Sports Outside the Beltway

Former Heavyweight Champ Lennox Lewis, others, to be inducted into Boxing HOF

Lewis is the only member I’ve heard of in the 2009 class.

Three-time heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis says he’s proud that enshrinement in the International Boxing Hall of Fame will secure his place in the sport’s history.

“Everybody, when they start something … always wants to leave some kind of legacy behind,” said Lewis. “I’ve been able to accomplish that. To be put in the Hall of Fame is an accomplishment that seals my legacy. It will always be there in history. People can read about it. It gives me great pride.”

Lewis headlined the 2009 induction class announced Tuesday and will enter in the modern-era category, along with American bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales and South African junior lightweight champion Brian Mitchell.

Posthumous honorees included middleweight champion William “Gorilla” Jones, welterweight champion “Mysterious” Billy Smith and middleweight champion Billy Soose in the Old-Timer Category. Nineteenth-century American heavyweight champion Tom Hyer was recognized in the Pioneer Category.

Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. The induction ceremony will be held June 14.

The 43-year-old Lewis retired in 2003 with a record of 41-2-1, including 32 KOs, and enters the hall in his first year of eligibility.

“He definitely belongs in the top six heavyweights of all-time and would have been a threat to any heavyweight champion in history because of his size, his balance and his all-around skill,” said Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, a 1996 inductee.

Lewis in the top 6 heavyweights of all time? I don’t know. Here would be my top 5, not necessarily in order

Rocky Marciano
Muhammad Ali
Joe Louis
Jack Johnson
Jack Dempsey

After that, I suppose you could pick Lewis. Mike Tyson was a hell of a fighter before he self destructed. Larry Holmes was very good, but never earned much respect since he followed Ali. A few others may be up there too.

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