Class of 2018 Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame

Henry Armstrong, Alexis Arguello and Aaron Pryor also to be inducted on Aug. 18 at Caesars Palace

LAS VEGAS (Feb. 15, 2018) – Laila Ali will become the first child of a Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame inductee to be enshrined when she is inducted into the NVBHOF on Saturday, Aug. 18 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Ali, the daughter of legendary former heavyweight champion & Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame 2015 Inductee, Muhammad Ali, headlines an elite 14-member class.

“I am so excited about our latest class, because not only do we get to honor some of the greatest boxers ever, but also because of the historic connection between Muhammad Ali and his daughter, Laila,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, the CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. “Just like her father, who was known as ‘The Greatest,’ Laila was believed by many to be the best female boxer during her career.

“It’s also exciting for us to induct Sen. Harry Reid. Sen. Reid was a boxer himself and loved the sport. He used his influence over the years to help boxing and boxers in his beloved State of Nevada. We can't wait for our fans to be able to see these great people receive recognition for their amazing careers.”

Of the 14-member class, nine are being elected as boxers and five as non-boxing participants. The living inductees are Laila Ali, Chris Byrd, Todd duBoef, Kevin Kelley, Don Minor, Shane Mosley, Sen. Harry Reid, Jerry Roth and Earnie Shavers.

Alexis Arguello, Henry Armstrong, Jack “Doc” Kearns, Bill Miller and Aaron Pryor will be inducted posthumously.

Tickets for the gala induction ceremony begin at $95 and are available at NVBHOF.com. Tickets go on-sale at 3PM today, February 15, 2018.  You can also support NVBHOF and our Induction Class by Purchasing one of our Legend Line T-shirts and our Champions Wines.  Both available at NVBHOF.com

 

Here are brief career highlights of the 14 members of the Class of 2018:

LAILA ALI – Born Dec. 30, 1977 … Was 24-0 with 21 knockouts in career that went from 1999 to 2007. … Her father, Muhammad Ali, is one of the greatest boxers who ever lived and is a member of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015. … At various points in her career, Ali held the IBA, WIBA, IWBF and WBC super-middleweight title as well as the IWBF light heavyweight championship. ... She became the first woman, along with Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, to headline a boxing pay-per-view when they met in Verona, N.Y., on June 8, 2001. … She fought twice in Nevada, both times in Las Vegas. She stopped Suzy Taylor in the second round on Aug. 17, 2002, and stopped Valerie Mahfood in the eighth on Nov. 8, 2002. … Her husband, Curtis Conway, had an 11-year NFL career with four teams.

 

ALEXIS ARGUELLO – Born April 19, 1952. Died July 1, 2009. … Arguello was 82-8 with 65 KOs. … Held world championship at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight. … Lost two bids for a super lightweight title to Aaron Pryor, both of which are among the greatest bouts of the 20th century. … He was named the No. 1 super featherweight of the 20th century by The Associated Press. … Was 20th in a Ring Magazine story on the 100 greatest punchers of all-time. … Made his debut in 1968 and retired for good in 1995. … Arguello was 6-2 in fights in Nevada. … Scored notable wins over Ruben Olivares, Bobby Chacon, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Jose Luis Ramirez, Jim Watt and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.

 

HENRY ARMSTRONG – Was born Henry Jackson Jr. on Dec. 12, 1912. Died on Oct. 24, 1988. …. Held the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight belts simultaneously in 1937 and 1938. … Compiled a record of 151-21-9 with 101 KOs. Widely regarded among the top five boxers who ever lived. … Was nick named “Hammerin’ Hank’ and ‘Homicide Hank.’ … Was 27-0 with 26 KOs in 1937 alone. … The following year, he was 14-0 with 10 KOs.

 

CHRIS BYRD – Born Aug. 15, 1970 … Was 41-5-1 with 22 KOs as a pro and won a version of the heavyweight title on two occasions. … Lost in the 1988 Olympic Trials at light welterweight to Todd Foster, but made the 1992 U.S. Olympic team. He won a silver medal as a middleweight in Barcelona. … Despite being a smaller heavyweight, fought most of the big names of his era, including Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Evander Holyfield, Ike Ibeabuchi, David Tua, Alexander Povetkin, Fres Oquendo and Jameel McCline. … Posted a 5-2-1 record in world title bouts … Attended Flint, Mich., Northwestern High School, which also produced two-time boxing gold medalist Claressa Shields. … Was 1-1 in fights in Nevada … Retired in 2010 and has become a trainer.

