The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) has officially released an announcement on its 2016 inductees, and it includes the first female since the organization held its inaugural awards night three years ago.
Former women’s world junior middleweight champion Christy Martin is among a short list of inductees this year, which also includes ex-heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe and lightweight Ray Mancini, among others.
Rich Marotta, the president and founder of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, and Michelle Corrales-Lewis, made the announcement last week at a news conference in Las Vegas.
Martin, now 47-years old, began her career in 1989, mustering a draw with Angela Buchanan. Less than a month later, the two had a rematch and Martin won by knockout.
Over her career, Martin challenged for world titles three times, but she eventually captured the belt in 2009, with a majority decision over Dakota Stone.
Martin last competed in 2012, when she lost via unanimous decision to Mia St. John.
Aside from Bowe and Mancini, other fighters include Mexican superstar Ricardo “Finito” Lopez; Olympic gold medalist and multiple-time world champion Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, and Freddie Little, the first native Nevadan to become a world champion.
The other honorees are long-time trainer and gym operator Johnny Tocco; legendary trainers Thell Torrance and Kenny Adams; and journalists Tim Dahlberg and James “Smitty” Smith.
The honorees will be officially inducted during a July 30 ceremony at Caesars Palace, which has hosted many of the significant fights of the last half-century.
“Yet again, we have an outstanding class to present for induction,” Marotta said. “It’s a great mix of fighters and we’re thrilled to induct our first woman, the great Christy Martin. This will be a big night for us and will add many legendary names to our already prestigious group of inductees.”
Martin, nicknamed “The Coal Miner’s Daughter”, helped women’s boxing gain widespread public acceptance with her many appearances on Mike Tyson undercards. She became the first woman fighter to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated after a great bout with Deirdre Gogarty in1996. She was 49-7-3 with 31 KOs.
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame was founded by Marotta, a long-time boxing television and radio personality in 2012 and it inducted its first class in 2013. – By Carlos Cinco
Follow this writer on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB