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The Travelin’ Man returns to IBHOF induction weekend – Pt. 5

Photo by Alex Menendez
15
Jun

Sunday, June 12: Yesterday’s events demanded a lot of energy from me, and the depths of that energy drain were reflected in the fact that I slept soundly for nearly six hours. But there’s a special boost that comes with Induction Sunday, the culmination of all that has preceded it. We all can collect autographs, chat with fellow fans, create lifetime memories and purchase keepsakes, but the ultimate purpose of the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend is to honor those who have earned immortality.

The ceremony was a little more four-and-a-half hours in the future by the time I arrived on the museum grounds shortly before 10 a.m., and event emcee James “Smitty” Smith and I hoped to entertain the audience with a second helping of what may become “Trivia Time with the Travelin’ Man.” This time I prepared 15 additional questions that I hoped struck a balance between those that the audience can answer correctly yet also challenge their collective knowledge. I had gotten several positive comments about my first session on Thursday, and when we felt enough people had gathered underneath the pavilion, Smitty and I began the quizzing.

Smitty is an expert at entertaining audiences as well as relaxing partners because of his humor and his ability to think quickly on his feet. As a result, I felt much more relaxed on stage than was the case a few days ago, so much so that I began cracking jokes that I felt enhanced the rapport we’ve been developing on “In This Corner: The Podcast” on FITE.TV. Between questions, Smitty and I threw in stories, stylistic insights and historical aspects about the fighters featured in the questions and he also had me recite my credentials to audience members who might not have been familiar with me.

The impromptu event appeared to be very successful, and one measure of that was that several people approached me and expressed how much they enjoyed themselves. Thanks to Smitty’s mentorship, I’m breaking out of my shell bit by bit, and for that I am very appreciative.



I returned to the hotel to put the final touches on Parts Three and Four while also producing a nice start to Part Five, which you are reading now. When I got to a good stopping point, I packed my belongings and headed out to the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, this year’s location for the Induction Ceremony. As was the case with the Friday Night Fights and Saturday night’s Banquet of Champions, the casino’s events center would play host.

I left the Days Inn a little before 1:15 p.m. and arrived at the event center at 1:35 – just in time for those who had been waiting in line to get the go-ahead to proceed toward the master entrance point. Life, like boxing, is all about good timing.

Bernard Fernandez

With my IBHOF press credential around my neck, I showed the security person my red ticket and I was guided to a set of white chairs to the extreme left of the stage. I thought it odd that media members would be placed so far from the “action,” but my concerns were allayed moments later when another security person asked if I had a red ticket. When I said I did and showed it to her, she informed me that I was entitled to sit in any of the plusher red seats located directly behind the family section. I chose a chair at the end of the centermost set of first row seats, and I was soon joined by Ring Magazine colleague and BWAA president Joe Santoliquito, who will be serving in an important and sobering capacity: He will be accepting for fellow RingTV.com writer, former BWAA president and Class of 2020 inductee Bernard Fernandez, who was unable to attend because his wife is suffering from illness. Supporting Santoliquito will be Hopkins, Fernandez’s classmate and close friend.

To my right was another former BWAA president in Jack Hirsch, and Showtime’s Gordon Hall – the driving force behind “ShoBox: The New Generation” – sat behind me. All important company, and I’m blessed that I can call them “friend.”

The Showtime crew and the staff at the Turning Stone deserve maximum credit for executing such quick turnovers of the event center space following their respective events. This venue was the only viable option in terms of hosting an event that encompasses three sets of inductees, three sets of families and a turnout destined to shatter all previous records.

A surprising development was that Joey Fiato – who served as Induction Weekend emcee until Smitty took over in 2016 – sung the national anthem. After that, 22 inductees took the stage: Juan Manuel Marquez, Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Thomas Hauser, Lou DiBella, Christy Martin, Barbara Buttrick, Kathy Duva, Laila Ali, Dr. Margaret Goodman, Ann Wolfe, Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather on the left side of the stage; Miguel Cotto, James Toney, Bob Yalen, Ron Borges, Regina Halmich, Holly Holm, Bill Caplan, Roy Jones Jr. and Miriam Trimiar on the right side.

