500,000 buys. Despite predicting that the PPV would exceed 1 million buys, Arum suggested it wasn't a disappointment as cheaper site fees compensated for the lack of exposure.
-Roy Jones Jr vs Bobby Gunn, which was previously reported to be happening this month, will not. Gunn will still headline the now Dec. 18th show at the Sands Bethlehem, but the new opponent will likely be Glen Johnson. For Gunn this might mean less money and a harder fight. We'll see...