Thursday, July 18, 2024  |



The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction has been postponed until 2021

Bernard Hopkins
Fighters Network

The undercurrent of rumors had been circulating for weeks, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sunday, it became official. The International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend and ceremony scheduled to take place on June 11-14th has been postponed until June 10-13th 2021, when both the 2020 and 2021 induction classes will be inducted together.

In an email given to the 2020 inductees from International Boxing Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy, it states:

“Due to the uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Boxing Hall of Fame has spent a considerable amount of time and energy regarding the June 11-14th Hall of Fame Induction Weekend honoring you and the other members of the Class of 2020.

After much review of a variety of alternatives that would allow us to present the Hall of Fame Weekend in the best possible way, the Hall of Fame has decided that the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 will be enshrined together during the 2021 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend scheduled for June 10-13th in “Boxing’s Hometown.”

The Hall of Fame will officially make the announcement to the public this evening at 6:30 pm. Following the announcement, I will follow up with you more details.

We did not come to this decision lightly, however the safety of our inductees, guests, fans, volunteers and staff is paramount. The Hall of Fame will continue to highlight the Class of 2020 with feature stories and career retrospectives via its official website and social media outlets.

I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy during this global pandemic. Together we will get through this.”

The class of 2020 inductees included champions Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez and “Sugar” Shane Mosley in the men’s Modern category; Barbara Buttrick in the women’s Trailblazer category and “The Coal Miner’s Daughter” Christy Martin and “The Dutch Destroyer” Lucia Rijker in the women’s Modern category. Non-participants and observers to be inducted include promoters Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva and Dan Goossen and journalists Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser.

Lightweight champion Frank Erne in the Old Timer category and Paddy Ryan in the Pioneer category will also be honored. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of international boxing historians.

Said Hopkins, “There are bigger, more important thing that we have to concern ourselves with. I’m disappointed, but there is a much bigger picture out there than me of anyone else.

“That’s the health of everyone in this country and around the world.”

“I am reminded of what Humphrey Bogart said in ‘Casablanca,’ regarding his situation amid the chaos and intrigue of World War II. He said that it was, or should be, obvious that his problems ‘don’t amount to a hill of beans,’ when put in context of the much larger picture. Bogie was right; given what COVIN-19 is wreaking on the U.S. and the world,” said first-ballot inductee Bernard Fernandez. “Even something as important as the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction must fall in line with what so many others are doing to protect the public.

“I’m disappointed, but I was fully expecting an announcement of a postponement, although maybe not one as far removed as June 2021. But they say patience is a virtue, and my intention is to be as virtuous in this regard as is necessary. Who knows? Maybe the combined inductions of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 will make for the biggest such celebration ever in Canastota. There’s a bright side to almost anything if you are willing to accentuate the positive. The sun will rise tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. All good things come to those who wait, right?”

Said Hauser, another first-ballot inductee, “I think it’s a prudent thing to do, under the circumstances. One of the things that concerns me is that the Hall of Fame relies very heavily on its induction weekend for financial support.

“I hope that sometime in the not-too-distant future a silent auction can be organized to support the hall. If it happens, I would certainly donate some memorabilia to the cause, and I would hope other people in boxing would do the same.”

Fans who purchased 2020 Induction Weekend event tickets can transfer them to the 2021 Induction Weekend or refunds will be available until June 15th. For new orders, the 2021 event ticket application will be released soon. Many events in “Boxing’s Hometown” of Canastota will be planned throughout the four-day celebration, as well as evening events at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.

“By combining the celebrations of the Induction Classes of 2020 and 2021, the Hall of Fame can honor inductees with all the bells and whistles that the Hall of Fame Weekend is known for and provide each inductee with the recognition they each so richly deserve,” Brophy said. “By honoring the two classes in a one-of-a-kind Induction Weekend, the Hall of Fame will be able to put all the winning combinations together for the inductees, fans and the entire sport of boxing.”

As this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, the official plaques for the members of the Class of 2020 will be on display on the Hall of Fame Wall beginning in June for fans to enjoy and the official presentation of their custom designed gold Hall of Fame ring will take place during the 2021 Induction Ceremony. The Hall will also highlight the Class of 2020 with feature stories and career retrospectives on each inductee via its official website and social media outlets.