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Boxing Hall of Fame names first inductees

By
STEVE SCHAEFER

CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- Muhammad Ali, John L. Sullivan and the Marquis of Queensberry are among the 53 inaugural inductees named Saturday to be enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame Museum.

The list includes 46 boxers in three categories -- modern, old-timer and pioneer -- and seven members of a 'non-participant' category, said Edward Brophy, executive director of the year-old museum.

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The inductees, who will be honored at 'The Showplace of Boxing' from June 8-10, were selected by a world-wide panel of 113 boxing historians and members of the Boxing Writers' Association of America, said Brophy.

Of the 15 living inductees, 12 have made commitments to attend the induction ceremony, said Brophy.

They are: Carmen Basilio, Billy Conn, Bob Foster, Joe Frazier, Kid Gavilan, Emile Griffith, Jake LaMotta, Archie Moore, Jose Napoles, Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler and Jersey Joe Walcott.

Arrangements are also being made to bring Ali and Ike Williams to the ceremony, said Brophy. The other living inductee, Carlos Monzon, is in prison in Argentina for murdering his wife.

The other inductees in the modern category are: Henry Armstrong, Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson.

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The old-timer category includes: Abe Attell, Jack Britton, Tony Canzoneri, James Corbett, Jack Dempsey, George Dixon, Jim Driscoll, Bob Fitzsimmons, Joe Gans, Harry Greb, Peter Jackson, James Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Stanley Ketchel, Sam Langford, Benny Leonard, Terry McGovern, Barney Ross, Gene Tunney, Mickey Walker and Jimmy Wilde.

Jack Broughton, Jem Mace, Daniel Mendoza and Tom Sayers join Sullivan in the pioneer category.

Along with the Marquis of Queensberry, John Graham Chambers, Nat Fleischer, Mike Jacobs, Jack Kearns, Lord Lonsdale and George Rickard were inducted in the non-participant category.

'I think that the selection committee did a marvelous job selecting the first class of inductees,' Brophy said. 'We felt from day one that the key to making the Hall of Fame credible was to put together a criteria and selection committee that would be of high standards, and we feel that we have succeeded.'

The Marquis of Queensberry and Chambers created the first rules governing boxing in 1867.

'We're reaching to the beginning ... and saluting those who have played a major role in the history of boxing,' Brophy said.

Induction criteria created by museum officials stated that 50 charter members should be inducted this year, but in future years inductees will need to receive a certain percentage of the total votes cast. An average of seven inductees will be added to the Hall of Fame each spring, Brophy said.

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The museum, which is about 25 miles east of Syracuse, just off the New York State Thruway, officially opened last June 10.

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