Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is moved by his induction into the Hall of Fame
VERONA, NJ — Tearfully reduced at a banquet on the eve of his big day, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday.
« I’ve done a lot of things in my career, but this is by far the best of them, » said Mayweather, who credited much of his success to his mom, dad and sister. I want to thank the International Boxing Hall of Fame for giving me this honor. He goes straight to my dad because he deserves it.
“I want to thank everyone for the support. I want to say thank you to all the fighters. You are remarkable. I wouldn’t be here without you. »
Mayweather, who retired undefeated in 50 fights, headlined the three groups of inductees on Sunday. The pandemic forced the postponement of the two previous induction ceremonies, making 2022 a busy affair.
To accommodate the 36 inductees, the ceremony was moved from the Hall of Fame’s home in Canastota, New York, to the nearby Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona.
Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto, James Toney as well as champions Regina Halmich and Holly Holm were among the 2022 inductees. The 2020 group included multi-weight division champions Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Shane Mosley while Mayweather, Wladimir Klitschko and Andre Ward were among the 2021 inductees.
Among the inductees were the first fighters—Christy Martin, Laila Ali, Lucia Rijker, Regina Halmich and Holly Holm—to become immortals. Martin rose to fame when she fought on the undercard of a few galas involving Mike Tyson in the ’90s. The induction came on her 54th birthday.
For Laila Ali, it was a return to where her career began — and against the advice of her famous father. She won her first fight in October 1999, against April Fowler, at Turning Stone.
« He told me not to. I had to earn his respect in the ring,” said Ali, who was unbeaten in 24 fights.
All but one of the 27 fighters inducted were expected to be at the ceremony. The only absentee was former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. He is in Ukraine to help his brother, Vitali, himself a Hall of Famer and now mayor of the capital Kyiv, during the ongoing war with Russia.
Wladimir Klitschko, who was heavyweight champion for 12 years and two days, longer than anyone in history, and finished his professional career 64-5 (53 KOs), posted two short videos on social media to accept the honor.
“Thank you to the supporters. I never dreamed of going so far in sport. It’s amazing, he said. Boxing made me a better person, period. It taught me a lot.”
Although his videos were short, Klitschko was keen to criticize Jones for traveling to Russian-occupied Crimea.
“So Roy, which side are you on? I really respect you as a boxer, but I really question your moral conscience,” Klitschko said.
Jones had other things in mind.