By Boxing Bob Newman
2012 IBHOF inductee Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns took time out after having his lethal right fist cast in plaster, to talk with Fightnews.com about his career, his induction and more…
The 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame class of 2012 was officially welcomed Friday afternoon at the hall’s hallowed grounds with the ceremonial fist casting. Both inductees and non-inductees had the tools of their trade permanently cast, to be on display forever among their peers inside the IBHOF museum.
Having their hands lubricated with Vaseline, each boxer then had their hand dipped into a still liquid rubber concoction while clenched in a fist. Careful not to touch the bottom or sides of the bucket in which the solution was contained, the fighters held still until the rubber sufficiently hardened, whereupon they slowly, sometimes with a bit of difficulty, extracted their legal weapons, to leave a perfect fist shaped cavity. Then a plaster mix, similar to what a dentist uses to make casts of one’s teeth, is poured into the mold. After hardening, the plaster fist is removed, painted bronze, and ready for display.
This year’s inductees taking part in the ceremony were non-participant category members Al Bernstein and Michael Katz, boxers Marc “Too Sharp” Johnson and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns. Fellow 2012 inductees Michael Buffer and Freddie Roach are expected to fly in on a red-eye flight after Saturday’s Pacquiao-Bradley fight. Other ring greats on hand to lend their fists to the Hall’s display cases were former champs “Merciless” Ray Mercer, Sharmba Mitchell, John “The Beast” Mugabi, Hilario Zapata and 1972 Olympic gold medalist “Sugar” Ray Seales, who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his Olympic achievement this Summer.
Photos: Boxing Bob Newman