 

TODD duBOEF – Born Aug. 18, 1967 … duBoef is the president of Top Rank, a position he has held since 2005. Joined Top Rank in 1993. … Though Top Rank founder Bob Arum, a member of the inaugural Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2013, remains the public face of the promotion, duBoef runs the company on a day-to-day basis and has played a key role in bringing the company into the digital age. … Considers himself a boxing evangelist and points to large crowds and high television ratings for fights around the world as reasons for optimism. … Shepherded a multi-year deal with ESPN to not only get Top Rank regular shows on the powerful all-sports network, but also pre- and post-fight shows as well as regular coverage during the week on the network.

 

JACK “DOC” KEARNS – Born Aug. 17, 1882. Died July 7, 1963. … Kearns is best known as the long-time manager of heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey. With Dempsey, helped generate the first million-dollar gate in boxing history, when Dempsey fought Georges Carpentier on July 2, 1921. Kearns arranged for Dempsey to fight in Nevada numerous times. … … He is given credit for staging the first fight in Las Vegas, a card that had a main event between Archie Moore and Nino Valdes. … After Dempsey, Kearns managed other greats such as Moore, Mickey Walker and Joey Maxim.

 

KEVIN KELLEY – Born June 29, 1967 … Nicknamed “The Flushing Flash,” Kelley finished his career with a 60-10-2 mark with 39 KOs. … Defeated Goyo Vargas in Reno on Dec. 4, 1993, to win the WBC featherweight title. … Known for his fast hands and explosive power, Kelley faced most of the top starts of his day. His most memorable bout was a Dec. 19, 1997, loss to Prince Naseem Hamed. Kelley and Hamed were down three times apiece before Hamed finished the fight late in the fourth. … Also fought Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Manuel Medina, Humberto Soto, Derrick Gainer, Luisito Espinoza, Bones Adams and Troy Dorsey. … Has done working as an expert analyst on television since retiring.

 

BILL MILLER – Miller was one of the top promoters in Las Vegas in the 1960s and 1970s. … He promoted a fight involving the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson at The Hacienda on The Strip on July 12, 1965, a bout Robinson lost to Ferd Hernandez. … Miller also promoted shows at The Castaways, but is best known for his weekly shows at The Silver Slipper. The fights began in 1968 and were held every Wednesday night. The series continued into the late 1970s. … Miller was known for promoting evenly matched fights which generated plenty of toe-to-toe slugfests. … He promoted numerous fights involving fellow 2018 Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Don Minor.

 

DON MINOR – Boxing came of age in Las Vegas in the 1960s and Minor was among the more popular fighters on the local circuit of the era. … He was 19-2 with nine knockouts in a brief pro career that began in 1961 and ended in 1965 after a hand injury. … Minor fought of all his fights in Nevada, with 18 in Las Vegas and three in Reno. … His biggest win was a victory over previously unbeaten Ernie Lopez for the North American welterweight title in 1964.

 

SHANE MOSLEY – Born Sept. 7, 1971. … Compiled a 49-10-1 record with 41 knockouts. … Scored a pair of victories over long-time rival Oscar De La Hoya. … Held world titles at lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight. … Was a fan favorite because of his power and his fast hands. … Scored notable victories over De La Hoya twice, as well as Fernando Vargas twice, Luis Collazo, Ricardo Mayorga twice, Antonio Margarito and Phillip Holiday. … Suffered losses to Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Winky Wright, Vernon Forrest, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez. … He was 15-7 with 12 KOs in world championship fights.

 

AARON PRYOR – Born Oct. 20, 1955 and died Oct. 9, 2016., Pryor was 204-16 as an amateur but lost a spot on the fabled 1976 U.S. Olympic boxing team when he was outpointed in the box-offs by Howard Davis Jr. … A powerful puncher with a great chin, Pryor was 39-1 with 35 KOs. His only career loss was by stoppage in 1987 to Bobby Joe Young. Only four of the 40 pro fights he was involved in went to the cards. … He is best known for his pair of victories over Alexis Arguello in 1982 and 1983. He stopped Arguello in the 14th round in Miami on Nov. 12, 1982 and then knocked out Arguello in the 10th in a heavily hyped rematch in the outdoor arena at Caesars Palace. … Won the WBA super lightweight title on Aug. 2, 1980, knocking out Antonio Cervantes in four. Pryor made eight defenses of it. He won the IBF super lightweight title by decisioning Nick Furlano on June 22, 1984 and made one defense.

