Short bio's of 14 boxing hall of fame inductees
Date: 2008-12-14 11:00:00
Submitted By: Boxing Dump
CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- A brief look at the 14 people who will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on June 14, 2009: ORLANDO CANIZALES -- Born Nov. 25, 1965, Laredo, Texas. Began professional career in August 1984. Won NABF flyweight title from Armando Velasco in 1987 with a fourth-round KO. In 1988, he added USBA super flyweight title with a second-round TKO over Louis Curtis. Moved up in weight and won the IBF bantamweight championship with a 15th-round TKO over Kelvin Seabrooks. Over the next six years, Canizales successfully defended his title a division-record 16 consecutive times. Abdicated title in 1994 to fight as super bantamweight and dropped 12-round split decision to WBA champion Wilfredo Benitez in January 1995. Retired in 1999 with a record of 50-5-1 and 37 KOs. PAUL GALLICO -- Born July 26, 1897 in New York. Famed novelist ("Poseidon Adventure," "The Pride of the Yankees"), sports writer for the New York Daily News and creator of the Golden Gloves boxing tournament in 1927. Gallico famously sparred with Jack Dempsey -- and was knocked out in two minutes -- to write a column about what it was like to be hit by the heavyweight champion. Died July 15, 1976. BILLY GIBSON -- Born in 1876. Manager of Hall of Fame champions (lightweight) Benny Leonard and (heavyweight) Gene Tunney, also served as a matchmaker and promoter at the Fairmont Athletic Club and Madison Square Garden in early 1900s-1920s. Died July 21, 1947. BOB GOODMAN -- Born June 8, 1939, in New York. Son of Hall of Fame publicist Murray Goodman. With his father, formed Murray Goodman Associates and handled public relations for major bouts involving Ken Norton, Bob Foster, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali and big events for Top Rank and Don King Productions. Later became matchmaker at Madison Square Garden Boxing. ABE GREENE -- Born in 1899, credited with revitalizing boxing in New Jersey. Worked as a newspaperman at the Paterson Evening News for 56 years. Served as New Jersey state boxing commissioner from 1937-1953 and from 1971-1983. Was president of National Boxing Association 1941-1948 and in 1970 elected lifetime commissioner by the WBA. Died Sept. 22, 1988. AKIHIKO HONDA -- Born Sept. 9, 1947. Took over Teiken Promotions at age 17 following untimely death of father and developed it into one of Japan's most influential and successful promotional companies. Among the fights promoted were ones involving Mike Tyson, Tony Tubbs and Buster Douglas. Has guided the careers of more than a half dozen champions, including current fighters Roman Gonzales and Edwin Valero. TOM HYER -- Born Jan. 1, 1819, is the first recognized heavyweight champion of America. Won the title in 1841 by defeating George McChester in 101 rounds, a fight that took nearly three hours. Died of a heart attack at age 45 on June 26, 1864. WILLIAM "GORILLA" JONES -- Born in Memphis, Tenn., May 12, 1906. Turned pro in 1924. Jones stopped Oddone Piazza with a sixth-round TKO to win NBA middleweight title in 1931. After title loss to Marcel Thil, Jones regained the NBA crown in 1933 with a seventh-round KO of Sammy Slaughter. Retired in 1940 with a career mark of 101-24-13 and 52 KOs. In retirement, became chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood starlet Mae West. Died Jan. 4, 1982. LENNOX LEWIS -- Born Sept. 2, 1965, in West Ham, England. Defeated Riddick Bowe for 1988 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal. Turned professional in 1989 and claimed vacant WBC heavyweight title with a second-round TKO of Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in 1992. After losing championship to Oliver McCall in 1994, took it back in 1997 with a fifth-round TKO. Fought to a controversial draw in March 1999 with Evander Holyfield in what was then the highest-grossing fight ever at Madison Square Garden. Defeated Holyfield eight months later to win WBA/IBF belts and unify championship. Reclaimed the title in a 2001 rematch with Hasim Rahman. Knocked out Mike Tyson in the 8th round in 2002. Retired in 2003 with a record of 41-2-1 and 32 KOs. HUGH MCILVANNEY -- Born in Kilmamock, Scotland, in Feb. 2, 1934. One of the most respected voices in British sports journalism, McIlvanney is an award-winning writer. He currently writes a weekly column for The Sunday Times and has been ringside for boxing legends from Muhammad Ali to Roy Jones Jr. LARRY MERCHANT -- Born Feb. 11, 1931, in New York City, has been a sports writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, New York Post and Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In 1978, he joined HBO sports as an expert analyst for boxing. BRIAN MITCHELL -- Born Aug. 30, 1961 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Turned pro in 1981 and won South African junior lightweight crown in 1983. Won the WBA title in September 1986 with 10th-round TKO of Alfredo Layne and defended the title 12 consecutive times before he was stripped of it in 1991. Won the IBF belt later in 1991 with a 12-round win over Tony "The Tiger" Lopez. Retired in 1995 with a record of 45-1-3 and 21 KOs. "MYSTERIOUS" BILLY SMITH -- Born May 15, 1871, in Little River, Nova Scotia. Turned professional in 1890. Although he had quick hands, Smith was more known for his often blatant disregard for the rules and became known as "The Dirtiest Fighter Who Ever Lived." Held the world welterweight title 1892-1894 and 1898-1900. Retired in 1915. Died Oct. 15, 1937. BILLY SOOSE -- Born Aug. 2, 1915 in Farrell, Pa. Posted 170 wins in 176 amateur bouts. Soose was a three-time Golden Gloves middleweight champion and U.S. amateur champion. Won the 1937 intercollegiate title at Penn State. Was so dominant that boxing officials passed a law barring Golden Gloves winners from intercollegiate competition, ending his college boxing career. Turned pro in 1938. Won the NYSAC title in 1941. Retired in 1942 with a record of 34-6-1 and 13 KOs. Died Sept. 5, 1998.