Against The Ropes
(Maximum Sports Channels – Linda Morgan
) The International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF)
, in Canastota, New York, honors boxers, trainers and other contributors to the sport and is one of two recognized international boxing halls of fame; the other being the World Boxing Hall of Fame
The first Boxing Hall of Fame, sponsored by Ring Magazine, was located in the offices of Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 1990, resulting from an initiative by Ed Brophy to honor Canastota’s world boxing champions, Carmen Basilio and Basilio’s nephew, Billy Backus. The village of Canastota inaugurated the new museum, which showcases the history of boxing. Richard T. Slone was named the official artist of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997 and remains so to this day.
Each year the museum hold ceremonies, to honor the inductees, that are attended by many former world boxing champions, boxing celebrities and Hollywood celebrities. Professional boxers must wait five years after retirement in order to be eligible for election into the Hall of Fame. Inductions are handled by members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an international panel of boxing historians. Each year inductees are selected in the following five categories:
(1) Modern: Retired boxers whose last bout was no earlier than 1943.
(2) Old Timers: Boxers whose last bout was no earlier than 1893 and no later than 1943.
(3) Pioneers: Boxers whose last bout was in or prior to 1892.
(4) Observers: Journalists, historians, writers and artists.
(5) Non-Participants: People who made contributions to the sport of boxing apart from their roles as boxers or observers.
The World Boxing Hall of Fame (WBHF), founded by Everett L. Sanders in 1980, is located in Riverside, California. Since its inception, the WBHF has not had a permanent location or museum, which has allowed the more recent IBHOF to garner more publicity and prestige. In 2005 the WBHF created a partnership with the 121-year-old Los Angeles Athletic Club in downtown Los Angeles, where it will establish its permanent home. It opened a “Walk of Fame” museum in 2006.
The WBHF’s annual ceremony is held in October. Inductees traditionally received a plaque and a medallion, as well as miscellaneous memorabilia. Starting in 2004, a 12-inch tall bronze sculpture, entitled “The Prizefighter”, designed by artist and boxing trainer Steven Harpst, is given to each inductee, along with the medallion. A souvenir program is given to all attendees.
As in the IBHOF professional boxers have to wait five years after retirement to be eligible for election into the WBHF.