“Roberto Duran was one of the greatest to ever step into the boxing ring,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “Known as ‘Hands of Stone’ for his devastating punching power, Duran is revered by boxing fans the world over.”
The Panamanian superstar turned pro in 1968 and boxed in five decades. He captured world championships in four weight divisions (lightweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight) and during his career registered wins over Esteban DeJesus, Iran Barkley, Davey Moore and Hall of Famers Ken Buchanan, Carlos Palomino, Pipino Cuevas and Sugar Ray Leonard. His pro record is 103-16 (70 KOs).
The banquet, which will be held at the Syracuse OnCenter, is a one-of-a-kind event with over 40 boxing celebrities under one roof. Duran, who was inducted in his first year of eligibility in 2007, will join fellow Hall of Famers Marvelous Marvin Hagler (1993) and Sugar Ray Leonard (1997) at the banquet to help pay tribute and welcome to the Hall of Fame their former ring rival and 2012 Inductee Thomas “Hitman” Hearns.
“I'm very pleased and happy to return to the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota and see my good friend Thomas Hearns getting inducted into such a wonderful place,” said Duran.
Both Hagler and Leonard are also looking forward to honoring “The Hitman.”
"I watched Thomas Hearns grow from amateur status to a professional, until he became a World Champion, who faced his boxing challengers with courage and determination. I am glad that he finally has retired for good! I believe that Boxing Hall of Fame makes a good choice. Thomas Hearns deserves to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and be recognized as one of the best. I have tremendous respect for Hearns. My congratulations!" said Hagler.
“Tommy was such an imposing and incredibly exciting fighter. People were in awe of his power and speed. He would out-speed the boxers. He would annihilate the punchers. He was one of my toughest fights without question. He brought the best out of me and he told me I brought the best out of him. I’m so excited for my friend to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Leonard
The event will consist of cocktails, dinner, celebrity comments, video highlights, a commemorative program and much more. Tickets are priced at $135 and corporate tables of 10 are available at $1350.
Also at the banquet, the Hall of Fame will help Duran celebrate the 40th anniversary of his lightweight title win over Ken Buchanan at Madison Square Garden on June 26, 1972.
“Forty years ago I beat Ken Buchanan for my first world title in Madison Square Garden. I look forward to stepping back into the famous Madison Square Garden ring that is on display at the Hall of Fame. I'm very very happy and proud to take not only my name but to take my country Panama to Canastota with me,” said Duran.
“We’re thrilled to help Roberto Duran commemorate the landmark anniversary of his first world championship,” said Brophy.
In addition to the banquet, events planned for the weekend include a heavyweight bash, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2012. Joining Hearns as living inductees to be honored at the Official Induction Ceremony on Sunday, June 10th are two-division champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” ring announcer Michael Buffer, trainer Freddie Roach, broadcaster Al Bernstein and journalist Michael Katz. Posthumous inductees will also be honored.
For more information on the Hall of Fame’s 23rd Annual Induction Weekend please call (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.