CANASTOTA, N.Y. - Riddick Bowe, who beat undisputed champion Evander Holyfield to win the heavyweight boxing title in 1992, and popular lightweight champion Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini have been selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Also selected were featherweight champion "Prince" Naseem Hamed of England, light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken of Japan, manager Rafael Mendoza of Mexico, referee Steve Smoger of Norfolk, Virginia, journalist Nigel Collins of England, and broadcaster Jim Lampley of Asheville, North Carolina.
Posthumous honorees include Japanese flyweight Masao Ohba, middleweight Ken Overlin of Decatur, Illinois, and publicist John F.X. Condon of New York City.
Inductees were selected by the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.
The induction ceremony will be held June 14 at the Hall of Fame in upstate New York.
Bowe became the undisputed champ after beating Holyfield for the three major crowns. One of 13 siblings who grew up poverty in Brooklyn, Bowe somehow made his way to the pinnacle of the sport.
A 6-foot-5, 235-pounder, Bowe won his first 31 fights to get a shot at the title, knocking out all but two of them. He fought only 10 times after beating Holyfield in the first of their three memorable bouts and won nine of them. But it was evident his career was declining when he had to get up off the canvas to stop Holyfield in their final meeting.
Bowe retired in December 1996 with a 43-1 (33 KOs) pro record after taking a second straight beating from Andrew Golota, although he won both fights because Golota hit him with low blows.
Mancini, the pride of Youngstown, Ohio, followed his father, Lenny, into boxing and turned pro in 1979. He captured the NABF lightweight title in 1981 from Jorge Morales and in 1982 scored a first-round knockout of Arturo Frias to win the WBA lightweight title.
Though his career was brief, the popular Mancini had a profound impact. In November 1982, he defended his title against 23-year-challenger Duk Koo Kim of South Korea at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in an outdoor bout televised live by CBS. Mancini scored a knockout in the 14th round, but Kim suffered brain injuries that led to his death four days later.
The WBA immediately shortened its title fights to 12 rounds and by 1990 all sanctioning organizations had followed suit. But Kim's death had a negative impact on the sport's popularity.
Mancini also made successful defenses against Ernesto Espana, Orlando Romero and Hall of Famer Bobby Chacon before losing the title to Livingstone Bramble in 1984 and in the rematch the next year. He officially retired in 1992 with a pro record of 29-5 (23 KOs).
Hamed learned to box at 7 and turned pro in 1992. In the ensuing decade, he captured bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight titles and had an impressive string of 15 successful title defenses before retiring in 2002 with a pro record of 36-1 (31 KOs).
The Tokyo-born Ohba turned pro in 1966 and compiled a 25-2-1 record before winning the WBA flyweight championship in 1970. He successfully defended the title five times over the next three years and in his lone bout outside his native country stopped Rocky Garcia in the ninth round in the United States. His last fight was a successful title defense over Thailand's Chartchai Chionoi in January 1973. Three weeks later, he died at 23 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident, finishing with a pro record of 35-2-1 (16 KOs).
Overlin learned to box in the Navy and turned pro in 1931. Perhaps his finest moment was a 10-round victory over future heavyweight king Ezzard Charles. He retired in 1944 with a record of 135-19-9-2NC (23 KOs) and died in 1969 in Reno, Nevada.
Condon served as vice president and president of MSG Boxing in 1981 and was matchmaker and commentator for fights on the MSG Network. He died in 1989.
Mendoza was one of boxing's most respected managers and booking agents. He advised 22 world champions, including Hall of Famers Alexis Arguello and Pipino Cuevas.
Smoger started in boxing in the early 1970s as a timekeeper, judge and referee for the Police Athletic League and began his career as a professional referee in 1984 in New Jersey. Over three decades in the sport, he has refereed nearly 200 title bouts.
Collins immigrated to the United States, boxed in the U.S. Army, and eventually managed fighters before turning his attention to writing. He began his professional career in 1973 as a correspondent for The Ring and also served as editor of Boxing Illustrated and managing editor and editor-in-chief of The Ring.
Lampley served as announcer for over 40 boxing matches on ABC's Wide World of Sports and has been calling boxing for HBO since March 1988.
