June 2, 2001 – By Paul Upham: The International Boxing Hall of Fame has announced that five-division world champion and Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard will attend events planned for the 12th annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, June 7-10 in Canastota, New York.
Leonard burst onto the boxing scene by winning a gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games. As a professional, he captured world titles in five weight divisions (welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super-middleweight and light-heavyweight) and registered wins over such standouts as Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and Hall of Famers Wilfred Benitez and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
American Leonard was elected into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997.
“Sugar Ray Leonard is a legend,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame is absolutely thrilled to again welcome him to boxing’s hometown.”
Leonard will join over 40 boxing stars of yesterday and today.
The Hall of Fame Weekend, which is next weekend, will feature over 20 exciting events, including a professional boxing show, a banquet, a boxing autograph card show, a golf tournament, a parade and the official induction ceremony honouring the new inductees.
This years new inductees to be honoured are Ismael Laguna from Panama, Sugar Ramos from Mexico, amateur icon Laszlo Papp from Hungary, promoter Don Chargin, record keeper/cutman Ralph Citro, New York Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo and trainer George Benton.
According to Hall of Fame officials, this years Hall of Fame weekend festivities will attract a record number of boxing celebrities and fans from around the world. Also, the recent announcement of Tony Sirico, “Paulie Walnuts” from The Sopranos, as Parade of Champion Grand Marshal has generated a tremendous amount of anticipation for the weekend.