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Hatton and Moorer stand out on Hall of Fame Induction Weekend | Boxing News


by Jack Hirsch


IF you want to have an idea of how one Hall of Fame inductee’s status compares to another of the same year it can be revealed in the order they are asked to give their speeches. 

If you subscribe to the theory that the best is saved for last, then Ricky Hatton slightly stood out among the rest. Rising to the occasion as he had done many times during his glorious ring career, Hatton was funny and engaging. 

He spoke fondly of his former opponents and was very open about his bout with depression, where he admitted to considering ending his own life. Now an advocate for mental health, Hatton seems to be in a much better place than he has been in a long time.

Michael Moorer spoke of the physical challenges fighters face when their careers are over, saying he is coping with those issues. Still haunted by losing the heavyweight title to George Foreman by knockout, Moorer joked that if Big George cut him in for 10 per cent of the grilling machine profits, it would go a long way to healing any bad feelings he had over never being given a rematch.

George Foreman (R) throws a left jab to the head of Michael Moorer in the second round of their heavyweight title bout on November 5, 1994 in Las Vegas, Nevada (JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

WBO president Francisco Valcarcel joked about not taking Ivan Calderon’s potential seriously when the Puerto Rican was a young boxer on the way up. Calderon teased him about it during the induction. It was all in good fun.

Jackie Kallen spoke of Emanuel Steward giving her, her start in boxing and how she was entrusted with helping to put the Kronx gym on the map.

The late Diego Corrales’ son, daughter, and brother accepted on his behalf. You could tell by their emotions that Diego’s (below, right, defeating Castillo in one of the all-time classic encounters) induction meant just as much to them as it would have meant to him.

boxing

Jane Couch, a woman pioneer, gave credit to the USA for being more influential in her boxing career than the UK was. 

The consensus was that the 35th annual Hall of Fame weekend in Canastota did not exhibit one of its stronger classes since the inaugural one in 1990. In the lead-up to the weekend, a healthy debate ensued over who belonged and who didn’t. But the bottom line is that those who came to pay homage to the greats of the sport would not have rather been anywhere else on this rainy weekend. 

This writer, who has only missed three induction weekends out of the 35, got a late start arriving in Canastota due to the Boxing Writers Association of America’s annual awards banquet being held on the day of the HOF’s opening ceremonies. But the schedule is always predictable and one the fans enjoy. 

There are ringside lectures, the fight show at the Turning Stone Casino, the Nate the Great 5K race, the collectors’ convention, the big banquet, and, of course, the culmination of it all: the induction ceremony itself. 

Manny Pacquiao is eligible for induction next year, providing he does not make a comeback in the interim. In the event Pacquiao does, he would then not be eligible to enter the HOF until at least the year 2028.



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