Former champions Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez and Kostya Tszyu were elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Tyson and Chavez were the clear favorites for induction. The inclusion is Sylvester Stallone is an odd selection. His contribution to our culture -- but necessarily the sport of boxing -- is the "Rocky" movie series. He is the first actor to be inducted to any major sports Hall of Fame.
The Boxing Writers Association of America votes for fighters, but not for the observer category in which Stallone entered the hall.
Here is the official press release from the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
CANASTOTA, NY - DECEMBER 7, 2010 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced today the newest class of inductees to enter the Hall. Living inductees include three-division champion Julio Cesar Chavez (Mexico), junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu (Russia / Australia), heavyweight champion Mike Tyson (USA), trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain (Mexico), referee Joe Cortez (USA) and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone (USA).
“We’re extremely excited about the Class of 2011 and very much looking forward to honoring the 22nd class of inductees,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy.
The 22nd Annual Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 9-12th in Canastota, NY. Over 20 events, including a golf tournament, banquet, parade and autograph card show, are planned. An impressive celebrity lineup of boxing greats of yesterday and today will attend this year’s Induction Weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be the Official Enshrinement Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds in Canastota, New York on Sunday, June 12th to welcome the newest members.
The Hall of Fame also released names of posthumous honorees: bantamweight Memphis Pal Moore, light heavyweight champion Jack Root and welterweight and middleweight Dave Shade in the Old-Timer Category; promoter A.F. Bettinson in the Non Participant Category; broadcaster Harry Carpenter in the Observer Category; and John Gully in the Pioneer Category. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.
For more information on the events planned for the 2011 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095 or visit www.ibhof.com.
Comments from the inductees:
“I am honored and I feel humble. At this moment in my life, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is very special. I feel great to know that my name will be inscribed with the best of the best, to join some of my heroes and to leave a mark for my family and my country.” - Julio Cesar Chavez
“This is unbelievably great news! I’m actually speechless. I can’t describe my feelings. My job was to make sure the people enjoyed themselves when they were watching me and I spent all my life doing so. I still continue to be involved in boxing to this day because boxing has been so great to me. To be inducted next to Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran and Jeff Fenech, who’s a good friend of mine, is a huge, huge honor.” - Kostya Tszyu
“I am honored to be nominated in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The sport of boxing has given me so much and it is truly a blessing to be acknowledged alongside other historical boxing legends, because they paved the way for me as I hope I have inspired others in this great sport." - Mike Tyson
"I have no words to express how I am feeling. This is one of the most emotional moments of my life. Thank you so much. I will proudly represent the International Boxing Hall of Fame.” - Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain
“I’m very touched by this honor. It took a lot of years in boxing to get here, but I love the sport very much. This is the best award and it couldn’t get any greater. The biggest award anyone in boxing - fighter or official - can receive is induction into the most prestigious entity in boxing, the International Boxing Hall of Fame. This is the highlight of my career.” - Joe Cortez