Lennox Lewis to be Inducted Into Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame Aug. 8th

LAS VEGAS, NV. — Superstar heavyweight LENNOX LEWIS, the last undisputed heavyweight champion and who won an Olympic gold medal with a victory over Riddick Bowe and scored professional victories over boxing legends such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko, confirmed Wednesday that he will return to Las Vegas this weekend to attend the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame’s third annual induction gala at Caesars Palace on Saturday, August 8.
 
Lewis is the latest in a gaggle of stars who have announced they’ll attend the popular gala induction ceremony.  In addition to Lewis the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame has confirmed that Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Felix Trinidad, Marco Antonio Barrera, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Roger Mayweather will also attend the high-profile event as the newest members of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.
 
Lewis, who was 41-2-1 with 32 knockouts and had a win over every man he ever faced in the ring, is one of the headliners of the NVBHOF’s 2015 class of inductees, chosen in the non-Nevada boxer category.
 
Lewis avenged the only two losses of his career, stopping both Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman after losing to them earlier.
 
Lewis was a classic boxer with a powerful punch.  He’s probably best known for his 2002 win over Tyson, where he won every round before stopping him in the eighth round.
 
He held all, or a version of, the heavyweight title from 1993 until 1994 and then again from 1997 through the end of his career in 2003
 
Lewis had great success in Nevada and avenged both of his losses in Las Vegas. He was 8-0 in his Nevada career and won fights at both Caesars Palace and Caesars Tahoe.
 
In the latter part of his fighting career, Lewis joined HBO Sports as an expert analyst and was a familiar figure at ringside for many of the biggest bouts of the late 20th and early 21st century in Las Vegas.
 
The Hall was founded by noted boxing broadcaster Rich Marotta. Its chief operating officer is Michelle Corrales-Lewis, whose late husband, Diego Corrales, was an inaugural inductee into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. For more information, phone 702-3-NVBHOF, or 702-368-2463.
 
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), in association with Global Legacy Boxing (GLB) and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), made an official announcement this week, along with Lennox Lewis, that Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will defend his titles against Tommy “Kryptonite” Karpency on Sept. 11 at Toronto’ Ricoh Coliseum in “The Revival: “KO in TO”.
 
The upcoming World Championship title fight card will also see Canadian Heavyweight Champ Dillon “Big Country” Carman defend his title against legendary Donovan “Razor” Ruddock.
 
Global Legacy President Les Woods s, :”I am so pleased to see The Champ, Lennox Lewis, recognized by the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. It’s a privilege and honor to call him my friend and to be a partner teamed with him in Toronto to promote Boxing in Canada.”

Super Bouts Throughout Boxing History

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By: Steve Gallegos

With the long anticipated mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao just a day away, we are going to look back at some of the “Super” bouts throughout boxing history.

Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns– During an era of 4 kings: Hagler, Leonard, Hearns and Duran, this was probably the best fight matchup made from the circle of these 4 legends. The 1st round was one of the best rounds in boxing history as Hearns came out throwing everything he had and rocked Hagler.. Hagler showed his grit as well as a very hard head and weathered the early onslaught. Hearns, who liked to end fights early, tried his best to get Hagler out early and broke his right hand in the process. After a bad cut on the forehead of Hagler, put the possibility of the fight coming to a close, Hagler went in for the kill and put Hearns down and out.
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Marvin Hagler vs “Sugar” Ray Leonard– Like Mayweather vs Pacquiao, this bout was the most anticipated fight in the 1980’s. Both men were superstars with contrasting styles and personalities. Leonard was the charismatic, fun loving hero and Hagler was the blue collar, all American Joe. After many years of waiting as well as many comebacks for Leonard, the fight finally took place in 1987. The fight wasn’t an all out slugfest as Leonard chose to box, move and not engage with Hagler. Hagler started off slow, choosing to fight in an orthodox position as compared to his southpaw style. Ray used the ring, threw flashy combinations and would flurry in the last 30 seconds of each round to try and steal the round. Hagler had his moments in the middle rounds; however this was Ray’s night as he fought a smart fight, won over the crowd and would win over the judges as he won a 12 round split decision.
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Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield– Mike Tyson was considered “The Baddest Man On The Planet” and very few fighters posed a threat to Tyson. After putting off a big payday against Evander Holyfield and electing to give a shot to a 42-1 underdog in James “Buster” Douglas, Tyson was knocked out in 10 rounds in Tokyo, Japan in February of 1990. Holyfied would then knock “Buster” out later on that year to claim the heavyweight title and a showdown between Tyson and Holyfield looked like a done deal. They were scheduled to meet in early 1992; however Tyson’s rape conviction would scrap the fight all together. After Tyson’s release from prison in 1995, he did claim 2 Heavyweight titles over obscure oppostion. Finally in November of 1996, the two met at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Holyfield, who showed he wasn’t intimidated by Tyson fought a well strategized fight in which he kept the fight on the inside and didn’t let Tyson land his hard bombs. The end result was an 11th round TKO for Holyfield.
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Julio Cesar Chavez vs Oscar De La Hoya– It was the most anticipated bout since Hagler vs Leonard. You had the Mexican legend in Chavez who had ruled the 140 lb division for the 7 years and you had the Mexican-American Golden Boy moving up in weight, trying to win his 4th world title. It was a contrast of styles as Chavez was the all action banger and De La Hoya was an exciting boxer/puncher. They met in June of 1996 at the legendary outdoor arena at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. De La Hoya came out using his jab and immediately opened up a huge cut over Chavez’s right eye. The eye continued to bleed badly and in the 4th round, De La Hoya opened and began landing hard left-right combinations. Referee Joe Cortez called time to have the ringside doctor inspect the cut and the bout was stopped awarding De La Hoya the WBC Super Lightweight Championship.
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Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier– It was the fight dubbed as the “Fight Of The Century”. You had 2 undefeated Heavyweight Champions going against each other to see who was the best. Ali had been away from boxing for 3 1/2 years due to refusing induction into the Armed Forces. During Ali’s exile from boxing, a new heavyweight champion came along in “Smokin” Joe Frazier. Frazier; however didn’t garner the same respect as Ali did and many didn’t feel he was the true heavyweight champ. The 2 champions would meet in 1971 and they had the United States of America divided. It was a fight of many twists and turns and the most memorable moment of the fight happened in round 15 when Frazier landed a huge left hook that put Ali down. The end result was a 15 round unanimous decision win for Frazier.
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Forgotten Legends: Mitch Halpern