 

SEN. HARRY REID – Born Dec. 2, 1939 in Searchlight, NV … Reid is best known as a politician, and served Nevada as a U.S. Senator for 30 years. He was the Senate Majority Leader for eight years. Reid also served in the House of Representatives and was Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. … Reid loved boxing and boxed as an amateur while at Basic High School in Henderson. One of his teachers there, Mike O’Callaghan, served as his boxing coach. O’Callaghan later became Nevada governor with Reid as his lieutenant governor. … Reid played a key behind-the-scenes role in helping boxing promoters and regulars with fights in Nevada. … He was frequently seen at major fights in the state.

 

JERRY ROTH – Born May 12, 1941 … Roth was one of boxing’s best judges in a 35-year career that began in 1990. … Among the major fights he judged were the heavyweight title fight between Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney; Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad; Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.-Meldrick Taylor I; all three Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe heavyweight title fights; Roy Jones-James Toney and Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales III. … Was regarded as one of the small handful of the best judges in the world for more than 20 years.

 

EARNIE SHAVERS – Born Aug. 31, 1945 … Shavers was one of the most feared punchers in the heavyweight division and was renowned to be the hardest puncher in boxing during his career, which went from 1969 until 1995. … Shavers was 74-14-1 with 68 KOs. … Fought for the heavyweight title twice. Was outpointed by Muhammad Ali on Sept. 29, 1977 at Madison Square Garden. In 1979, he knocked Larry Holmes down in the seventh round of their title fight at Caesars Palace, but Holmes got up to stop Shavers in the 11th. … Ali nicknamed Shavers “The Acorn.” … His most notable win was a first-round KO of Ken Norton at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1979. … He also knocked out ex-champion Jimmy Ellis in 1973, also in one. … He scored 23 first-round knockouts in his career and ended 50 bouts in the first three.

 

A Stellar Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Awards

 

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (August 12, 2017) -- The stars were aligned at the 2017 Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) Official Induction Ceremony that took place this month at Caesars in Las Vegas.

The weekend of August 11 and 12 featured a constant cavalcade of boxing superstars who all collided at this historic event presented by the NVBHOF President/CEO Michelle Corrales-Lewis and former President and Founder Rich Marotta.

There was something for everyone from a knockout Meet & Greet event to the first-ever NVBHOF WBC Amateur Boxing show to Saturday night’s eye-catching gala in the famed Caesars Palace Ballroom. Boxing fans got to take photos and get autographs from their favorite ring heroes, take pics with the late Diego Corrales’ WBC championship belt in in the X Factor Photo Booth, shop at a KO row of vendors all catering to the needs of the most ardent fight fan, and also watch prizefighters/champs Lucia Rijker, Ana Julaton, Elena Reid and Laura Serrano get together for an all-female mitt session.

There was so much pizazz packed into two days of celebrations showcasing all the hard work the NVBHOF crew put into planning this year’s epic affair. This was their fifth annual event and the organization continues to grow in leaps and bounds each and every year.

The nonprofit NVBHOF honored a hard-hitting group of honorees including the 2017 Inductees included Non-Nevada Resident Boxers: Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Michael Spinks, Salvador Sanchez, Michael Carbajal, Lucia Rijker; Nevada Resident Boxers: Leon Spinks, Richie Sandoval, Ken Norton; Non-Boxer Category: Rafael Garcia, Debbie Munch, Mel Greb, Dr. Elias Ghanem, and Davey Pearl. Special awards will also be presented to current fighters Shawn Porter, Layla McCarter, Yarisel Ramirez, Emiliano Fernando Vargas, Kevin Newman and Latondria Jones, the WBC’s Jill Diamond and boxing veteran Jimmy Montoya.

Special awards were presented at a VIP party on Friday night with the induction ceremony taking place on Saturday evening. Emcees for the gatherings were Al Bernstein, Crystina Poncher, James “Smitty” Smith, Amber Dixon and Lisa King. Saturday’s soirée showcased a Gifting Suite for the VIP guests, inductees and luminaries, a splashy walkout with Caesars famed cast of characters, a fundraising auction with once-in-a-lifetime items, a live singing performance by boxing officials Kenny Bayless, Kermit Bayless, Bobby Hoyle and Russ Mora and a National Anthem performance by teen sensation Bridget Gonzalez.

