The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced the upcoming 2020 class.
Fighters Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker will be inducted while promotors Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva and Dan Goossen also got the call. Journalists Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser will also be on hand at the ceremony while Frank Erne and Paddy Ryan will be honored as well.
“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2020 and are very much looking forward to honoring the newest class of inductees, which includes the first-ever female boxers to be enshrined,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy in a statement.
Hopkins (55-8-2, 2 NC) was the undisputed Middleweight Champion from 2004-2005 and the Lineal Light Heavyweight Champion from 2011-2012. He is considered one of the most successful middleweight champions of all time, defending the IBF belt 20 times. He is currently a minority-partner with Golden Boy Promotions.
“I’m glad I’m entering the house of greatness past and present. Thanks to boxing I became a greater inspiration to the world,” stated Hopkins.
Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1) is a nine-time world champion, winning in four weight classes. Known for his combination punches, Marquez ended his career by winning the WBO International Welterweight Title. A champion in three weight classes, “Sugar” Shane Mosley (49-10-1, 1NC) became the Lineal Champion at welterweight twice and light middleweight.
“I’m so happy and honored. I’ve worked my whole life for this,” Mosley stated. “Even when I started as a kid at 8 years old I knew this is what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be. I have accomplished my goals to be one of the greats and go into the Hall of Fame, so this is a great honor.”
Two of the first female boxers to be inducted are Martin (49-7-3) and Rijker (17-0). One of the first people to legitimize the sport of boxing for women, Martin has won the WBC Women’s Super Welterweight Title and is also the first woman inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. A kickboxer and a boxer, Rijker is a Super Lightweight and a Junior Welterweight World Champion. An actor and a seminar speaker, a bout between Rijker and Martin was talked about but never took place.
“I just wanted to be a fighter and fit into the world of boxing and this is a dream come true. I’m always excited to come back to Canastota but to come back this year will be very special,” Martin stated.
“This is very moving. It makes me feel emotional, Rijker stated. “As I entered normal life after boxing there is a memory of boxing that is in my heart and soul. There is really a strong connection I have to that era and I am really honored to be reminded of that time because sometimes there is a time in your life where everything comes together – mind, body and spirit – and definitely my boxing career aligned all three of them to be the best I could be on all levels. I’m very grateful for that and grateful to be recognized.”
The induction ceremony will be will held from June 11-14th in Canastota, NY. The weekend’s events include a Friday night Fight Night and a Banquet of Champions on that Saturday. Both will be taking place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.