Boxing: an emotional Floyd Mayweather Jr. inducted into the Hall of Fame

VERONA, NJ — Floyd Mayweather Jr. was broken in tears at a banquet on the eve of his big day and 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,” said Mayweather, who credited much of his success to his mother, father and sister. I would like to thank the International Boxing Hall of Fame for this honor. He goes straight to my father because he deserves it. »

“I would like to thank everyone for the support. I want to thank all the fighters. you are remarkable I wouldn’t be here without you »

Mayweather, who retired undefeated in 50 fights, led the three groups of recruits on Sunday. The pandemic forced the postponement of the previous two induction ceremonies, making 2022 a busy affair.

To accommodate the 36 inductees, the ceremony was moved from the Hall of Famer’s home in Canastota, New York, to the nearby Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona.

Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto, James Toney, and champions Regina Halmich and Holly Holm were among the 2022 additions. The 2020 group included multi-weight division champions Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley, while Mayweather, Wladimir Klitschko and Andre Ward was among the 2021 arrivals.

Among the initiates were the first fighters – Christy Martin, Laila Ali, Lucia Rijker, Regina Halmich and Holly Holm – to become immortal. Martin rose to fame battling Mike Tyson on the undercard of a few galas in the ’90s. The introduction took place on her 54th birthday.

For Laila Ali, it was a return to where her career began – against the advice of her famous father. She won her first fight in October 1999 at Turning Stone against April Fowler.

“He told me not to do it. I had to earn his respect in the ring,” said Ali, who was unbeaten in 24 fights.

All but one of the 27 inducted fighters were to be present 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 the heavyweight champion for 12 years and two days, longer than anyone in history, and finished his pro career 64-5 (53 KOs), posted two short videos on social media to accept the honor.

“Thanks to the supporters. I never dreamed of getting this 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 doubt your moral conscience,” Klitschko said.

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