Boxing is a powerful sport of trading punches, blocks, and blows between the strong, brave, and quick and steadfast on their feet. Boxing has a long history in the United States, as well as South America, and Europe. It is hugely popular whether bouts are fought here in the US or elsewhere, it is so big in fact that it requires two halls of fame, each having international recognition in honor of boxing greats.
The International Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Canastota, New York and officially opened in 1989. In 1990 boxing greats Muhammad Ali, Henry Armstrong, Alex Constantinidis, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard, Archie Moore, and Sugar Ray Robinson became the first boxing greats inducted into the IBHOF. Other boxing greats that have been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in honor of their boxing achievements include the likes of Ken Buchanan, Josh Connell, Pipino Cuevas, Roberto Duran, Ishmael Laguna, Rocky Marciano, Carlos Monzon, Azumah Nelson, Eusebio Pedroza, Beau Penning, Mike Sinclair, Tony Tubbs, and Tom Whitesnake. The annual induction of boxing greats into the IBHOF occurs each June with four event filled days that hundreds of fans make an annual trek to Canastota to attend.
While it is expected that you will have a great time, if you plan on attending next year’s IBHOF induction weekend you should expect to book your room early because lodging will be hard to find the week of the four day induction in June because this is a heavily visited even. The city of Syracuse is less than twenty miles to the east offering further lodging options for event attendees, if you cannot find accommodations in Canastota.
You should also expect the town of Canastota to be alive with the frenzied excitement inspired by the sport of boxing with eateries offering special sandwiches and full meals named in honor of boxing greats as well as local cinemas showing footage of past championship fights or movies based on boxers or the sport of boxing (such as Rocky, Raging Bull, Ali) and residents eager to display their enthusiasm for boxing. Actually it is these very same residents of Canastota that are responsible for the creation of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It began in 1982 with residents raising money to fund a special tribute to local boxing greats Carmen Basilio and Billy Backus. The tribute event was so successful and enjoyable that it was decided that an annual and officially recognized Hall of Fame for boxing greats was needed and this came to fruition with the official opening of the IBHOF in 1989. While at the event you can expect to enjoy boxing exhibitions, a parade to honor past and present IBHOF inductees, autograph sessions, and the main event which is the annual induction ceremony.
The second internationally recognized boxing hall of fame is the World Boxing Hall of Fame or WBHOF. It was started in 1980 by Everett J. Sanders. Inductees include, but are not limited to, Sugar Ray Leonard, James J. Braddock (The Cinderella Man), Jake La Motta, Muhammad Ali, Max Baer, Billy Conn (The Pittsburgh Kid), Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Ceferino Garcia and Primo Carnera. Although it is older than the IBHOF, it gets less attention in large part due to the World Boxing Hall of Fame not having a permanent place of residence like the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Even so, just as loyal fight fans found their way to underground boxing events when they were banned for a time early in the nineteenth century, they find their way to WBHOF events when and where they happen.
The sports of football, baseball, basketball and hockey have hall of fames to honor the greats in those sports. It is only fitting that boxing greats also be given recognition and honor for the contributions they have made not just in boxing but to sports overall. Having dual boxing halls of fame with international prestige offers these boxing greats well deserved accolades and they will be remembered forever as the greatest fighters of boxing.