There were highlights aplenty. The fans and champs mentioned how impressed they were with all the details the NVBHOF team provided to ensure an instant classic, an event to remember.

The VIP Lounge (helmed by Melissa Agyepong and bDashed) was beautifully decorated (with cool neon signs and paintings by Mohammad Mubarak) and had plush seating which made for a very nice place for the superstars to relax before heading out to join the hundreds of attendees inside the banquet. There was a huge line of media capturing all the red carpet arrivals and the flashes strobed all night long.

And the ceremony itself was a nonstop flow of vintage film clips, heartfelt speeches, funny anecdotes and more. The spectators were blown away be seeing former ring rivals embrace, furthering to cement their bond–onstage and in the limelight. Seeing Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns continue their current day “bromance” was fantastic to see; and this year’s awards shined extra bright with Mexican warriors Erik “El Terrible” Morrales and ex-foe Marco Antonio Barrera crack jokes between them and hug it out on stage. These men provided fireworks in the ring and made history together while enemies inside the ropes. At this month’s NVBHOF outing, these gladiators showed class and the utmost respect for each other. Bloodshed and bruised egos were a thing of the past; love and respect between these ring kings ruled the night at the 2017 NVBHOF.

And the ticket holders in the ballroom all knew they were watching historic moments taking place.

The inductees received their well-deserved swag on stage too. The awardees were presented with mini World Boxing Council (WBC) belts, mini boxing rings by Rick Nieto, NVBHOF diamond rings and bronze statues by trainer/sculptor Steve Harpst.

This 5th annual awards dinner was one to remember. This year’s centerpieces were mini heavybags (that actually moved) with the 2017 fighter inductees’ faces seen on the bag (crafted by Hovo at Nazo Boxing) along with the special desserts that the NVBHOF have become known for. The 2017 masterpiece was a highly-detailed concoction made of an all-edible recreation of the NVBHOF bronze statue complete with a gold boxing glove on top of the gourmet treat!

The NVBHOF once again provided an A+ celebration culminating in their August 12 awards bash.

Many of the new inductees raved about the hospitality and generosity of the NVBHOF (the Board of Directors, sponsors, vendors and volunteers) and how much it meant for them to be part of this impressive weekend with the champions. Champ Lucia Rijker and pro basketball player Chatilla van Grinsven mentioned to me what a great time was had at all of the Vegas festivities. They thanked Michelle Corrales-Lewis (who was married to the late Diego “Chico” Corrales) and Rich Marotta for all the happenings the inductees got to experience.

Besides the 2017 inductees, the get-togethers were a smashing success with so many famous faces in attendance it would be impossible for me to name them all. From rapper Flavor Flav (“Yeah Boy!”) to Rasheda Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali) to boxing siblings Leon Spinks and Mike “Jinx” Spinks being inducted at the same time, there were so many celebrity sightings throughout the weekend.

Check out some of my exclusive snapshots from the glittering gala including pics of Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Badou Jack, Fernando Vargas, Lucia Rijker, Shawn Porter, Joel Casamayor, Richie Sandoval, Kevin Kelley, Stevie Forbes, Caleb Plant, World Boxing Council (WBC) President Mauricio Sulaiman, Jordan Hardy, Jimmy Montoya, Richard Steele, James Wimberly, Rasheda Ali, Grant Elvis Phillips and son (Grant Gloves), and more.

Congratulations to all!

AL BERNSTEIN AND CRYSTINA PONCHER TO HOST NEVADA BOXING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION DINNER.

 Famed Sportscasters to Officiate

Nevada Boxing Spectacular

Saturday, August 12, at Caesars Palace

 

            LAS VEGAS, NEV. (July 17, 2017) -- Two of boxing's most gifted voices, legendary Al Bernstein and rising star Crystina Poncher will serve as co-Masters of Ceremonies for the fifth annual Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame induction Dinner and Ceremony, Saturday, August 12.   The Induction gala will be held for the third straight year at Caesars Palace, the Legendary Home of Champions.

            This will mark the second time around as co-MC's for both Bernstein and Poncher. Bernstein took his spot alongside famed actress Rosie Perez at the 2015 Dinner, while Poncher shined in her role next to ESPN commentator Bernardo Osuna at last year's spectacular.

            The Class of 2017 will include Thomas Hearns, who was chosen in the non-Nevada resident boxer category, along with Michael Spinks, Erik Morales, Michael Carbajal, women’s boxing star Lucia Rijker and Salvador Sanchez. Elected in the Nevada resident boxer category was Ken Norton, Leon Spinks andRichie Sandoval.

            Chosen in the non-boxer category were referee Davey Pearl, public relations specialist Debbie Munch, promoter Mel Greb, trainer/cut man Rafael Garcia and Nevada Athletic Commission chair Dr. Elias Ghanem.

            Norton, Sanchez, Greb and Ghanem will be inducted posthumously.

            Bernstein, in his 37th year of television work, is perhaps the most recognizable and respected commentator in boxing.  He has called many of the most famous fights in boxing history, working first for ESPN and then with Showtime. He has also authored two boxing books, and appeared in several movies and TV shows.  Bernstein has been honored with induction into both the International and Nevada Boxing Halls of Fame.

            Poncher has rapidly been carving out her own niche in the sportscasting world.  In recent years, her ascent up the TV ladder has included stints with NFL Network, FOX Sports West, Prime Ticket and TruTV.  It is her role with Top Rank however, for which she is best known.  She provides commentary on international telecasts, and hosts live streams of press conferences, weigh-ins and undercards as well as Top Rank's new critically-acclaimed digital series Camp Life.

            Fourteen members of the boxing fraternity will be inducted into the NVBHOF on August 12.  The Ceremony/Dinner will culminate a fabulous weekend of activities for the boxing community. On Friday August 11, the NVBHOF will host a Meet and Greet for fans with champions and boxing celebrities, followed at night by the Inductee Party and Annual Awards Presentations.  On Saturday morning, August 12, NVBHOF will present an amateur boxing program -- "The WBC Green Belt challenge" --  and then the Induction Gala that night.  All of the events will take place at Caesars Palace.

            Remaining tickets for all events of the two-day NVBHOF induction weekend, August 11-12, including the gala dinner on Aug. 12, may be purchased at nvbhof.com.  They can be purchased separately or as part of a Super VIP ticket, which gains access to all weekend events.   

            The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame was founded in 2012 by sportscaster Rich Marotta.  It is an IRS 501-c-3 charitable organization with proceeds going to boxing-related causes.  Ticket purchases, raffle and silent auction purchases are tax-deductible.

 

LEONARD - HEARNS III LEGENDARY WELTERWEIGHT RIVALS IN NEVADA BOXING HALL OF FAME. SUGAR RAY LEONARD WILL INDUCT THOMAS HEARNS IN FIFTH CLASS GALA SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, AT CAESARS PALACE

LAS VEGAS (June 23, 2017) – Nearly 36 years ago, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard came together at Caesars Palace for one of the most memorable nights in boxing history. On Sept. 16, 1981, in a WBA-WBC welterweight title unification bout, Leonard stopped Hearns in the 14th round of an incredible bout filled with pulsating action.

On Saturday, August 12, the rivals will come together once again when Leonard presents Hearns for induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame at its fifth annual gala at Caesars Palace.

“We’re very excited about adding Thomas Hearns to our Hall of Fame and who better to induct him than Sugar Ray Leonard?” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, the Hall of Fame’s President and CEO. “We’ve had a tradition of having legends come together at our previous events and this made so much sense. They’re among the most popular fighters in the modern era of the sport and fans are going to love the chance to see them in person.”

Known both as “The Hitman” and the “Motor City Cobra,” Hearns had a 61-5-1 record with 48 knockouts, and won recognized world titles at welterweight, super welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.

His 1982 bout with Leonard was one of his most memorable. Hearns used a stiff jab to keep Leonard at bay and build a solid lead on the scorecards. Dramatically, Leonard hurt Hearns near the end of the 13th round and finished him in the 14th.

“So many boxing fans love that fight so much and it’s appropriate to have them together at Caesars one more time,” Corrales-Lewis said.

Hearns headlines another stellar class for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. He’ll be joined in the non-Nevada boxer category by Salvador SanchezMichael SpinksMichael Carbajal and Lucia Rijker. Chosen in the Nevada resident boxing category was Leon SpinksKen Norton and Richie Sandoval.

