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By Anthony “Zute” George – The International Boxing Hall of Fame once again opened its doors for fervent boxing fansContinue Reading

By Anthony “Zute” George – The International Boxing Hall of Fame once again opened its doors for fervent boxing fans this past weekend. To say the weekend hit the spot after a treacherous two-year hiatus is significant understatement. Like saying George Chuvalo had a decent chin. Mike Tyson was a prodigy.

Another understatement is that so much has happened since the last IBHOF ceremony in 2019. The boxing world lost many legends. Leon Spinks, Pernell Whitaker, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who happens to be my idol, to name a few. Many of us had personal, gut-wrenching losses as well. I lost my baby brother. Richie was never as huge a boxing fan like me, but he did enjoy the sport. He was very fond of Manny Pacquiao. The last conversation I had with him was about how Shakur Stevenson seems to be on a different level than most after he dismantled Jamal Herring.

Proving that you do not have to go back to the time before the invention of Betamax to cite the best of boxing history. The collection of pugilists from 2020, 2021, and 2022 is a fantastic representation of boxing history. Indeed, the primary benefit of the lay-off was this once-in-a-lifetime Hall of Fame class that was labelled, Trilogy.

A quick look at the Trilogy reveals such greats as :

  • Sugar Shane Mosley. One of the most talented lightweights ever.
  • Juan Manuel Marquez. A counter punching marvel with a warrior’s mentality.
  • Bernard Hopkins. A defensive wizard with a boxing IQ that is off the charts.
  • Wladimir Klitschko. One of the most dominant heavyweight reigns ever. Period.
  • Floyd Mayweather Jr. Easily one of the top five most fabulous boxer’s skills wise to ever do it. If you are brutally honest with yourself.
  • Andre Ward: On the short list of the greatest 168 pounders.
  • Miguel Cotto. A crowd pleaser with skill, who basically carried the territory of Puerto Rico on his back when he fought. One of the best to ever do it for his fans.
  • Roy Jones Jr. A freakish talent, where few ever reached the same heights as he did at his peak. Nobody dominated water cooler conversation more than Roy. The fighter of the nineties
  • James Toney. Possessed boxing skills matched by few and as tough as they come to boot.

The history of boxing wants for nothing from this group of inductees. And that is just from the modern males. The cherry on top of the Trilogy was the debut of female boxers who were enshrined. A fabulous class of the best of the early part of women’s boxing. Their history is just underway.

More, please.

Euphoria is the best way to describe attending the Trilogy. If only the rest of the world was that way. Indeed, the absence of Wladimir Klitschko was an adjacent reminder that the world we live in and the Utopian Society for boxing fans in Canastota, NY, are perfect strangers.

Were there significant problems with the weekend? Unfortunately, there were plenty. I will save the griping for my next podcast, however. This article is more about paying homage to this great Trilogy class and saying welcome back to one of the world’s most wondrous places. Providing evidence that boxing is nowhere near perished.

As always, typical questions conjure up in your head when returning home from a boxing hall of fame weekend. Such as what fighters will pay a visit next year? With the Trilogy, there were not as many IBHOF alumni in attendance. Michael Spinks and Julian ‘The Hawk’ Jackson were the only fighters of the hall of fame family in attendance. I am hoping for a return of Orlando Canizales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Dwight Muhammad Qawi. Qawi has not been back since 2014. They are all-time greats who were also great signers in past years. Jeff Fenech, Azumah Nelson, and Julio Cesar Chavez are hall of Famers who have not attended during my six visits. At least one of them next year would be grand.

Also, who will be part of the 2023 class? There are so many contenders in what no doubt will be a hotly contested debate.

Stay tuned…

Twitter @zutesboxingtalk

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