“Prince” Naseem Hamed, Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini herald in the 2015 IBHOF class, as results were announced earlier yesterday. The induction ceremony will be held on June 14, 2015, in Canastota, New York
Yuko Gushiken (23-1, 15 KO), a former dominant junior flyweight champion from 1976-81 … Masao Oba (35-2-1, 16 KO), former flyweight champion from 1970-73. Oba is a posthumous inductee. Like Salvador Sanchez, he died three weeks after his last fight in January 1973 in a car accident. Also selected posthumously was Ken Overlin (135-19-9, 23 KO), a former middleweight champion who fought from 1931-44. Overlin passed away in 1969 at age 58. Others were HBO commentator and journalist Jim Lampley, former RING Magazine editor Nigel Collins, Manager Rafael Mendoza, and long time Referee Steve “SS” Smoger.
Mancini (29-5), now 53, has worked as a commentator and analyst since he retired from boxing, and has remained a beloved and popular figure in the boxing world. In 2013, an acclaimed documentary called The Good Son: The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was released.
Though his career was marked by bizarre incidents, the 46 year-old Bowe (43-1) had a Tyson-like prime that was memorable.
Hamed (36-1), now 40, is a former featherweight champion who also had a great , albeit too short prime and became one of the most famous boxing figures of the 1990s. He was controversial, flashy, and provided excitement and incredible pageantry the likes of which few others have ever matched. Says Daniel Fletcher, “…some stars are so bright they burn out fast, rather than fading away slowly. In this case, while it still hurts that it did, one must be thankful that we saw the star at all.”
As an elector for inductees into the Hall, I can find few faults with this year’s selections, although each candidate could well be worthy of debate on either side of the ledger.