Moments after Class of 2014 inductee Oscar De La Hoya entered the room, various family members of the deceased honorees spoke – the cousin of Jackie Tonawonda, the great-grandson of Paddy Ryan, the grandson of Freddie Brown, the brother of George Kimball, two sons of Jay Larkin and Dan Goossen’s niece, whose spectacular good looks caused one audience member to exclaim “eye-yi-yi” as she walked across the stage.

At 3:30 p.m., another Hall of Famer – ring announcer and 2013 honoree Jimmy Lennon Jr. – spoke on behalf of the IBHOF alumni, after which the induction process for the three classes commenced. Each of the classes were introduced by a slickly produced video that featured photos and video clips of each member with three separate soundtracks; the Class of 2020’s song was “Hall of Fame” by The Script while Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” accompanied the 2021 video and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was the song of choice for 2022’s class.  After each induction class completed their remarks, they posed for the traditional group shot with their freshly presented rings. In a very real way, this was the typical induction process, except that it was executed back-to-back-to-back.

Highlights of the festivities included:

* Class of 2020 inductee Lucia Rijker accepted her elevation via a video that was projected onto the big screens. As it played, I kept a sharp eye on her classmate Christy Martin, who has been linked with “The Dutch Destroyer” for decades professionally and whose enmity for Rijker is well documented. She showed no discernable reaction.

* After Santoliquito read his prepared remarks on behalf of Fernandez, a five-term BWAA president, he took out his cell phone and called the longtime writer. Fernandez not only got to hear Hopkins’ speech, but also the loud applause that greeted the announcement of his elevation. One can only imagine the emotions that surged through the New Orleans native, who chose to remain at home with Annie, his wife of 53 years who was recently diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Although Annie urged Bernard to attend the event, he chose love and devotion to his life partner over attending this weekend’s festivities.

“When an oncologist tells you that the most important person in your life has maybe a year to live, there is no day or days worth spending somewhere else,” Fernandez wrote on Facebook May 18. “Maybe all we’ll be doing during the IBHOF induction period is watching TV, or playing a board game, or simply talking. But whatever it is, that time will be cherished because all we can do is live in the moment, when the occasion for such moments has been reduced to a specific and limited time frame.”

By doing what he is doing, Fernandez, a Hall of Fame writer, has also shown himself to be a Hall of Fame human. As for his friend Santoliquito, he helped produce a heart-warming moment during a week filled with them.

*DiBella’s speech radiated the energy that defined his career, and though the weight of the moment nearly produced tears, he presented a strong case of why boxing is the best sport of all. He said that boxing is the most relatable of sports because it best reflects the trials and tribulations of real life.

“When boxing is at its best, there is no better sport,” he said.

As for the lessons he learned from “The Sweet Science” as well as in life, he said the following: “Lesson one: If you want to be respected, earn it because nothing comes for free. Second, you can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have humanity, you have nothing.”

* Duva, the first living female to deliver an induction speech at the IBHOF, revealed that the Hall will have her plaque placed next to her husband Dan, a Class of 2003 member who passed away in 1996. Dan’s father Lou was honored in 1998, completing the Hall’s first father/son/daughter-in-law combo.

* Buttrick and Trimiar are two of the very few Pioneers/Trailblazers to accept their honor on stage. Buttrick noted that she had waited 75 years to make this speech, which received the event’s first standing ovation. As for the wheelchair-bound Trimiar, she was placed at the end of the stage and opted to remain there because “I don’t want to roll over people’s feet.” She was helped out of her wheelchair to receive her HOF ring and certificate, and after she was placed back in her chair, she accepted the honor in the form of a poem she wrote entitled “I’m Here.”

Moments after completing her remarks, Smitty came on stage to present Trimiar a WBC championship belt on behalf of president Mauricio Sulaiman to honor her historic contribution to women’s boxing. The delight on Trimiar’s face was priceless, and it touched the heart because this – along with the soul-stirring final moments of the Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano fight at Madison Square Garden April 30 – represented the pinnacle of her life’s work.

* Martin, who was being honored on her birthday, asked the audience to time her speech. When she finished, she said that during the two minutes she spoke, 40 people in the United States became victims of domestic violence.

* Hopkins was accompanied by former fighter, fellow Germantown neighborhood native and longtime referee Rudy Battle (who officiated eight of Hopkins’ fights, including his first title-winning triumph against Segundo Mercado in April 1995) as well as his son Bernard III. Battle visited Hopkins in prison, offered encouragement and helped him secure his first job at a hotel, and for those deeds Hopkins expressed his deep gratitude.

“We are in the Hall of Fame now,” he said to Battle. “This wouldn’t be complete unless you’re here.”

After advising the audience to “never give up, and watch what you say because what you say tells the world who you are,” he turned to his son, who, like Martin, was celebrating a birthday.

“I paid good money in private school so that he would not do what I did,” Hopkins said. “We are blessed to give kids everything, and my gift to him is to let him hold this ring until tomorrow. This is a lesson: I’ll let you hold it because it’s your born day. But I’m also not going to let you keep it. Why? Because things are earned, not given.”

*Klitschko was the first to present his remarks for the Class of 2021, and due to his involvement in fighting off Russia’s invasion of Ukraine he spoke via video. The version that was played here left out the most controversial portion that questioned fellow inductee Roy Jones Jr., an American who also holds Russian citizenship.

“I am super happy to be able to address all of you tonight,” he said in the complete portion of the video. “Well, almost all of you. There is one person for whom I have a real question. One person broke Ukrainian law by going to the occupied peninsula of Crimea through Russian territory. That person is Roy Jones. So, Roy, whose side are you on? On the side of the aggressor, or on the side of the defender of its right to live. I respect you as a fighter, but I really question your moral compass.”

At the banquet, Jones made reference to Klitschko “calling me out,” but I had no idea of the context. After referencing the video, I now knew.

July 2022 cover

Klitschko has always presented a polished public persona, but in my view – and the view of others – he crossed lines he shouldn’t have. “Dr. Steelhammer” could have shot a separate video addressing the rift between he and Jones well before or sometime after the Hall of Fame festivities, but to include these critiques during his own Hall of Fame acceptance video smacks of “wrong place, wrong time.” I understand Klitschko’s passion because the Russian invasion of Ukraine hits him so close to home in so many ways, but a Hall of Fame acceptance video should be limited to the subject at hand – his own elevation into boxing immortality. That Klitschko chose to inject this kind of negativity into a video that is supposed to celebrate his own boxing legacy is regrettable and inappropriate. Conversely, the Hall’s decision not to show that portion of the video was exactly the right move, as was Jones’ decision not to refer to it during his own speech.

*After Wolfe completed her remarks, she and former professional rival Laila Ali bumped fists, proving that their past linkage had no ill effect on their present interaction.

*Mayweather was introduced by Lennon Jr., and here he showed the complexity of his character by intermixing his “Money” persona with the identity he presented at the banquet the previous day.

“Yesterday, we had fun – freestyle,” he said. “Today, I want to talk about me. TBE.”

He thanked his older sister for her tireless and anonymous work behind the scenes as well as his uncle Roger, his father Floyd Sr., Al Haymon, Leonard Ellerbe and ace hand-wrapper Rafael Garcia, then presented his case for why he believes he’s the best who ever lived – most of which were based on his extraordinary ability to generate money.

“Of the 10 biggest pay-per-views of all time, I got six,” he said after claiming he currently generates $300 million a month in income. “I was in a contract I didn’t want to be in, so I said I’ll buy myself out of the contract for $750,000. I ended up making $750 million in three fights. I drew the biggest gate for Mayweather-Pacquiao and I am the highest grossing fighter ever. I am a clean fighter, a pioneer for random blood and urine testing. Ask (Dr. Margaret) Goodman, she knows. I thank Showtime for giving me a record-breaking deal. I’m the best, I will always be the best. There’s no one in the past that’s better than me, no one in the future better than me, and no one in the present better than me.”

*Borges, like many Observer honorees, felt a mixture of awkwardness and appreciation because the fighters earned their plaques after enduring sweat, blood and punishment while writers earned their accolades because of their ability to chronicle that sweat, blood and punishment.

“I’m not the lead singer of the Class of 2022,” he said. “I’m just glad to be in the band.”

*As Yalen spoke, I could hear the faint sound of rain striking a tin roof. As it turned out, the area was hit with a torrential downpour that one witness at the Days Inn said lasted about an hour, and when I left the Turning Stone, I could see the drenched remnants of that squall.

* Caplan began his speech much like 1992 vice presidential candidate Admiral James Stockdale did during his first remarks in that year’s debate: “Who am I and why am I here?”

“What am I doing here?” Caplan asked. “I don’t belong here. No, I’m not kidding. We have all these fine people, and what the hell am I doing here?”

