Leonard is excited to help pay tribute and welcome to the Hall of Fame former ring rival and 2012 Inductee Thomas “Hitman” Hearns.
“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.
Leonard captured gold at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and turned pro the next year. During his legendary career, he captured world titles in five weight divisions (welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight) and engaged in historic battles with Hall of Famers Hearns, Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. His pro record reads 36-3-1 (25 KOs). In 1997 Leonard was elected into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
“Sugar Ray Leonard was a great champion in an incredible era in boxing history,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “The Hall is so excited to welcome him back to ‘Boxing’s Hometown.’”
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. Boxing stars already confirmed to attend will be Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Johnny Tapia, “Irish” Micky Ward, Ken Norton and many others.
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.
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.