Unbeaten multi-division champions Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather are the headliners in a stellar 13-person class that was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 on Tuesday.
Oakland’s Ward was 32-0 with 16 knockouts and won titles at super middleweight and light heavyweight.
Mayweather won world titles in five weight classes — super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight — while going 50-0 with 27 knockouts and establishing himself as the greatest boxer of his era.
“I’ve been waiting for this call for most of my life,” Ward told Yahoo Sports. “It finally came. I’m a first-ballot Hall of Famer. God has been good to me. I can finally rest now. This chapter of my life is complete.”
Also elected in the men’s modern category was former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who thus joins his older brother, Vitali, in the Hall of Fame. Modern women boxers elected were Laila Ali and Ann Wolfe. Ali is the daughter of the legendary Hall of Famer Muhammad Ali.
Others elected were boxers Davey Moore, Jackie Tonawanda and Miriam Trimiar, as well as cut man Freddie Brown, trainer/manager Jackie McCoy, journalist George Kimball and Showtime television executive Jay Larkin.
Ward, who is now a television boxing analyst, is the last American male to win a gold medal in Olympic boxing. He captured gold at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
He debuted as a pro as a middleweight, but found his niche once he moved to super middleweight. He won Showtime’s Super Six tournament and after a dominant run at 168 pounds, he moved up and became light heavyweight champion, as well.
Induction day is scheduled for June 13 and also will include last year’s class, which was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. The Class of 2020 includes: Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Christy Martin, Lucia Rijker, Barbara Buttrick, Frank Erne, Paddy Ryan, Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva, Dan Goossen, Bernard Fernandez and Thomas Hauser.