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By: Steve Gallegos

In this segment of Forgotten Legends, we’re gonna switch gears and focus not on a fighter, but on a referee. The life of a boxing referee can be a difficult one. The “3rd Man” inside the ring is criticized regularly for his actions in a very brutal sport. The sole purpose of the referee is to protect the fighters and most times, the lives of the combatants rests solely in the hands of the referee.

The state of Nevada has been known to produce the best boxing referees in the world, most notably Mills Lane, Richard Steele and Joe Cortez. In the mid-late 90’s there was another referee that was on his way to joining that elite class. His name was Mitch Halpern.

Halpern was a hard nosed, no nonsense referee who refereed some of the biggest bouts in Nevada during the end of the 20th Century. He was known to maintain order while letting the boxers fight their fights. Mitch Halpern began refereeing bouts in 1991. He was mentored by the legendary Nevada referee Richard Steele, who taught Halpern everything there was to know about being a boxing referee.

On 05/06/95, Halpern would referee a bout between Gabriel Ruelas and Jimmy Garcia. It was the co-feature on a big Pay Per View card held at the outdoor arena at Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It was a fight in which Garcia absorbed alot of punishment over the course of 11 rounds, before Halpern stopped the fight. Moments later, Garcia collapsed in his corner and was taken to the hospital, where he would later die due to injuries sustained in the bout.

It was a tragic event on a big stage and many in the boxing media criticized Mitch Halpern for Garcia’s death. This didn’t stop Mitch from refereeing and he continued on with his career.

On 11/09/97, Halpern would referee the biggest fight of his career, which was the first bout between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. It was a tough, physical fight which included a lot of clinching, holding and hitting on the breaks. Halpern had to call time several times to warn the fighters and he did so in a very authoritive way.

Near the end of the 10th, Holyfield caught Tyson flush and put a pounding on him. Halpern almost stepped in to stop the fight, however he let the round come to a close. He would then stop the fight in the 11th after Holyfield again battered Tyson.
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Halpern was chosen to work the Holyfield Tyson rematch seven months later, however the Tyson camp hotly contested Mitch Halpern being the referee; therefore Halpern stepped down and was replaced by Mills Lane.

Tyson would be disqualified in the third round after he bit Holyfield twice on his ears. Had Mitch Halpern been the referee, Tyson wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to bite Holyfield a second time. Halpern would have disqualified Tyson immediately.

Halpern would close out 1997 by refereeing the next two mega bouts in Las Vegas when he worked the highly anticipated showdown between Johnny Tapia and Danny Romero as well as the Heavyweight Championship unificiation bout between Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer. Halpern would close out the millenium by working the last two mega bouts of the 1990’s when he refereed Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Trinidad as well as the second bout between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, which crowned the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world. Halpern would start the new millenium by working another highly anticipated bout when he refereed the first bout between Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera which was an all out war.

Mitch Halpern was at the top of his game and was considered the best referee in Nevada; however it was all about to come to a tragic end. On 08/20/00, Mitch Halpern was found dead from to a gunshot wound to the head, that was ruled a suicide. It was a huge loss and many within the boxing community that were close to Halpern were shocked as he appeared to be very cool and collect.

On 08/26/00, an HBO Boxing After Dark card was held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. All the referee’s working, wore a patch on there sleeve in honor of Mitch Halpern. The main event was a heated battle between Fernando Vargas and Ross Thompson, which was refereed by Joe Cortez. During the pre fight instructions, Cortez said “This one’s for Mitch. Mitch, we love you, we miss you”.

Mitch Halpern was a special referee, who didn’t put up with any nonsense from any fighter, regardless of who they were. As I stated earlier, the life of a boxing referee can be a diffictult one. Did the pressures of being a boxing referee get to Mitch Halpern? In the end he was a very good referee who was on his way to greatness, only to have his life ended too soon.

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