Non-participants who will be inducted are referee Davey Pearl; public relations expertDebbie Munch; promoter Mel Greb; trainer/cut man Rafael Garcia and ex-Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Dr. Elias Ghanem.

Norton, Pearl, Sanchez, Greb and Ghanem will be inducted posthumously.

 

MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA TO INDUCT ERIK MORALES IN FIFTH ANNUAL GALA SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, AT CAESARS PALACE

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (June 15, 2017) -- In a scenario that would've seemed virtually unthinkable during their careers, Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee Erik Morales will be presented by 2015 Inductee Marco Antonio Barrera. The two great Mexican champions were among the most bitter rivals in boxing history, and their spectacular trilogy ranks with the sport's greatest.

 Morales and Barrera fought all three of their bouts in Las Vegas.  The first was at Mandalay Bay in 2000 with the subsequent two rematches at MGM Grand in 2002 and 2004. Their intense dislike for each other was expressed frequently in press conferences and personal appearances and spilled into the ring during their fights. All three decisions were close and disputed, Morales won the first by split-decision, Barrera the second and third by unanimous and majority decisions.  The first and third bouts were each named The Ring magazine "Fights of the Year."  The rubber match was also accorded the same honor by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

While it seemed inconceivable that there would ever be peace between the two, time eased many of the wounds, aided by their working together on television in Mexico.  Now the two will be back together again In Las Vegas for what will surely be one of the highlights of the fifth annual summer spectacular, and a sure-fire photo opportunity. 

Morales expressed excitement to be Inducted in the NVBHOF, adding he is very happy that Barrera will present him.

"I am very happy that I was taken into consideration to participate in Erik Morales’ induction because he was my strongest rival.  This tremendous rivalry made us give everything that we had and we were able to give boxing fans three memorable fights. For me it is an honor. I will attend this great event to be part of it," said Barrera.

Morales was 52-9 as a pro and won World Championships in four weight divisions. "El Terrible" will be one of two Mexican greats inducted this year, joining the late great Salvador Sánchez in an amazing 14-person class.

Previously, the NVBHOF also inducted Mexican champions Julio César Chávez, Barrera, and Ricardo López.

"Having Marco Antonio induct Erik is in the best tradition of the NVBHOF," said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, CEO and President of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.  "Among our greatest moments have been the ceremonies where we brought past rivals together for the inductions. We have had Mike Tyson induct Evander Holyfield and Sugar Ray Leonard present Roberto Duran.  There may however have been no more heated rivalry than Morales and Barrera, so this will be something really special."

Additional stellar inductees in the NVBHOF's Class of '17 will include Thomas Hearns, who was chosen in the non-Nevada resident boxer category, along with Michael Spinks, Michael Carbajal, and women’s boxing star Lucia Rijker.  Elected in the Nevada resident boxer category was Ken Norton, Leon Spinks and Richie Sandoval.

THOMAS HEARNS HEADLINES STAR-LADEN CLASS OF INDUCTEES INTO NVBHOF

LAS VEGAS – Former world champion Thomas Hearns, who along with Sugar Ray Leonard,Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran dominated boxing in the 1980s and became known collectively as “The Four Kings,” headlines a 14-person class of inductees into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Hall CEO/president Michelle Corrales-Lewis announced Wednesday.

Hearns was chosen in the non-Nevada resident boxer category, along with Michael Spinks, ErikMorales, Michael Carbajal, women’s boxing star Lucia Rijker and Salvador Sanchez. Elected in the Nevada resident boxer category was Ken Norton, Leon Spinks and Richie Sandoval.

Chosen in the non-boxer category were referee Davey Pearl, public relations specialist DebbieMunch, promoter Mel Greb, trainer/cut man Rafael Garcia and Nevada Athletic Commission chair Dr. Elias Ghanem.

Norton, Sanchez, Greb and Ghanem will be inducted posthumously.

 The members of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame’s star-studded fifth-induction class will be honored at a gala dinner at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 12. Ticket will be released Thursday, February 16th at 12pm on NVBHOF.com .

“We are very proud of this class of inductees, and it contains some of the greatest fighters who ever lived,” Corrales-Lewis said. “I’m looking forward to our gala dinner when we can honor these richly deserving people and allow their fans to say hello.”

