When Professional Boxing Businessman and IBHOF Elector Rick Glaser broke the news of the 2019 inductees to Punchline, there was a relief of “Finally!” a little disappointment but overall a great class including a personal favorite publicist with a well deserved honor!
MODERN ERA INDUCTEES:
DONALD “LONE STAR COBRA” CURRY: Finally, after 15 years on the ballot! He was a welterweight with a career record of 34-6 (25 KOs). I think he was hurt by not meeting extremely high career expectations. Media and public projected him to be a $10 million fighter in the 1980s, which today would be like a $100 million fighter. He became a $2 or $3 million fighter, but his talents amateur and professional certainly are Hall of Fame worthy. He held all the major titles in the welterweight division,. I.B.F., W.B.C. and W.B.A.
JAMES “BUDDY” McGIRT: An old-school professional, two-time welterweight champion with record of 73-6-1 (48). He was a smart boxer with tricks of the trade and a throwback fighter for his time. It’s also a case of perseverance as the victim of the politics of boxing. When his first reign as champion ended in 1988 at the hands of Meldrick Taylor, it took Buddy 17 bouts to get another shot at a world title and he took full advantage when he dethroned Simon Brown. Lost belts to Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker as shoulder injuries hampered him late in his career.
JULIAN “THE HAWK” JACKSON: Light middleweight and middleweight champion with a record of 55-6 (49). He may be the surprise inductee of the year. He is one of the all time hardest punchers nonetheless, and his YouTube knockout highlights have earned him a millennial fan base for those that see the dynamic power. Quiet, soft spoken outside of the ring, he would transform into a beast inside of the ropes.
OLD TIMERS INDUCTEES:
“BOSTON BOMBER” TONY DeMARCO: Welterweight champion with a record of 58-12-1 (33). He was a very popular New England fighter who had wars with Gasper Ortega and Virgil Atkins.
DON ELBAUM, PROMOTER/MATCHMAKER: He promoted more than 1,000 shows and worked with the likes of Willie Pep, Sugar Ray Robinson and Aaron Pryor.
LEE SAMUELS, PUBLICIST: The Top Rank Promotions publicist is a well deserved inductee. On a personal note, thanks for always taking car of me at Top Rank events! He is one of boxing’s hardest workers and a real class act.
TEDDY ATLAS, BROADCASTER: Atlas wasMike Tyson’s first trainer who should also be honored as a trainer. As a broadcaster he has not been shy about exposing the corrupt side of the sport or to just give his honest opinion from someone that has been in the sport for more than 40 years.
MARIO RIVERA, WRITER: The longtime Puerto Rican journalist received a posthumous honor.
GUY JUTRAS, JUDGE: Jutras had a five-bout career before becoming a judge. The Canadian official also was an inspector and supervisor of events.
NOTABLES WHO DIDN’T GET IN:
RICKY “THE HITMAN” HATTON: I suspect his time is coming. He has only been on the ballot for two years.
CHRIS JOHN: With a career record of 48-1-3 (22), the Indonesian fighter was a longtime featherweight champion. Among his victories was a unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez. He didn’t fight much outside of his home country, but he was a master boxer. Perhaps the lack of exposure through his career is holding up his Hall of Fame honor.
GENARO “CHICANITO” HERNANDEZ: The junior lightweight champion had a record of 38-2-1 (17). A pure master boxer from South Central Los Angeles, his only losses were to Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. The honor, when it happens, will be posthumous as cancer took his life too soon. His brother Rudy is one of the best trainers/cutmen in boxing and MMA today.
IVAN CALDERON: ThePuerto Rican was a 105 pound technician with a career record of 35-3-1 (6). There seems to be a theme as I don’t know if the lack of knockout artistry is keeping a certain few from the Hall of Fame. Every round that he showed his Picasso-like boxing skills was a site to admire.
WILFREDO VASQUEZ: With a record of 56-9-2 (41), the junior featherweight and featherweight champion took on all comers. He is definitely deserving of Hall of Fame honors someday.
GERALD McCLELLAN: WBC Middleweight Champion. 31-3 (29). Was likely on his way to a sure Hall of Fame career. Bout with Nigel Benn ended with a severe brain injury that has “The G-Man” under 24 hour care to this day. A fighter not only not inducted but not even on the ballot. I think he is deserving of mention and eventual honor.
About the Editor
Army Veteran and former Professional Boxer Simon Ruvalcaba started boxing at the age of ten and Had a 71 fight amateur career which featured a 139 lbs. 1998 8th U.S. Army Boxing Championship out of Camp Casey, Korea and a spot on the prestigious Army Boxing Team at Fort Hood, TX. After a journeyman pro career of 18 fights, which included sparring sessions with many champions and contenders including Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Simon started writing and has contributed to many publications and websites including fighthype.com, pound4pound.com, Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) and also writes a monthly boxing column for Tahoeonstage.com. He has also been the Boxing Instructor for Ken Shamrock and The Lions Den and was UFC star Paige VanZant’s first boxing coach!
Born and Raised in South Lake Tahoe, California he now resides in Sun Valley, Nevada and spends as much time as possible with his Son Gabriel! Beyond boxing, Simon is an all around sports fanatic and is passionate about the teams that he roots for!