CANASTOTA, NY – Floyd Mayweather and Laila Ali and former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko have been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum.
The class of 2021, announced Tuesday, also includes former Olympic gold medalists Andre Ward, Ann Wolfe, Marian Trimiar and Dr. Margaret Goodman. Posthumously elected were: lightweight champion Davey Moore, Jackie Tonawanda, cut-man Freddie Brown, manager-trainer Jackie McCoy, journalist George Kimball and television manager Jay Larkin.
The winners were selected by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a group of international boxing historians. Induction day is scheduled for June 13th and includes last year’s class postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 class includes: Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Christy Martin, Lucia Rijker, Barbara Buttrick, Frank Erne, Paddy Ryan, Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva, Dan Goossen, Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser.
Born into a struggling family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1977, Mayweather set an 84-6 amateur record that included three national Golden Gloves titles and a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics. He turned pro in 1996 and won his titles in five weight classes. In his eighth professional fight he started with a round of 16 against Genaro Hernandez for the WBC junior lightweight title.
The fighter, nicknamed “Money”, trained by his father Floyd Sr. and Uncle Roger, retired in 2017 with a record 50-0 (27 KOs) after a crossover fight and a knockout from MMA star Conor McGregor.
“It is a great honor for me to be a first choice candidate,” said Mayweather. “During my career I have given everything I could to practice boxing and now to be recognized by one.” Of the most prestigious awards in sport for this hard work and dedication is very humble. ”
The 6-foot-6 Klitschko finished a 134-6 (65 KOs) amateur career by winning super heavyweight gold at the 1996 Olympics. In the same year he turned pro in Germany and won 24 fights in a row before losing to Ross Purrity. He bounced back to defeat Chris Byrd for the WBO heavyweight title, and in 2006 stopped Byrd again for the IBF / IBO titles to begin a dominant nine-year title reign with 18 successful defenses.
Born in Kazakhstan, nicknamed “Dr. Steelhammer”, the heavyweight champion longer than anyone in history (12 years, 2 days) finished the race with a pro record of 64-5 (53 KOs).
Ali also retired undefeated with a 24-0 record (21 KOs) that included a 2003 win over Christy Martin. The 5-10 Ali registered a knockout percentage of 87.5 with a precise push and a strong right hand, which lived up to their nickname “She Bee Stingin”. She is the daughter of Muhammad Ali and the eighth of his nine children.
Tonawanda, who will be anchored as the trailblazer, began boxing in the early 1970s and spent most of her career in the underground boxing boxing for women as there was little sanctioned women’s fights. In 1974 she was denied a professional boxing license by the New York State Athletic Commission because of her gender. In 1975, she filed a sex discrimination lawsuit. After a protracted legal battle that included complaints from other women, the judge ruled in her favor.
Along with Cat Davis and Trimiar, Tonawanda was one of the first women to receive a license from New York on September 19, 1978. She became the first female boxer to compete at Madison Square Garden and an interruption from Larry Rodaina in the second round recorded an MMA fight. The 5-9 Tonawanda, called “The Female Ali”, also competed against Muhammad Ali in his training camp and worked as a bodyguard. She died of colon cancer in 2009 at the age of 75.