Hearns induction completes ‘Four Kings’ NVBHOF enshrinement
The fifth Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame induction gala is galloping toward us and as it was in years prior, ace mic man Rich Marotta is in flurrying mode, looking to finish strong and steal the round.
That means being in touch with the myriad presenters and honorees, making sure the venue is on point and tons of etcetera…
Only, this year’s event varies for the Las Vegas resident because he’s handed off a bunch of duties to the most capable Michele Corrales-Lewis.
The induction dinner runs Saturday night and I snagged Marotta to clue us in what the NVBHOF will pull off this go round in between dealing with etcs.
“I think this year’s induction, our fifth, will be notable for completing the ‘Four Kings’ era,” Marotta said. “Previous inductions have brought Leonard, Duran, and Hagler into the NVBHOF and now Thomas Hearns completes the Superfecta.
“And again we are having former rivals united. Sugar Ray Leonard will be inducting Tommy Hearns, and Marco Antonio Barrera will be inducting Erik Morales. Barrera and Morales together on our stage is something I never could have imagined a few years ago. I’m really excited about having Lucia Rijker in Vegas for the induction since the vast majority of boxing people consider her the greatest female fighter of all time.”
He’s tried to keep it fresh and also build out the event, he said.
“We keep adding to the expansion of the induction weekend. Five years ago, it was the dinner on Saturday night and that was it. A year later we added the Inductee party on Friday night. Last year we added the Meet and Greet on Friday afternoon with more than 40 champions, including all the inductees. This year we are adding an amateur boxing card in conjunction with the WBC and local gym Barry’s Boxing.”
Friends of Marotta know he’s done some sparring with a heart issue. So he’s particularly grateful that his team is strong.
“This is the first year under the full leadership of Michelle Corrales-Lewis and I as founder have pretty much receded to the ‘advisor’ role. Michelle however is an indefatigable worker and totally dedicated to making the NVBHOF great. I am an unabashed admirer of her work ethic and ability to get things done. She has done the vast majority of the planning for this weekend.
“As for my health, it’s getting better all the time. Having a heart attack was obviously completely unexpected, and a most intense and unpleasant experience to go through. However, I had triple bypass and I am getting stronger every day. Three months later, 26 pounds lighter, and I feel amazing. I’m going through intensive cardio rehab, and my wife Helen is very strict on my diet.” (OK, so no bread basket or dessert for Rich Saturday…).
“This however turned out to be the right one to transition to Michelle because of my heart problem.”
Regarding heart–Marotta has it. He’s been a decades-long proponent of the sweet science and this event and mission is truly commendable. Click this link if you want to purchase tickets.