The class of 2015
RIDDICK "BIG DADDY" BOWE: Born Riddick Lamont Bowe on Aug. 10, 1968 in Brooklyn. ... The 6-foot-5 Bowe compiled a 104-18 amateur record that included a super heavyweight silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. ... Turned pro in 1989 under the tutelage of Eddie Futch. ... Wins over Garing Lane, Pinklon Thomas, Bert Cooper, Tyrell Biggs, Tony Tubbs, Bruce Seldon, Elijah Tillery, Everett Martin and Pierre Coetzer propelled him to a heavyweight title bout with undisputed champion Evander Holyfield. ... Won 12-round decision over Holyfield to become champion and was named "Fighter of the Year" by The Ring and the BWAA. ... Scored successful defenses over Michael Dokes and Jesse Ferguson. ... Lost 12-round decision to Holyfield in 1993 rematch. ... Captured WBO championship from Herbie Hide in 1995 before scoring an 8th-round knockout over Holyfield to end their epic three-fight series... Scored two controversial disqualification wins over Andrew Golota in 1996. ... Fought sporadically before retiring in 2008 with a 43-1 (33 KOs) pro record.
"PRINCE" NASEEM HAMED: Born Naseem Salom Ali on Feb. 12, 1974 in England. ... Learned to box at age 7 and following an outstanding amateur career turned pro in 1992. ... Became known for his flashy boxing style and ring entrances, including his trademark flip over the top rope. ... Captured the EBU bantamweight and WBC International super bantamweight titles in 1994 before winning the WBO featherweight strap from Steve Robinson in 1995. ... Had an impressive string of 15 successful title defenses, including a stirring fourth-round stoppage of Kevin Kelley in his Madison Square Garden debut. ... Also defeated Tom Johnson in 1997 for the IBF featherweight belt and Cesar Soto in 1999 for the WBC title. ... In 2001 lost 12-round decision to Marco Antonio Barrera ... Rebounded to defeat Manuel Calvo the next year and retired after the victory with a pro record of 36-1 (31 KOs).
RAY "BOOM BOOM" MANCINI: Born March 4, 1961 in Youngstown, Ohio. ... Followed his father, Lenny, into boxing and turned pro in 1979. ... Captured the NABF lightweight title in 1981 from Jorge Morales and defended against Jose Luis Ramirez before unsuccessfully challenging Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello for the WBC world title. ... In 1982 scored first-round knockout of Arturo Frias to win the WBA lightweight title. ... Made successful defenses against Ernesto Espana, Deuk-Koo Kim, Orlando Romero, and Hall of Famer Bobby Chacon. .. Lost the title to Livingstone Bramble in 1984 and the rematch the next year. ... Lost a 1989 decision to Hector Camacho for the WBO junior welterweight title and a 1992 contest with Greg Haugen for the NABF junior welterweight title. ... Retired in 1992 with a pro record of 29-5 (23 KOs).
YOKO GUSHIKEN: Born June 26, 1955 in Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan. ... The son of a fisherman, Gushiken quickly developed as an amateur and won the all-Japan high school championship, compiling a 62-3 (52 KOs) record. ... Nicknamed "Fierce Eagle" he turned pro in 1974 and scored eight wins over two years before knocking out Juan Antonio Guzman for the WBA light flyweight title in 1976. ... Registered 13 successful defenses, nine by
knockout, over a four-year period. ... Lost the title to Pedro Flores in a 1981 rematch. ... Retired at age 25 with a pro record of 23-1 (15 KOs). ... In 1995 formed the Shirai Gushiken Sports Gym, which has produced several champions and is still involved in boxing as a trainer, manager and promoter.
MASAO OHBA: Born October 21, 1949 in Tokyo, Japan. ... Turned pro in 1966 in Japan and compiled a 25-2-1 record before winning the WBA flyweight championship in 1970 with a 13th round stoppage of Thailand's Berkrerk Chartvanchai. ... Successfully defended the title five times over the next three years, including wins over Venezuelan Betulio Gonzalez, Fernando Cabanela, Susumu Hanagata, and Orlando Amores. ... In his lone bout outside his native country, traveled to the United States and stopped Rocky Garcia in the ninth round. ... Last bout was a successful title defense over Thailand's Chartchai Chionoi in January 1973. ... Three weeks later, he died at age 23 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident, finishing with a pro record of 35-2-1 (16 KOs).
