Story and photos by Jeff Julian



On an uncharacteristically cold and rainy weekend, the village of Canastota, New York once again welcomed boxing fans and legends on June 8th through June 11th as it hosted the 17th Annual International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. Many of boxing's faithful descended upon "boxing's hometown" despite the weather and the fact that other big boxing events were taking place on the east coast that weekend - Hopkins vs Tarver in Atlantic City and Cotto vs Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden.

Leading the Induction Class of 2006 were two junior flyweight champions who had a long history together. Former U.S. Olympian Michael "Little Hands of Stone" Carbajal and Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzales of Mexico faced each other in three memorable bouts, and it seemed appropriate that they were reunited and bestowed this honor together. Also inducted this year was popular historian/publisher Hank Kaplan in the Observer Category - a man whose wealth of boxing knowledge was instrumental in the creation of the IBHOF. The other living inductee was British promoter/manager Jarvis Astaire, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

Posthumous honorees included three-time lightweight champion Edwin Rosario in the Modern Category; welterweight and middleweight champion Lou Brouillard, light heavyweight champion Jimmy Slattery and middleweight champion Teddy Yarosz in the Old-Timer Category; trainer Whitey Bimstein and promoter Rodolfo Sabbatini in the Non-Participant Category; publisher/editor Stanley Weston in the Observer category; and Jem Carney in the Pioneer Category.

Other boxing luminaries in attendance during the event-filled weekend included Sugar Ray Leonard, Angelo Dundee, Carmen Basilio, Gene Fullmer, Erik Morales, Ken Norton, Leon Spinks, Pernell Whitaker, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Micky Ward, Riddick Bowe, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith, Bob Foster, Livingstone Bramble, Marlon Starling, Carlos Ortiz, Ruben Olivares, Bert Sugar, Bob Arum, Gil Clancy, George Chuvalo, Arthur Mercante, Wilfredo Gomez, Mickey Duff, Russell Peltz, Sergei Liakhovich, Christy Martin and "The Contender's" Alfonso Gomez.

Canastota is always a "dream weekend" for true fans of the Sweet Science - one in which they can mingle and interact with both legends and current stars. It also offers fans and the boxing community the chance to honor those who have contributed to the history and glory of boxing. Boxingtalk extends its congratulations to all the 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees.


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