Hearns was one of the standouts during the 1980s and participated in a series of great bouts in Las Vegas with Leonard, Hagler and Duran. His 1985 bout with Hagler at Caesars Palace is still
regarded by many as the greatest fight in boxing history.

The Spinks brothers, Michael and Leon, become the first set of brothers inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Both won gold medals for the U.S. at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and then went on to win world titles in the pros. Norton, known primarily for a series of close bouts with the legendary Muhammad Ali, also competed in one of the great heavyweight title bouts ever. He lost the WBC title by a razor-thin decision to Larry Holmes in 1978, among the finest heavyweight championship fights ever held.

Pearl was among the best referees of all-time and worked more than 70 championship bouts. He was the referee for both Leon Spinks’ shocking 1978 upset of Ali as well as for Leonard’s dramatic 14th-round knockout of Hearns in 1981.

The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame is an IRS 501 (c)3 charity and all donations are tax deductible. The Hall’s charitable contributions over the five years since its formation have helped boxers in need and boxing-related charities. Donations are welcome. The Hall was founded in 2013 by noted boxing broadcaster Rich Marotta.

For more information, phone 702-3NVBHOF, or 702-368-2463.

BIOGRAPHIES OF THE NEW HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Michael Carbajal – Best known as the first junior flyweight to earn a $1 million purse, Carbajal won world titles at junior flyweight and flyweight. Known as “Little Hands of Stone” for his punching power, Carbajal was 49-4 with 33 KOs.

His rivalry with Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez was one of the best of the early 1990s and their 1993 fight was The Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. In 2004, The Ring named Carbajal as the best junior flyweight in history. He was 98-10 as an amateur and won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Thomas Hearns – Hearns, 58, won recognized world titles at welterweight, super welterweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight during a career in which he went 61-5-1 with 48 KOs.

He’s most remembered for his savage three-round battle with Hagler in 1985, but he participated in many of the decade’s biggest and most electric bouts. He fought in Las Vegas 16 times, going 11-4-1 with nine knockouts.

Erik Morales – One of the most exciting fighters of the early part of the 2000s, Morales is best known for his series of outstanding fights with arch rival Marco Antonio Barrera. Morales went 52-9 with 36 knockouts but is best known for his trilogy with Barrera, two of which were named Ring Fight of the year.

Morales won major world titles at super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight and super lightweight, becoming the first Mexican born fighter to win titles in four weight classes.

He also engaged in a spectacular trilogy with Manny Pacquiao, beating him in the first and dropping the last two.

Ken Norton – Though he was the heavyweight champion before losing his belt to Larry Holmes in one of the great title bouts ever, Norton was best known for his three fights with the legendary Muhammad Ali. Norton defeated Ali in 1973 in San Diego in their first bout, breaking Ali’s jaw.

Ali won the two subsequent bouts, including a 1976 match at Yankee Stadium for the title. Some observers believe Norton deserved to win all three fights.

The Holmes fight was sensational and the two men stood in the center of the ring at Caesars and slugged it out in the 15th and final round.

Lucia Rijker – Rijker is regarded as one of, if not the best, women boxers in history. She was 17-0 with 14 knockouts in boxing and was 37-0-1 with 25 knockouts as a kick boxer.

In her boxing career, she scored dominant wins over the likes of Jane Couch, Marcela Acuna and Chevelle Hallback.

She later appeared in the Oscar-winning film, “Million Dollar Baby.”

Salvador Sanchez – Sanchez tragically died in an auto accident in Mexico at just 23 years old, robbing the world of one of the elite fighters in history well before his time. Sanchez was 44-1-1 with 32 knockouts and was the lineal featherweight champion from 1980 until his death in 1982.

He won the title by knocking out Danny “Little Red” Lopez, but is best known for a dominating eighth-round stoppage of Wilfredo Gomez. Gomez was 33-0 with 32 knockouts but was no match for Sanchez.

Richie Sandoval – Sandoval held the bantamweight title for two years, but his career, as great as it was, is a question of what might have been. He was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic boxing team, but he lost his chance at a medal when President Carter decided to boycott the Games in Moscow.

Sandoval won the first 29 fights of his pro career, racking up 17 knockouts, and beat the great Jeff Chandler for the bantamweight belt. But tragically,

Sandoval suffered serious boxing related injuries in a 1986 bout with Gaby Canizales and was forced to retire.