After this burst of humility and humor, Caplan presented the crux of his speech, that everyone involved in boxing is part of a community that feels much like a family.

“Everybody from the last row to here (on stage are members) of the same family – the boxing family,” he said. “We have the greatest family in the world. I have five children and 10 grandchildren. Everyone sitting up here today are members of the same family, and without family you have nothing. You think about the other sports, they don’t have the bond that we have, so to Ed Brophy and the Brophy family and all the other staff members of the museum, that’s a family. All the volunteers, that’s a family. All the fans that lined the streets in the parade, that’s a family.

“During the parade I saw people looking at me and saying “who’s he?” he concluded. “And I was telling them, ‘be patient, all the good stuff is coming; be patient, it’s back there.’ Anyway, thank you family, I love you.”

*Holm, who was among the most striking and best-dressed inductees, was so overcome with emotion that she nearly forgot to take her ring and certificate back to her seat, and Toney’s remarks were as concise as his punches in the ring. But one of the most memorable moments of the event was produced by Jones.

“I came to this game entertaining you and I’m going to leave you entertaining you,” he said. Moments later, he broke into a rendition of “Ya’ll Musta Forgot,” a rendition that prompted Halmich to move and groove in her seat.

*The final speaker was Cotto, who delivered his truncated remarks in Spanish and English. The speeches ended at 6:19 p.m. and the ceremony officially concluded at 6:21 – 3 hours 51 minutes after the official start time.

*

Lou DiBella. Photo by Wojtek Urbanek

The event’s marathon length had no effect on the energy that radiated within the area reserved for inductees, family and media. That energy was best expressed by DiBella, who thrusted out his balled-up fist and triumphantly yelled “I’m a f***** Hall of Famer!” to everyone fortunate enough to be in the immediate vicinity, of which I was one. Once in the hallway immediately outside the event center, I passed by Trimiar, who was happily posing with her newly bestowed WBC belt. I spoke briefly with Sampson Lewkowicz (who is on the non-participants ballot and who, in my opinion, absolutely deserves to be in a future induction class) and his charge Sebastian Fundora (a past guest on “In This Corner: The Podcast”). Meanwhile, I saw Juan Manuel Marquez sign autographs and pose for pictures while remaining largely on the move, proving he still has plenty of dexterity at age 48.

I also chatted with Smitty, who accepted congratulations for his performance during this most demanding four-day period. Those kudos were well deserved, for this unique time period administered a severe test of his energy, acumen and improvisational skills, and, to me and to most people with whom I spoke, he aced everything. Already a member of Halls of Fame in Florida and Nevada for his accomplishments on radio, television and streaming services as well as his long-running TV show “In This Corner,” Smitty deserves to complete the trifecta by being enshrined in Canastota.

And here’s a bonus: After chatting with my new-found bowling friends, I ended up executing one last sale of “Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers” with David Pope of Dorset, England, a transaction that was completed inside the Turning Stone’s parking garage. Given boxing’s “red light district of sports” reputation, the setting, if not the legitimate nature of the transaction, seemed fitting.

With the “Trilogy” weekend now officially complete, my body’s seeming imperviousness to hunger, thirst and short-lived rest disappeared. After having consumed just a box of popcorn and a diet soda in the last 24 hours, I stopped by the McDonald’s in Canastota to fill up and spent most of the evening in wind-down mode. And did I ever wind down: Around 10:15 p.m. my body began to hit “the wall,” and though I tried my best to combat the heaviness I felt in my eyelids, I ended up turning out the lights shortly after 11 p.m. and commenced the rest that comes with exhaustion and fulfillment.

Monday, June 13: I awakened around 5:30 a.m. and rested until 6. Once I got going, I really got going as I submitted the copy, captions and photos for Parts Three and Four to the RingTV.com editorial team, and prepared to conduct an exclusive interview with IBHOF Executive Director Ed Brophy concerning his initial thoughts about the “Trilogy” weekend. But it was not to be, for Brophy and his crew were buried in day-after cleanup and other details that had to tackled then and there. However, he agreed to talk with me tomorrow, and with that I began the journey home at 12:15 p.m.

