By Boxing Bob Newman
The 2018 edition of the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend came off without a hitch this weekend in Canastota, New York. The bucolic, unlikely home of the hall can often suffer the perils of unseasonable weather, no matter the time of year. Rain was forecast for Sunday’s induction ceremony. But if you haven’t heard what they say about the weather in these parts, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, it’ll change!”
The boxing gods were looking down on the gathering of boxing’s elite and the sun also shined upon them as nary a drop of rain, not the cover of clouds shown all day long. As over a thousand fans of pugilism filled the grounds and took cover from the sun on the hall grounds, six living and three posthumous inductees were enshrined today.
Klaus Peter Kohl (non-participant)- Kohl has been undergoing medical treatment in Germany and was unable to participate in the event this weekend. He asked WBO VP John Duggan to accept on his behalf. Kohl was head of the powerful Universum Box Promotions for twenty-five years. While he produced many world champions over the years, Vitali and Wladimir were his two crown jewels.
Steve Albert (observer)- The youngest of the three broadcasting Albert brothers (Marv and Al covered boxing as well), Steve started broadcasting boxing on Super Fight of the Month in the 80s. He began work with Showtime on in 1987 and went on to call over 200 broadcasts and 300 plus championship fights. Among those were the infamous Holyfield-Tyson II “Bite Fight” and Corrales-Castillo I.
Jim Gray (observer)- breaking into the business with ESPN, Gray broke into boxing with Top Rank and then KingVision. Joining Showtime in 1994, Gray has presided as a ringside reporter and interviewer for over 700 championship bouts in his career, earning 12 national Emmy awards.
Ronald “Winky” Wright- Wright held at one time or another, all four versions of the 154 lb. title. Wright traveled to France early in his career to seek higher profile in the boxing world, eventually breaking into the big time back home. Beating legends such as Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad as well as former champs Bronco McKart, Ike Quartey and Sam Soliman along the way, Wright secured his place in the IBHOF, finishing with a 51-6-1, 25 KOs record.
Erik “El Terrible” Morales- Mexico’s first four-division world champion Morales might’ve made it five had he captured the lightweight title from David Diaz. With exciting trilogies against Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao earmarking his career, Morales finished with a 52-9, 36 KOs ledger.
Vitali “Dr. Iron Fist” Klitschko- The former WBO and two-time WBC heavyweight champion, Klitschko competed in kickboxing early on before committing full time to conventional fisticuffs. The elder of the two Klitschko brothers faced ten current, former or future world champions along the way, defeating eight of them. Finishing his career with a 45-2, 41 KOs, Klitschko’s only losses were due to injuries- a torn rotator cuff against Chris Byrd and sever cuts against Lennox Lewis. He was leading in both fights at the time.
Posthumous inductees included:
Lorraine Chargin (Non-participant) Mrs. Chargin worked with Hall of Fame husband Don, essentially running Don Chargin Productions for nearly five decades in Northern California.
Sid Terris- A top lightweight during his day, Terris never garnered a title shot, despite defeating the likes of Billy Petrolle, Rocky Kansas, Johnny Dundee, Ace Hudkins and Sammy Mandell. Terris finished with a 99-13-5, 12 KOs mark.
Johnny Addie- (non-participant) Addie was the preeminent ring announcer of his day. He was the Madison Square Garden announcer from 1948 to 1971. Announcing “The Fight of the Century,” Ali-Frazier I, Addie introduced over 100 championship contests, which in the days of only eight weight divisions and one champion per division, could easily be over one thousand in this era.
Full video coming soon!