Dubai: American Floyd Mayweather Jr and Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame class where they will join some of the sport’s greats led by Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya.
The induction ceremony which will take place on June 14 will also see history being made when Laila Ali will join her illustrious father Muhammad in the initiative that honours boxing champions.
Hall of Fame nominees are voted on by members of the Boxing Writers Association of America as well as a panel of boxing historians. The induction ceremony will take place at the Hall of Fame museum in Canastota, New York.
One notable absentee is Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, an eight division world champion, who has been overlooked.
Ali is arguably one of the greatest modern day female fighters having retired with an unbeaten 24-0 record in 2007 with 21 wins coming by knockout.
In 2001, she and Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, the daughter of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, became the first women to ever headline a boxing pay-per-view event. Ali achieved her fame winning super-middleweight and light-heavyweight titles along the way.
She will not be the only female fighter to receive boxing’s highest recognition with American Ann Wolfe, who has held world titles in three different weight classes simultaneously, also in a star-studded list of fighters.
Wolfe is regarded by many as the greatest fighter in the history of women’s boxing. Another standout inductee is Mayweather, a five-division world champion who headlined some of the biggest fights in boxing history, including showdowns with longtime rival Pacquiao and former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor.
Mayweather retired in 2017 with a record of 50-0 after holding world championships at super-featherweight, lightweight, super-lightweight, welterweight and light-middleweight. In his early career, Mayweather won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, after losing a controversial decision that is believed to have cost him the gold. Another Olympian who will join the Hall of Fame is Andre Ward who won the gold at the 2004 Games at Athens.
Ward retired in 2017 with a record of 32-0 after holding world titles at both super-middleweight and light-heavyweight. In 2011, Ward memorably won the Super Six World Boxing Classic, a professional boxing tournament, beating Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch.
In his last two professional fights, Ward out boxed Russian Sergey Kovalev to become a world champion capturing three world titles in the process.
Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, who won gold in the 1996 Olympics at Atlanta, was a heavyweight world champion over during separate phases in his career. In his second 19-fight winning streak, Klitschko won world titles for the WBA, IBF and WBO belts. Klitschko last fought in 2017, retiring with a professional record of 64-5.
Other famous boxers already residing in the Hall of Fame Museum are George Foreman, Frazier, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and ‘Marvellous’ Marvin Hagler.