KEN OVERLIN: Born Kenneth Edward Overlin on Aug. 15, 1910 in Decatur, Illinois. ... Learned to box in the Navy and turned pro in 1931. ... Boxed many top contenders before being knocked out in the fourth round by Freddie Steele for the NBA-NY world middleweight title in 1937. ... Earned two wins over Nate Bolden and on May 23, 1940 beat Ceferino Garcia for the 160-pound belt at Madison Square Garden. ... Notched non-title win over Ralph DeJohn and twice successfully defended his title against Steve Belloise before losing the championship to Billy Soose in 1941. ... Scored a 10-round win over future heavyweight king Ezzard Charles and later that same year defeated Al Hostak. ... Following 10-round draws with Charles and Fred Apostoli in 1942, he was inactive for a year and retired from the ring after four more bouts in 1944 with a record of 135-19-9-2NC (23KOs). Died in Reno, Nevada, on July 24, 1969.
JOHN F.X. CONDON: Born John Francis Xavier Condon on Aug. 29, 1914 in New York City. ... Succeeded Hall of Fame publicist Murray Goodman as Madison Square Garden's Publicity Director in the late 1950s. ... Rose to vice president and ultimately president of MSG Boxing in 1981. ... Also served as matchmaker and commentator for fights on the MSG Network. As a publicist was praised for his ingenuity responsible for generating tremendous attention for boxing matches at the Madison Square Garden. ... Organized the Kid Gloves Tournament. ... Was awarded the James J. Walker Award for long and meritorious service to boxing in 1968, and both the Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism and the James A. Farley Award for honesty and integrity in the sport of boxing in 1984. Died Oct. 13, 1989.
RAFAEL MENDOZA: Born April 20, 1937 in Mexico. ... A former sportswriter, was one of boxing's most respected managers and booking agents. ... Advised 22 world champions, including Hall of Famers Miguel Canto, Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez, Daniel Zaragoza, Alexis Arguello and Pipino Cuevas.
STEVE SMOGER: Born Aug. 15, 1950 in Norfolk, Virginia. ... Started in boxing in the early 1970s as a timekeeper, judge and referee for the Police Athletic League. ... Began his career as a professional referee in 1984 in New Jersey and two years later officiated his first world title fight, an IBF flyweight bout, in South Korea. ... Over three decades in boxing has refereed nearly 200 title bouts.
NIGEL COLLINS: Born April 7, 1946 in England. ... After immigrating to the United States boxed in the U.S. Army and eventually managed fighters before turning his attention to writing. ... Began professional career in 1973 as The Ring's Philadelphia and Atlantic City correspondent. ... Joined The Ring staff as editor of Boxing Illustrated. ... Became editor-in-chief of The Ring in 1985 and held the post until 1989. ... Rejoined the publication in 1993 as managing editor and reassumed editor-in-chief position in 1997 and served in that capacity until 2011. ... Also was editor-in-chief of The Ring Almanac, KO and World Boxing and is the author of Boxing Babylon. ... In 2007 was awarded the James J. Walker Award for long and meritorious service to boxing by the BWAA. ... Currently a columnist for ESPN.com and Boxing News and is social media and content provider for ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
JIM LAMPLEY: Born April 8, 1949 in Asheville, North Carolina. ... As a child he developed an affinity for boxing by watching Sugar Ray Robinson on the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. ... Graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1971 and earned a master's degree in communication in 1974. ... Began broadcasting career in 1974 and was hired by ABC as a sideline reporter on its college football broadcasts. ...Hosted ABC's Wide World of Sports and served as announcer for over 40 boxing matches. ... Has been calling boxing for HBO since March 1988 and has hosted HBO's The Fight Game With Jim Lampley since 2012. ... Also has covered 14 Olympic Games for U.S. television and is a four-time Sports Emmy Award winner.