Published Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 | 1:02 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 | 3:21 p.m.
The new Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame today revealed its inaugural class of 19 inductees, including fighters Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard.
The class was broken into eight categories — Nevada resident boxer, non-Nevada boxer, trainers, officials, media, promoters, executives and special contributors. There are at least two inductees in each category.
Hall of Fame CEO Rich Marotta said he and the organization’s board of directors made a point of assembling a star-studded first class.
“The size of induction class is larger than ones we’ll have in the future,” Marotta said during a news conference at the Richard Steele Boxing Club. “We wanted to make sure we could induct a lot of good people...There are great names, fighters and people involved in boxing who did not make it on the first ballot.”
The other inductees are boxers Mike McCallum, Diego Corrales, Larry Holmes and Julio Caesar Chavez; trainers Eddie Futch and Freddie Roach; officials Mills Lane and Joe Cortez; media members Al Bernstein and Royce Feour; promoters Bob Arum and Don King; and executives Marc Ratner and James Nave. Sig Rogich and Kirk Kerkorian were inducted as special contributors.
The Hall of Fame has a website but no physical location and is not affiliated with any established boxing organizations. An official inauguration ceremony is planned for sometime next year.
Marotta, a sportscaster inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011, said he was shocked to learn that Nevada — long considered the boxing capital of the world — didn’t have a hall of fame.
“I thought, ‘That’s ridiculous,’” Marotta said. “I said to myself, ‘I’m going to put this into action, if I can, and make one.’”
Bernstein, a longtime boxing analyst, said he, too, was surprised there wasn’t a boxing hall of fame in Nevada, and is honored to be part of it.
“You can’t separate Las Vegas and boxing,” Bernstein said. “This has been the mecca of boxing, and for the state to have its own hall of fame makes so much sense.”
Michelle Corrales, wife of boxer Diego Corrales, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2007, said, “This is an amazing honor...I know he’s smiling down right now. I wish he could put some of his words into me, because he could talk for hours.”