Week’s almost done…here’s today’s grind:
* WBC Lightweight champ, Humberto Soto, has given the green light to a possible showdown with Erik Morales. Both Soto’s and Morales’ camps have expressed their desire to stage this title bout as long as a significant purse could be established and Morales could comfortably make the 135 lb. limit. Soto has also expressed an interest in fighting the winner of July’s Juan Manuel Marquez-Diaz rematch.
* The World Cup kicks off today in South Africa and that brings up the point that, of all the professional sports in existence, only Soccer and Boxing could truly be considered “International.” To back up that assertion, significant boxing cards, featuring world ranked fighters, will be held in Canada, The United States, Poland, Morocco, Mexico, and The United Kingdom over the next 48 hours.
* The 21st Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend kicked off today to, sadly, little fanfare. If you’ve ever felt the urge to socialize with great boxers, trainers and journalists of the past and present, this is the best chance you’ll get. Here’s the Press Release from The International Boxing Hall of Fame:
Hall of Fame Weekend June 10-13th
A huge gathering of boxing legends of yesterday and today has been assembled to participate in festivities in Canastota.
Among the 45 plus boxing stars slated to participate in the four-day affair include Hall of Famers Carmen Basilio, Carlos Ortiz, Emile Griffith, Ruben Olivares, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, Ken Norton, Gene Fullmer, Nino Benvenuti, Don Chargin, J Russell Peltz, Bert Sugar, Angelo Dundee, Emanuel Steward, Lou Duva, Daniel Zaragoza and Bob Arum.
Joining the Hall of Famers will be special guests Christy Martin, Livingstone Bramble, Marlon Starling, Leon Spinks, Micky Ward, Vito Antuofermo, Ron Lyle, Earnie Shavers, Tony DeMarco, Billy Backus, Dickie DiVeronica, George Chuvalo, Gerry Cooney, Ray Mercer, Buddy McGirt, James “Buster’ Douglas, Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Joe Cortez and Kenny Bayless.
Also, many of boxing’s top stars including middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute, former bantamweight and super bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez, WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck and IBF cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham will be in attendance.
The four-day Hall of Fame Weekend features over twenty events including a banquet, golf tournament, 5K Race / Fun Run, the Parade of Champions and the Official Induction Ceremony on Sunday, June 14th at 2:30 p.m.
Opening ceremony to officially kick off Hall of Fame Weekend festivities is slated for today (June 10th) at 5 p.m. at the Event Pavilion on the Hall of Fame grounds.
New inductees to be honored are light flyweight champion Jung-Koo Chang (South Korea), featherweight champion Danny “Little Red” Lopez (USA), manager Shelly Finkel (USA), referee / commissioner Larry Hazzard (USA), promoter Wilfried Sauerland (Germany), matchmaker Bruce Trampler (USA) and journalist Ed Schuyler (USA). Posthumous inductees will also be honored.
“The Hall of Fame Weekend is boxing’s highlight weekend of the year. In Canastota, boxing fans can mingle with an incredible roster of boxing legends and celebrate the great sport,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame Weekend is for anyone who loves the sport of boxing.”
For more information on the 21st Annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, please call 315-697-7095.
…Slow news day or not, come back tomorrow for some more Grind.