Leon Spinks – Spinks is most known for upsetting Muhammad Ali in 1978 in just his eighth pro fight to win the heavyweight championship. He lost the title in a rematch and failed in two other attempts to win a title. He was stopped by Larry Holmes in a heavyweight title fight in 1981 and lost a cruiserweight title challenge in Reno to Dwight Muhammad Qawi in 1986.

A colorful figure known as “Neon” Leon, he was an acclaimed amateur who was 178-7 with 133 KOs and the light heavyweight gold at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

He finished his professional career with a 26-17-3 mark and 14 KOs.

Michael Spinks – Spinks was 31-1 in his career and won both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. He moved up from light heavyweight to defeat Larry Holmes at the Riviera in 1985, denying Holmes the opportunity to go 49-0 and match Rocky Marciano’s record.

He won the light heavyweight title in his 17th pro fight in 1981 at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas when he bested the much more experienced Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. Spinks held the light heavyweight title for four years, before giving it up to move to heavyweight to fight Holmes.

A 1976 Olympic gold medalist, Spinks’ only pro loss came in his final fight when he was knocked out by Mike Tyson in a bout for the undisputed heavyweight title.

NON-BOXER INDUCTEE BIOGRAPHIES

Rafael Garcia – Garcia, 87, is best known for his cap he wears festooned with pins and for working as Floyd Mayweather’s hand wrapper. But he had a long career as both a cut man and a trainer and was outstanding at both. He worked with elite fighters such as Mayweather, Roberto Duran, Alexis Arguello and Wilfredo Gomez.

Dr. Elias Ghanem – Ghanem as the long-time chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission, and was responsible for helping it to earn the moniker, “The greatest commission in the world.”

Ghanem, a physician whose patients once included Elvis Presley, played a key role in the hearings after Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield, and also was instrumental in bringing the Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad bout to Las Vegas in 1999.

Mel Greb – Known as “The father of professional boxing in Southern Nevada,” Greb was a promoter and matchmaker who first brought Muhammad Ali to Nevada. Then known as Cassius Clay, Greb promoted Ali’s seventh pro fight in 1961. That week, he introduced Ali to wrestler “Gorgeous” George, and Ali patterned himself after George in many ways.

Greb died in 1996 at 75 years old.

Debbie Munch – Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was a legendary host for many of boxing’s biggest fights in the 1980s and early 1990s, and Munch, a public relations expert, was instrumental in it.

She was widely respected by promoters, boxers and the media and helped many journalists immeasurably with their boxing coverage.

Davey Pearl – Pearl was small of stature, but was a giant as a referee. He worked more than 70world title bouts, including Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks and Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns.

Pearl was also a highly regarded judge.

A NIGHT WITH BOXING LEGENDS

Join the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame as we celebrate the sport of boxing with the Pre-Fight Fundraiser.  We have a wonderful evening planned as we show our fan appreciation with several past and present World Champions ready  to mix and mingle with you at the beautiful Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant, Wine Bar.

Each ticket includes several selections of Ferraro’s Family Recipes of appetizers and one Beer or Wine cocktail.

After the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas weigh-in this will be the place to be, located close to the Thomas & Mack and full of great food, cocktails & beautiful atmosphere.  Don’t miss your chance to support a great cause and meet several Boxing Legends in this intimate setting.

Previous years Night with Boxing Legends celebrity attendees included: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Evander Holyfield, Sugar Shane Mosley, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr., Badou Jack, Jessie Vargas, Leon Spinks, Zab Judah, Shawn Porter, Fernando Vargas, Layla Mc Carter, Ishe Smith, Bones Adams, Kevin Kelley, Ava Knight, James Quick Tillis, Earnie Shavers, Mike McCallum, Ana Julaton, Bones Adams, Rock Icon, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, R&B Sensation Lloyd, and the list goes on and on… Don’t miss your chance to mix and mingle with this years special invited guests.

Space is limited get your tickets in advance to secure access. Please print your confirmation of purchase and bring it to the door for entry.

Your purchase helps support the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame a non profit organization.  Once your tickets are purchased, there are no refunds.

Thank you for your support!

Details

Date: November 4, 2016

Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Cost: $75

Michelle Corrales-Lewis named CEO/ President

The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President.  Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world.  The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company.  She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year.  It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up.  His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth.  My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year.  I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”