From time to time I have opted to make the long trip home without the stop in Erie, and I estimated it would take me nine hours to complete. I had plenty of entertainment options to make the drive even more fun; along with my Sirius XM subscription, I brought along nearly a dozen music CDs (yes, I still use CDs) that range from Chicago to Bob Seger to Fleetwood Mac to Huey Lewis and the News – in short, the kind of music one would expect a person in his late 50s to enjoy. I also fielded phone calls through my hands-free Bluetooth, and one particular call from Smitty (who was waiting for his Syracuse-to-Philadelphia flight) that came in when I was 20 miles east of Buffalo broke sad and sobering news: The death of Carlos Ortiz, a two-division champion and a member of the IBHOF Class of 1991. At 85, he had been the second-oldest living world champion behind Eder Jofre, who was born a little more than five months earlier.

Thanks to lighter-than-expected traffic and only one brief rest stop to fill the car with gas and my belly with food, I arrived home in just under eight-and-a-half hours. In all, I added 1,062 miles to the odometer and a wealth of new experiences from Induction Weekend. I can hardly wait until next year’s event, but I can’t think about that until I finish one last task – getting Brophy’s thoughts on what just transpired.

Tuesday, June 14: The hour-long phone interview with Brophy began at 8 p.m., and, from his perspective, the Trilogy ceremony was a complete success.

“I think it came off wonderfully for everybody – inductees, families, and people who came in from all over the world – and I’m happy for everybody and for the sport of boxing,” he said. “Since the first cancellation of 2020, there was a lot of thinking about how to roll in two classes and after the next cancellation, that thinking was even more enhanced. There were a lot of moving parts that took up a lot of time and energy. In fact, the moving parts for this Induction weekend continued into Monday and even Tuesday morning because there were some flight cancellations and delays that required rebooking. That was no easy task for the Transportation Committee because we had to have celebrities and inductees up on time – sometimes at 2:30 or 3 a.m. for flights that were leaving at 6, 6:30 or 7 a.m.”

Brophy also said the Trilogy weekend was blessed by several fortuitous events, with the Parade of Champions being the biggest beneficiary. The parade had never been canceled, but the forecast for Sunday morning continued to look grim throughout the week.

“Going into Thursday, the forecast said there was a 90 percent chance of rain on Sunday, and on Friday afternoon there was a sense that the parade would have to be called off,” Brophy said. “The cut-off time (to make the decision) was 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and we kept our fingers crossed. On Friday afternoon there were light discussions with inductees about what to do if the parade had to be cancelled.”

As time passed, the prospects improved, albeit slowly.

“On Saturday, the percentage dropped to 75 percent, which was still not favorable, and by the time when everybody was going to bed it had dropped to 60 percent,” Brophy continued. “But everybody woke up Sunday to sunshine and blue skies, and the forecast indicated only a 10 percent chance of rain. As the hours went by the sun was brighter, the sky was bluer and we knew by breakfast that the parade was going to happen. There were so many smiles on peoples’ faces. That’s when luck comes in handy and it came on Parade Day.”

The rain held off until Sunday afternoon, which made Brophy’s decision three months earlier to stage the Induction Ceremony at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s event center particularly fortuitous.

“During the induction ceremony I could hear some noise and I thought it was coming from a large fan,” he said. “But it was rain hitting the ceiling of the events center, and it proved that (holding the ceremony indoors) was the right decision. When we spoke with the casino there was a 50-50 chance that (the events center) may have already been booked for something else, but after finding out it was open on the date that we wanted, they graciously offered it to us. We firmed it up that moment because I didn’t want that opportunity to pass by.”

Ed Brophy. Photo by Wojtek Urbanek

For Brophy, the biggest challenges presented by the Trilogy Weekend was regrouping the slate of volunteers after two years away, ordering supplies during a time when supply chains were strained, arranging for vans to transport the boxers from place to place, and the crippling effects of inflation.

“Inducting three classes presented a big enough challenge, but it wasn’t anticipated that in the final stretch we would be running into inflation, which hit us like a solid combination to the face,” he said. “But we weathered the storm as an organization, our small staff did a wonderful job, and the fans who came really added energy to the weekend. I was really happy that I had listened to everyone’s thoughts because the outcome of the Trilogy was well received by everybody. Boxing deserves every bit of it.”

Throughout the weekend, I had heard complaints from a few fans regarding the VIP event preceding the Friday night fight card at the Turning Stone. They said that while some celebrities were accommodating, others were said to be more reluctant. Brophy, who was at the event, told a different story.

