Report and photos by Boxing Bob Newman
The first full day of events at the 24th annual IBHOF induction weekend got underway in blustery, rainy conditions today in Canastota, NY. Die hard fans flocked to boxing’s hallowed grounds regardless of the weather. The fist casting ceremony began at 3 p.m. with inductees and new boxing guests alike. 2013 Inductees Mills Lane, Jimmy Lennon Jr., Myung Woo Yuh, and Colin Hart were among the living inductees whose fists were cast to later be displayed in the IBHOF museum. 2013 inductee Virgil Hill was still enroute to the grounds and will get his fast cast before the weekend was over. In an interesting twist, Jimmy Lennon Jr. held a dowel in his clenched fist, to allow for the finished cast to hold a microphone, a symbol of Lennon’s Hall-of-Fame-worthy ring announcing career.
Non inductees on hand to have their paws cast included, Mia St John, Mike Weaver, In Jin Chi, Zab Judah, Milton McCrory and Julian Jackson.
The evening saw competing events for the first time on a IBHOF Friday night. While Miguel Cotto promoted a Shobox event at nearby Turning Stone Casino, The Rusty Rail banquet house hosted A Night of Welterweights. Several former champs and fighters at that weight were on hand including Billy Backus, Sugar Shane Mosley, Carlos Palomino, Pipino Cuevas, Milton McCrory and Gaspar Ortega. The night not only focused on legends of the division, but served as a tribute to local legend Carmen Basilio, two-time welter champ, Canastota, native and missing for the first time in the history of the hall. Basilio passed away December 7, 2012.