Riddick Bowe holding up a championship belt/Photo courtesy of New York Daily News
Riddick Bowe, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Prince Naseem Hamed have been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the organization announced Thursday.
Bowe went 43-1 with 33 knockouts fighting from 1989-2008 – at one point he went nearly eight years without fighting. Bowe was 5-1 in heavyweight world-title fights, his only loss coming via majority decision to Evander Holyfield in a title fight in November 1993 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Bowe and Holyfield fought three times, with Bowe winning twice.
“I’m ecstatic,” Bowe said in a statement. “As a kid, this is what I dreamed of. I’m just so happy. For me, hard work and determination got me in the Hall of Fame.”
Mancini sported a record of 29-5 with 23 knockouts fighting from 1979-1992. After being stopped by Alexis Arguello in the 14th round in October 1981 in his first shot at the lightweight championship, Mancini knocked out Arturo Frias in the first round seven months later – in May 1982 – to take the lightweight belt held by Frias.
Like Bowe, Mancini was stoked to hear the news.
“Wow,” Mancini said. “I’m humbled and I’m honored. To be in the International Boxing Hall of Fame with so many of my friends and heroes, is overwhelming.”
Tragedy struck in Mancini’s second defense when he knocked out Deuk-Koo Kim of South Korea in the 14th round of a very brutal bout. Kim died four days later as a result of the injuries sustained in the fight at Caesars Palace.
It was the fight that led to 15-round championship fights being reduced to 12 rounds.
Mancini made two more successful defenses before losing the last four fights of his career – to Livingstone Bramble (twice), Hector “Macho” Camacho and Greg Haugen. Mancini retired at age 31.
Hamed, an entertaining and very cocky southpaw, went 36-1 with 31 knockouts from 1992-2002. He was 16-0 in major featherweight world-title fights before losing to Marco Antonio Barrera via unanimous decision in a bout for a minor title in April 2001. Hamed had just one more fight and retired at age 28.
“This is amazing news,” Hamed said. “It’s an absolute honor to be recognized with some of the best fighters that ever lived. I’m overwhelmed to hear this news. What can I say? I’m so happy that I officially got the call from the International Boxing Hall of Fame to tell me this. For every fighter this is the phone call of a dream because when you get a phone call saying you’re going to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, it’s not every day you get that call.”
The trio will be enshrined June 14 in Canastota, N.Y.
Non-fighter inductees include referee Steve Smoger, writer Nigel Collins and longtime HBO broadcaster Jim Lampley.