Stitt on the Bench: 2020 IBHF Boxing Hall of Fame Canceled

Coronavirus Strikes Down Another Event

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Executive Director of the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHF) Ed Brophy announced earlier this week they’ve canceled the 2020 Boxing Hall of Fame ceremony and weekend festivities. As one would expect, this is due to COVID-19. Thus, the tradition and its inductees will have to wait until next year. This is quite a blow to the inductees, as they’ll have to wait further for their moment. Though, nothing prevents me from giving these inductees their praise before then.

Boxing, as a sport, is barbaric, yet beautiful to watch. Frankly, one can compare it to gladiators combating in Ancient Rome. Similarly, one could say something so brutal can be something quite poetic. Rocky has nothing on the true aesthetic beauty and pageantry of a Pay-Per-View boxing card. Perhaps, the wait until next year for the inductees will be like the loss. Then, next year once inducted, it’s their comeback win.

Boxing, as an entertainment vessel, has a long history of awe-inspiring occasions. From Ali‘s top victories, to a Mayweather press conference, the moments are endless. With that said, the ceremonies may have got postponed, but here the warriors shall be honored. Although, there’s only so much space to write-up all these deserving names. So, I’ve picked my personal top three from the list to spotlight. Still, I’ll include a nice little shout out to all other inductees at the end.

“Sugar” Shane Mosley

Born on September 7th, 1971, in Lynwood, California, Mosley competed from 1993 until 2016. Known as a versatile athlete, Mosley fought in three separate weight classes. Also, he’s held championships under all three of his weight classes. Mosley held titles for the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Association, and Ring Magazine. Furthermore, he had an excellent win/loss record. He’d won 49 and only lost ten of his bouts. Perhaps, most impressive, is 41 of his wins came by way of knock-out.

Mosley had been named Fighter of the Year multiple times throughout his career. Some great Mosley fights saw him going toe to toe with Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya. Although those names themselves are legendary, nobody beats “Sugar” Shane Mosley. A fighter truly versatile, charismatic, and tough as a two-dollar steak. Thusit fits he enters the Hall of Fame.

“B-Hop” Bernard Hopkins

B-Hop was born on January 15, 1965, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hopkins competed from 1988 until 2016. He’s known as one of the most successful boxers in over three decades as he’d held multiple championships in various weight classes. These included the undisputed middleweight title from 2004 until 2005 and the lineal light heavyweight title from 2011 until 2012. Also known as the Executioner and the Alien, Hopkins is truly an icon in the sport.

An astounding record follows him to the Hall of Fame. After all, he did win 55 of the 67 fights in his career. Of those wins, 32 came by way of knock out and he’d only suffered eight losses in his career. One of my favorite Hopkins fights was his victory over Oscar De La Hoya, known as The Golden Boy. In 2004, he’d become an undisputed champion by beating The Golden Boy. Over two decades after his first title win in 1995, he’ll enter the Hall of Fame.

Honestly, he’s one of the greats. He had an impressive aptitude and athletic endurance. Additionally, let’s not forget his big wins over Felix Trinidad and Jean Pascal. Also, after breaking George Foreman‘s record, he became the oldest boxer to win a title at age 46. Add, a Fighter of the Year proclamation from Ring Magazine, and you have one of the greatest of all time.

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“Battling” Barbara Buttrick

Born in 1930 in Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, Buttrick is this year’s Female Trailblazer inductee. A pioneer in women’s boxing, Buttrick is a former world champion. She competed in the 1940s and 1950s, and had a professional record of 30 wins and only one loss. Frankly, that record is insane even by today’s standards. This woman was super tough, and was known for her powerful lefts. Furthermore, she’s already a member of one boxing hall of fame. So, it fits she’d be a two-time inductee.

This woman founded and was the first president of the Women’s International Boxing Federation. In 2016, Amanda Whittington announced she’d be creating a stage play based on Buttrick. With that, Mighty Atoms would surface, Buttrick’s legacy the inspiration. Indeed, the word trailblazer gets thrown around a lot these days. However, for Barbara, it fits. As when one thinks of women’s boxing, the name, “Battling” Barbara Buttrick, comes to mind. Thus, a pioneer genuinely deserving of the Hall of Fame induction.

The Rest of the 2020 Boxing Hall of Fame Inductees

The class of 2020 will feature many other deserving names. First, to enter a former multi-time world champion in Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez finished his career with a win/loss record of 56 wins, seven losses. Second, Dutch female boxing legend Lucia Rijker enters the fray. Rijker finished her career with 17 wins and not a single loss. Hence, people dubbed her the Most Dangerous Woman in the World. Next, the CEO of Christy Martin Promotions, Christy Martin, enters with a record of 49 and seven. The Coal Miner’s Daughter is as deserving as anyone of an induction.

Former lightweight champion and Old Timer category inductee Frank Erne, will also be inducted. As will, legendary bare-knuckle boxer Paddy Ryan, a.k.a The Trojan Giant. He’ll enter under the Pioneer category. Next, we see voices of the sport Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser talk their way into an induction. Lastly, join me in welcoming promoters Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva, and posthumous Dan Goossen into the Hall of Fame. With that, we’ve covered the class of inductees into the 2020 Boxing Hall of Fame. Simply put, a fantastic all-around class who have all earned their place in history. 

Brendon Stitt
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