Canastota, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Former undisputed heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe and ex-WBA lightweight champ Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini were among eight men elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Thursday.
Also among the 2015 class of inductees are British standout “Prince” Naseem Hamed, longtime television broadcaster Jim Lampley, manager Rafael Mendoza and referee Steve Smoger. Joining Lampley, Mendoza and Smoger in the Non- Participant Category is veteran journalist Nigel Collins, while former light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken was voted in via the Old-Timer Category.
Three others were named as inductees posthumously: former flyweight champ Masao Ohba and ex-middleweight champion Ken Overlin in the Old-Timer Category and publicist John F.X. Condon in the Non-Participant class.
Bowe, who compiled a 43-1 record with 33 knockouts, is best remembered for his trio of battles with the legendary Evander Holyfield in the mid-1990s. Bowe took the WBC, WBA & IBF belts from Holyfield in the first meeting, then scored a technical knockout of his rival in the third bout after Holyfield won the rematch.
Mancini (29-5) captured the WBA lightweight title with a first-round TKO of Arturo Frias in 1982 to fulfill the dream of his father Lenny, a former championship contender who had his career cut short after being wounded in World War II.
The younger Mancini was also involved in one of boxing’s most tragic moments, when he knocked out Korean challenger Deuk-Koo Kim in a title defense. Kim died four days after the fight from a brain hemorrhage.
Hamed won the WBO, WBC and IBF featherweights belts during a 10-year career from 1992-2002 and was regarded as one of the premier fighters of his era. One of the flashiest performers of the time as well, he amassed a 36-1 record with 31 knockouts.
The 2015 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place June 14 in Canastota, New York.