Since 1990, the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) has honored legends of boxing. Located in Canastota, New York, the IBHOF is one of the two most recognized boxing halls of fame in the world, along with the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Riverside, California.
Over the years, the IBHOF has shone the spotlight on legendary fighters such as Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, and Rocky Marciano. And these were only a part of the 1990 inaugural class of inductees. Trainers, boxing journalists, and other supporters of the “sweet science” are also eligible for induction.
Organizers held the 2022 IBHOF induction ceremony at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Due to event cancellations in the two previous years, the 2022 program inducted three years’ worth of champions. The inductees included Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roy Jones Jr., Wladimir Klitschko, and numerous others. Notably, Christy Martin and Laila Ali were among 10 women inducted, making the 2022 event the first time female boxers were honored.
Here are capsule portraits of some of the major male boxers inducted into the IBHOF in 2022. The female fighters merit an entire discussion in their own right.
Bernard Hopkins (born in Philadelphia in 1965) is one of the greatest and most dominant middleweights ever. He became known as “The Executioner” due to his fast moves and precision-drill hitting. In 2013, he gave himself the nickname “The Alien,” referencing his superb physical conditioning and seemingly uncanny inability to age. His career lasted from 1986 to 2016, and he was winning major fights in his late 40s.
After losing his first professional fight, Hopkins went on to emerge victorious 22 in a row. He had trouble early in his career finding important bouts, but when he beat Keith Holmes in 2001, he became the first unified (International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Council) middleweight champion since Marvin Hagler. He then successfully defended the title against the previously undefeated Félix Trinidad.
In 2004, Hopkins reached the high point of his career when he fought the legendary Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas, knocking De La Hoya out in the ninth round. Hopkins retired in 2016 after a devastating eighth-round stoppage in a bout with Joe Smith Jr.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Most authorities consider Floyd Mayweather Jr. (born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1977) as one of the best boxers, pound-for-pound, ever to stand in the ring. Throughout his career, Mayweather competed in five different weight classes, notably featherweight. He became known as “Pretty Boy” thanks to his undamaged face.
A national Golden Gloves winner in 1993, ‘94, and ‘96, Mayweather took home the bronze in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. In October 1996, he turned professional and knocked out Roberto Apodaca in the second round. He first gained widespread fame in 2007, when as a four-division champion he beat six-division champ Oscar De La Hoya in a super-welterweight contest billed as “The World Awaits.”
In 2008 Mayweather retired undefeated in 50 fights, just before he’d been scheduled for a rematch with La Hoya. He returned 18 months later to beat Juan Manuel Márquez in 12 rounds. In 2012, he earned the World Boxing Association light middleweight title by defeating Miguel Cotto—another 2022 IBHOF inductee—and continued fighting until retirement in 2017.
Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones Jr. (born in Pensacola, Florida, in 1969), won a 1988 silver Olympic medal, missing the gold in one of sports’ most controversial decisions. He turned pro in 1989 and quickly earned fame for his lightning-fast reflexes and the flow of his punches.
Jones won across four of boxing’s weight classes over the period from 1989 to 2018 and was only the second boxer ever to go from light heavyweight champion to heavyweight champion. Among his notable opponents was Bernard Hopkins, whom he beat in 1993 to earn the International Boxing Federation middleweight title. In 2003 he wrested the World Boxing Council light heavyweight belt from Antonio Tarver, but he lost to Tarver in two later encounters. His later chronology of losses included one to Hopkins, 17 years after their first fight. Years after sportswriters and fans thought he should have, Jones retired from the ring in 2018.
Wladimir Klitschko (born in Kazakhstan in 1976) is the younger brother of fellow IBHOF-er Vitali Klitschko. Now a Ukrainian citizen, Wladimir Klitschko, who stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall, has become an international hero in the heavyweight class among multiple divisions. He won nearly all his 140 amateur contests and earned a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.
Klitschko became a professional boxer in 1996, fighting on the same card as his brother. After a string of losses, he brought himself back through focused training and garnered four championships in the years from 2005 to 2011. His 22-fight winning streak ended at the hands of Tyson Fury in 2015, and he suffered another major loss to Anthony Joshua two years later. Klitschko retired in 2017. Today, he and his brother are among the heroic defenders of Ukraine in the country’s fight to maintain its independence from Russia.