Professional idiot Donald Trump is the headline-grabber for this year's New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame inductions, with Micky Ward and several other notable boxing names also being elected to the Hall of Fame this year.
Trump, who is pretending to be a candidate for President in 2016, will be inducted for playing a major role in making Atlantic City one of the true hot spots of boxing in the 1980s. In all candor, it's fair enough, as Trump did throw a lot of money around to bring the likes of Mike Tyson into Jersey, truly a duo of high quality human beings.
Trump probably won't actually show up to the ceremony since he'll be too busy talking about keeping the damned illegals out of the country and how he'll force Mexico to build a wall, but this gives the NJBHOF some nonsense press buzz, so yay!
Ward, the subject of the acclaimed 2010 film The Fighter, will turn 50 next month. His celebrated trilogy with Arturo Gatti was the end of his career, retiring in 2003 with a record of 38-13 (27 KO). The vicious body puncher from Lowell, Massachusetts, also trained Gatti for his old rival's final fight in 2007.
Ward didn't actually fight much in New Jersey for the more notable part of his career. His last two fights with Gatti in 2002 and 2003 were the first time he'd fought in the state since 1991, but he did fight in the state 20 times in his "first career," as it were, from 1986-91, going 14-6. He was out of boxing for nearly three years after four straight losses from 1990-91, three of which took place in New Jersey.
Ward never won a world title, and only challenged for one, losing to Vince Phillips in 1997. Like Gatti, though, he was known to be an all-action warrior, a fighter with incredible resolve and toughness. When the two met, it was magic in the form of sheer brutality. Ward actually was half of three straight RING Magazine Fight of the Year Awards, with his bouts against Gatti in 2002 and 2003 adding to the 2001 award he received for his fight with Emanuel Augustus.
Gatti was elected to the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame shortly after his death in 2009, and was also inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013.
Also being inducted are fighters John Brown, Curtis Parker, and Kevin Smith; trainers Bouie Fisher, Harry Wiley, and Bill Johnson; boxing official Valentin Contreras; promoter Andre Kut; judge George Hill; writer Dave Weinberg; HBO Sports executive Mark Taffet; and IBF president Darryl Peoples.