“I thought many fans were getting autographs and pictures from the celebrities,” he said. “I was there as the director, but if I were a fan, I would have been happy. I guess some people just want a little bit more and expect a little more. Some fans may be disappointed with a certain situation while others at the same event are thrilled. It’s no different from any other event such as a major fight, a World Series, a Super Bowl or a visit to Disney World; everything went perfect at points while at other times things didn’t meet expectations or they weren’t in the perfect spot at the perfect time. No other sport has athletes who are as friendly and willing to mingle with fans as boxers, who are so generous in giving their time and sharing stories with the fans, and we’re very pleased with the good feeling that was generated. Year after year we try to do better, try to make ‘Boxing’s Hometown’ as special as we can and honor boxing as best as we can.”

Other issues included glitches on the IBHOF web site’s livestream of the induction ceremony and the uneven performance of longtime IBHOF president Don Ackerman, whose mispronunciations and malapropisms generated criticism and concern. Brophy said the technical issues with the livestream mostly occurred in the beginning stages when the deceased inductees were being feted but were rectified by the time the first set of living honorees were being introduced. As for Ackerman’s status, the situation remains status quo.

“Don has always done a wonderful job as president and he has always served the Hall of Fame well,” he said of Ackerman, who has been in his current capacity since the late 1980s. “His heart and soul have always been in the right place. We’ve always been proud of him and we’ve enjoyed his enthusiasm and excitement for the Hall of Fame. There hasn’t been any thought of discussions (concerning his status), and for the next three or four weeks we will be tending to post-weekend details.”

As for his 30,000-foot view of how the event played out, he felt Induction Weekend – and the sport of boxing in general – received a lift.

“I feel the sport of boxing is proud of what it just did,” he said. “It honored itself, it reunited itself and it reminded fans and inductees that boxing is a special sport with a special family. I have the feeling that the bar has just gone a bit higher because this was a bigger event to pull off, a bigger event to see and as special as past years were, there was something extra in this Trilogy Weekend that made it even more special.”

Brophy felt that Jones’ energetic and musical induction speech illustrated the weekend’s uniqueness.

“That once-in-a-lifetime speech just added to a once-in-a-lifetime event,” he said. “He was thrilled about his induction and he felt very good that his surprise went over so well. It was one thing for him to surprise everybody, it was another thing that he did it so well. I watched the other inductees and they were smiling and really into it. Throughout the weekend, I saw the inductees had formed a bond like they were brothers and sisters and family, and Roy’s performance added a lot of spice to the magic of this Induction Weekend – an Induction Weekend that was one for the record books.”

*

In conclusion, I’ve accepted the reality that I will never again be the same “Travelin’ Man” who had, for a time, traveled to two live shows per week and had visited 41 states as well as Canada, Germany, England, the Bahamas and Argentina. But like Bernard Hopkins changed the meaning of his original nickname “The Executioner” from a man who executed opponents in the ring to one who executed sophisticated fight plans, perhaps the meaning of the “Travelin’ Man” going forward should shift from one who jetted from place to place to chronicle boxing events to someone who travels through this journey we all call life.

I’m not sure when my next journey will take place or what context it will boast, but when it happens, rest assured that this Travelin’ Man will do his best to take you along for the ride.

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

THE TRAVELIN’ MAN RETURNS TO IBHOF INDUCTION WEEKEND – PT. 1

THE TRAVELIN’ MAN RETURNS TO IBHOF INDUCTION WEEKEND – PT. 2

THE TRAVELIN’ MAN RETURNS TO IBHOF INDUCTION WEEKEND – PT. 3

THE TRAVELIN’ MAN RETURNS TO IBHOF INDUCTION WEEKEND – PT. 4.

 

Lee Groves is a boxing writer and historian based in Friendly, West Virginia. He is a full member of the BWAA, from which he has won 20 writing awards, including two first-place awards, since 2006. He has been an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame since 2001 and is also a writer, researcher and punch-counter for CompuBox, Inc. as well as a panelist on “In This Corner: The Podcast” on FITE.TV. He is the author of “Tales from the Vault: A Celebration of 100 Boxing Closet Classics” (available on Amazon) and the co-author of  “Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers” (also available on Amazon). To contact Groves use the email [email protected] or send him a message via Facebook and Twitter (@leegrovesboxing).

 

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