Boxing

Bradley, Froch headline 2023 Hall of Fame class

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Timothy Bradley Jr., the two-division champion who defeated Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, will join those fighters in the International Boxing Hall of Fame when the Class of 2023 is inducted next summer, it was announced Wednesday.

Carl Froch, who faced a who’s who of the super middleweight division during his championship reign, and Rafael Marquez, who combined with Israel Vasquez for one of boxing’s greatest rivalries, will be inducted alongside Bradley on June 11 in Canastota, New York.

The three modern-era men’s inductees (last bout no earlier than 1989) will be accompanied by Alicia Ashley and Laura Serrano in the women’s modern category.

Trainer Joe Goossen, Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman and Top Rank COO Brad Jacobs were elected in the non-participant category. Former HBO Sports president Seth Abraham and broadcaster Tim Ryan were elected in the observer category.

Posthumous inductees include Tiger Jack Fox and Pone Kingpetch in the old timer category and JoAnn Hagen in the women’s trailblazer category.

Bradley, who hails from Palm Springs, California, won his first title in 2008 with a road victory over Junior Witter in England. He went on to unify junior welterweight belts with a win over Kendall Holt and later stopped Devon Alexander to again unify titles in a 140-pound summit meeting.

The fighter nicknamed Desert Storm scored a controversial decision victory over Pacquiao in 2012 to capture a welterweight title before he was defeated by the all-time great in two subsequent bouts. Bradley’s win over Ruslan Provodnikov was named the 2013 Fight of the Year, and later that year, he delivered a career-best performance with a decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, the older brother of Rafael Marquez.

Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs) was trained by Teddy Atlas for his final three fights and joins his coach in the Hall of Fame.

“This is one of the greatest days of my life,” said Bradley, who has served as a boxing analyst for ESPN since 2016. ” … This is everything I wanted and everything I worked for. I’m full of emotions and there are so many things going through my mind from my past that got me to this point. This is a dream come true. This is my heaven, the International Boxing Hall of Fame.”

Froch boasts one of the best resumes of the past 15 years in an era when the best often don’t fight the best. “The Cobra” won his first title with a thrilling decision win over Jean Pascal in 2008 and followed up with a come-from-behind 12th-round TKO of Jermain Taylor to retain the super middleweight belt.

Th U.K. star went on to turn back Andre Dirrell in the first round of the Super Six World Boxing Classic before he lost his 168-pound title to Mikkel Kessler. Froch later avenged the defeat to Kessler and added a decision win over Arthur Abraham, a fifth-round TKO of Lucian Bute along with back-to-back victories over George Groves in packed stadiums. Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) was defeated by Andre Ward in the finals of the World Boxing Classic and now works as a boxing analyst for Sky Sports.

“Boxing is the best sport in the world,” Froch said. “It tests everything in a man and a woman. The mentality, discipline, grit, determination, heart, desire, everything is all in that ring and it is just you on your own with your opponent.”

Marquez 41-9 (37 KOs) now joins his brother in the hallowed halls after a long wait. The Mexican broke through with an upset decision victory over Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson in 2001 and stopped the Hall of Famer in the rematch.

Marquez scored a TKO 8 of Tim Austin in 2003 to win his first title and successfully defended the bantamweight championship seven times. But Marquez is best remembered for his four fights with Vasquez, action-packed scraps that featured blood and guts for the lineal junior featherweight championship.

Marquez won the first and fourth bouts of the series. Vasquez won the other two, and both of those were named Fight of the Year (2007 and ’08).

Ashley won titles in three weight classes. The Jamaica native competed in 13 countries and is now the head boxing trainer at UFC Fit in Shanghai.

Serrano, Mexico’s first female boxing champion, was instrumental in the reversal of a 1947 ban forbidding women’s boxing in Mexico City.

Joe Goossen, long one of boxing’s best trainers, joins his late brother, promoter Dan Goossen, in the Hall. Known for his tactical adjustments and calm demeanor in the corner, Goossen led Diego Corrales to a comeback TKO victory of Jose Luis Castillo in what many consider the greatest fight of the modern era.

Goossen led Michael Nunn, Gabriel Ruelas, Rafael Rueles and Frankie Liles to championships. He currently trains Ryan Garcia, and in the past also worked with Shane Mosley, Riddick Bowe and Joel Casamayor at his Ten Goose Gym in Van Nuys, California.

“To think I’ll be in the Hall of Fame with my brother Dan is probably the best thing I’ve heard since he died,” Goossen said. “When I got into the sport back in 1970, I would have never thought in ten million years that I would really make a mark and eventually end up in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.”

Goodman, who has served as one of Top Rank’s matchmakers for decades, has built over 50 champions, including Teofimo Lopez, Miguel Cotto and Shakur Stevenson. The Queens, New York, native is regarded for his keen eye for opponents that will serve to develop Top Rank’s fighters.

Jacobs programmed the popular “Tuesday Night Fights” series on USA Network for 12 years and has served as Top Rank COO since 2010. He oversees operations of Top Rank’s 30-plus annual events and is regarded for his expertise in venue location, organization and negotiating rights fees.

Abraham worked at HBO for over 30 years and under his leadership, HBO was known as “The Network of Champions.”

Ryan became the lead blow-by-blow announcer for CBS in 1977, and alongside Gil Clancy, formed one of the most memorable broadcast duos in boxing history. He called more than 300 championship fights, including Ali-Frazier 1, Hearns-Leonard, Hagler-Leonard and Pryor-Arugello.

Source : ESPN.com

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