The Big Question: Who should be in the IBHOF Class of 2018?

Boxing Monthly
20/10/2017 10:53am

The annual ballot for the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota has been revealed. Electors are given five votes, with the top three boxers then enshrined during the Hall of Fame weekend. We asked the Boxing Monthly online team which three modern boxers on the below ballot most deserve to get the nod...

  • Yuri Arbachakov
  • Paulie Ayala
  • Nigel Benn
  • Ivan Calderon
  • Sot Chitalada 
  • Don Curry
  • Chris Eubank
  • Leo Gamez
  • Ricky Hatton
  • Genaro Hernandez
  • Julian Jackson
  • Vitali Klitschko
  • Santos Laciar
  • Rocky Lockridge 
  • Miguel 'Happy' Lora
  • James 'Buddy' McGirt
  • Henry Maske
  • Dariusz Michalczewski
  • Sung Kil Moon
  • Michael Moorer
  • Erik Morales
  • Orzubek 'Gussie' Nazarov
  • Sven Ottke
  • Vinny Pazienza
  • Gilberto Roman
  • Gianfranco Rosi
  • Samuel Serrano
  • Meldrick Taylor
  • Fernando Vargas
  • Wilfredo Vazquez
  • Ratanapol Sor Vorapin
  • Ronald 'Winky' Wright

Erik Morales is the obvious choice. Universally recognised among the Mexican greats, 'El Terrible' won titles at 122, 126, 130 and 140lbs. His trilogies with Barrera and Pacquiao were the stuff of legends. My second vote goes to Donald Curry, who was the legitimate welterweight champ and grabbed a title at 154lbs as well. Many forget about his stellar amateur career (400+ bouts); The 'Lone Star Cobra' would’ve likely taken gold in Moscow had the Americans not boycotted the 1980 Olympic games. Third on my ballot is Leo Gamez, considered by many to be one of the best fighters from Venezuela. 'Torito' won titles at 105, 108, 112 and 115lbs. - Michael Montero

Erik Morales is the obvious candidate from the list. A superlative talent and one of my favourites. Then I'd go for Donald Curry - not an obvious choice but whilst his career did take a serious nose-dive after his brief peak he was a great talent. Finally I;d go for Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright, who was sorely underrated by the wider boxing public during his long period of campaigning at the high end of a few divisions. His unique defence alone deserves to be remembered. - James Oddy

Is it mandatory to pick three? If not, I'd go for Erik Morales on his own. If forced to pick another two, I'd go for Donald Curry and Meldrick Taylor (based on them being the best fighters from the remaining field). I considered Vazquez, too. I imagine Vitali Klitschko will get in (being a heavyweight) but I don't think his record warrants it. - Andrew Harrison

I'm not going on records here... just reacting to standout memories/ fights (a bit like picking Paolo Di Canio as one of my favourite footballers of all time). So I'd go for Ronald 'Winky' Wright - a fine technician/switch hitter; vividly remember him teaching many boxing lessons. Gianfranco Rosi - ditto, a similar style to Winky (yup, a theme's repeating itself) plus he's my namesake and Italian so I can't leave him out! Finally, Meldrick Taylor because he was seconds away from beating a prime Julio Cesar Chavez. - Luca Rosi

Erik Morales is the obvious pick. The only reason not to choose him is the failed test for clenbuterol ahead of the Danny Garcia rematch. I'd also go for Gilberto Roman, who was one of the best super flyweights in history. The former lineal champion notched wins over the likes of Jiro Wantanabe, Sugar Baby Rojas, Kiyoshi Hatanaka and Santos Lanciar - with most of his defences being away from home. The third pick was incredibly difficult. For me, Ronald 'Winky' Wright just pips Julian Jackson and Vitali Klitschko. - John A. MacDonald

As crazy as it seems to miss out the likes of Benn and Eubank and to have to overlook 'Winky Wright' and Vitali Klitschko I would go for: 1) Erik Morales: the one name on that list that just has to be picked. 2) Dariusz Michalczewski, who was not as bad as non-Europeans thought: 23 defences. 9 years as world champ, a two-weight world champion, four world title belts - and avoided by Roy Jones Jr when he was the only person with a chance of beating him during his Superman era. 3) Julian Jackson: a legendary puncher whose power has become the stuff of legends as time goes on. - Colin Harris

My picks would be Erik Morales (obvious first selection); Julian Jackson (P4P hardest puncher ever) and Leo Gamez (world titles in four divisions). - Mark Butcher

As almost everyone else has pointed out, Erik Morales is the only lock among this selection. After that you could make a decent case for half a dozen or so. From a British perspective, I think you could argue quite strongly for Nigel Benn's inclusion - certainly his victory against Gerald McClellan matches - if not surpasses - anything achieved by others on this list for pure drama. Although, if Benn gets in then so should arch rival Eubank, who went an unbeaten 3-1-0 in four fights with Benn and fellow domestic rival Michael Watson. However, I'd leave both of them out of my top three and instead plump for Ricky Hatton, whose case for inclusion is far stronger. The popular Mancunian deposed an outstanding champion in Kostya Tszyu, who was himself inducted to the HOF in 2011. If Tszyu - who lost to Vince Phillips - has already made it to Canastota then why shouldn't Hatton? The Mancunian's 45-3 career was only stained by reverses to all-time greats Mayweather and Pacquiao, and by an ill-advised comeback loss against Vyacheslav Senchenko. Alongside Morales and Hatton, I'll plump for the murderous fists of Julian Jackson, just ahead of the claims of Ronald 'Winky' Wright and Leo Gamez. I'd also like to give a shout out to Sumbu Kalambay, who remains, to my mind, inexplicably absent from the ballot, despite the fact he defeated Steve Collins, Herol Graham (twice), Mike McCallum, Robbie Sims, Doug DeWitt and Iran Barkley in a 57-6-1 career. If he was there, I'd vote for Congolese-born Italian Kalambay ahead of Jackson. - Luke G. Williams

Final count: Morales 7, Curry 3, Wright 3, Jackson 3, Gamez 2, Taylor 2, Rosi 1, Michalczewski 1, Roman 1, Hatton 1