The International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday postponed the 31st annual induction weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The class of 2020 was due to be enshrined during ceremonies at the Canastota, New York, shrine on June 14 during induction weekend. Instead, the class of 2020 will be inducted along with the class of 2021 during next year’s induction weekend from June 10 to 13.
The class of 2020 is headlined by Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez and “Sugar” Shane Mosley in the modern boxer category, along with Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker, who were elected in the first year that a female boxer category was included on the ballot.
Also set for induction are promoters Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva and Dan Goossen in the non-participant category; journalists Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser in the observer category; Frank Erne and Paddy Ryan in the old-timer category; and Barbara Buttrick in the inaugural women’s trailblazer category.
“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,” said International Boxing Hall of Fame executive director Edward Brophy, who spent much of Sunday calling members of the class of 2020 to let them know about the change of plans. “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.”
Although those set for induction will have to wait an extra year for the ceremony and to receive their Hall of Fame rings, Brophy said their official plaques will still go on display in the museum beginning in June.
Brophy said those who have purchased 2020 induction weekend tickets can transfer them to the 2021 induction weekend or receive a refund.
Following the next election cycle, the class of 2021 will be announced in December. That class figures to be even more star-studded than the 2020 class with fighters such as former longtime heavyweight world champion and Olympic gold medalist Wladimir Klitschko; pound-for-pound legend Floyd Mayweather, who won titles in five divisions from junior lightweight to junior middleweight; Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto, who won titles in four divisions from junior welterweight to middleweight; and Andre Ward, an Olympic gold medalist, who held unified world titles at super middleweight and light heavyweight before retiring undefeated, all eligible to be on the ballot for the first time.