Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame Announces
Fifth Class Of 2017 Inductees
Former world champion Thomas Hearns, who along with Sugar
Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran
dominated boxing in the 1980s and became known collectively
as "The Four Kings," headlines a 14-person class of
inductees into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Hall
CEO/president Michelle Corrales-Lewis announced Wednesday.
Hearns was chosen in the non-Nevada resident boxer category,
along with Michael Spinks, Erik Morales, Michael Carbajal,
women's boxing star Lucia Rijker and Salvador Sanchez.
Elected in the Nevada resident boxer category was Ken
Norton, Leon Spinks and Richie Sandoval.
Chosen in the non-boxer category were referee Davey Pearl,
public relations specialist Debbie Munch, promoter Mel Greb,
trainer/cut man Rafael Garcia and Nevada Athletic Commission
chair Dr. Elias Ghanem.
Norton, Sanchez, Greb and Ghanem will be inducted
The members of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame's star-studded
fifth-induction class will be honored at a gala dinner at
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 12. Ticket
will be released Thursday, February 16th at 12pm on
"We are very proud of this class of inductees, and it
contains some of the greatest fighters who ever lived,"
Corrales-Lewis said. "I'm looking forward to our gala dinner
when we can honor these richly deserving people and allow
their fans to say hello."
Hearns was one of the standouts during the 1980s and
participated in a series of great bouts in Las Vegas with
Leonard, Hagler and Duran. His 1985 bout with Hagler at
Caesars Palace is still regarded by many as the greatest
fight in boxing history.
The Spinks brothers, Michael and Leon, become the first set
of brothers inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.
Both won gold medals for the U.S. at the 1976 Olympics in
Montreal and then went on to win world titles in the pros.
Norton, known primarily for a series of close bouts with the
legendary Muhammad Ali, also competed in one of the great
heavyweight title bouts ever. He lost the WBC title by a
razor-thin decision to Larry Holmes in 1978, among the
finest heavyweight championship fights ever held.
Pearl was among the best referees of all-time and worked
more than 70 championship bouts. He was the referee for both
Leon Spinks' shocking 1978 upset of Ali as well as for
Leonard's dramatic 14th-round knockout of Hearns in 1981.
The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame is an IRS 501 (c)3 charity
and all donations are tax deductible. The Hall's charitable
contributions over the five years since its formation have
helped boxers in need and boxing-related charities.
Donations are welcome.
The Hall was founded in 2013 by noted boxing broadcaster
For more information, phone 702-3NVBHOF, or 702-368-2463.
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE NEW HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Michael Carbajal - Best known as the first junior flyweight
to earn a $1 million purse, Carbajal won world titles at
junior flyweight and flyweight. Known as "Little Hands of
Stone" for his punching power, Carbajal was 49-4 with 33
His rivalry with Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez was one of the
best of the early 1990s and their 1993 fight was The Ring
Magazine Fight of the Year. In 2004, The Ring named Carbajal
as the best junior flyweight in history.
He was 98-10 as an amateur and won a silver medal at the
1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Thomas Hearns - Hearns, 58, won recognized world titles at
welterweight, super welterweight, middleweight, super
middleweight and light heavyweight during a career in which
he went 61-5-1 with 48 KOs.
He's most remembered for his savage three-round battle with
Hagler in 1985, but he participated in many of the decade's
biggest and most electric bouts. He fought in Las Vegas 16
times, going 11-4-1 with nine knockouts.
Erik Morales - One of the most exciting fighters of the
early part of the 2000s, Morales is best known for his
series of outstanding fights with arch rival Marco Antonio
Barrera. Morales went 52-9 with 36 knockouts but is best
known for his trilogy with Barrera, two of which were named
Ring Fight of the year.
Morales won major world titles at super bantamweight,
featherweight, super featherweight and super lightweight,
becoming the first Mexican born fighter to win titles in
four weight classes.
He also engaged in a spectacular trilogy with Manny
Pacquiao, beating him in the first and dropping the last
Ken Norton - Though he was the heavyweight champion before
losing his belt to Larry Holmes in one of the great title
bouts ever, Norton was best known for his three fights with
the legendary Muhammad Ali. Norton defeated Ali in 1973 in
San Diego in their first bout, breaking Ali's jaw.
Ali won the two subsequent bouts, including a 1976 match at
Yankee Stadium for the title. Some observers believe Norton
deserved to win all three fights.
The Holmes fight was sensational and the two men stood in
the center of the ring at Caesars and slugged it out in the
15th and final round.
Lucia Rijker - Rijker is regarded as one of, if not the
best, women boxers in history. She was 17-0 with 14
knockouts in boxing and was 37-0-1 with 25 knockouts as a
In her boxing career, she scored dominant wins over the
likes of Jane Couch, Marcela Acuna and Chevelle Hallback.
She later appeared in the Oscar-winning film, "Million
Salvador Sanchez - Sanchez tragically died in an auto
accident in Mexico at just 23 years old, robbing the world
of one of the elite fighters in history well before his
time. Sanchez was 44-1-1 with 32 knockouts and was the
lineal featherweight champion from 1980 until his death in
He won the title by knocking out Danny "Little Red" Lopez,
but is best known for a dominating eighth-round stoppage of
Wilfredo Gomez. Gomez was 33-0 with 32 knockouts but was no
match for Sanchez.
Richie Sandoval - Sandoval held the bantamweight title for
two years, but his career, as great as it was, is a question
of what might have been. He was a member of the 1980 U.S.
Olympic boxing team, but he lost his chance at a medal when
President Carter decided to boycott the Games in Moscow.
Sandoval won the first 29 fights of his pro career, racking
up 17 knockouts, and beat the great Jeff Chandler for the
But tragically, Sandoval suffered serious boxing related
injuries in a 1986 bout with Gaby Canizales and was forced
Leon Spinks - Spinks is most known for upsetting Muhammad
Ali in 1978 in just his eighth pro fight to win the
heavyweight championship. He lost the title in a rematch and
failed in two other attempts to win a title. He was stopped
by Larry Holmes in a heavyweight title fight in 1981 and
lost a cruiserweight title challenge in Reno to Dwight
Muhammad Qawi in 1986.
A colorful figure known as "Neon" Leon, he was an acclaimed
amateur who was 178-7 with 133 KOs and the light heavyweight
gold at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
He finished his professional career with a 26-17-3 mark and
Michael Spinks - Spinks was 31-1 in his career and won both
the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. He moved up
from light heavyweight to defeat Larry Holmes at the Riviera
in 1985, denying Holmes the opportunity to go 49-0 and match
Rocky Marciano's record.
He won the light heavyweight title in his 17th pro fight in
1981 at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas when he bested the
much more experienced Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. Spinks held
the light heavyweight title for four years, before giving it
up to move to heavyweight to fight Holmes.
A 1976 Olympic gold medalist, Spinks' only pro loss came in
his final fight when he was knocked out by Mike Tyson in a
bout for the undisputed heavyweight title.
NON-BOXER INDUCTEE BIOGRAPHIES
Rafael Garcia - Garcia, 87, is best known for his cap he
wears festooned with pins and for working as Floyd
Mayweather's hand wrapper. But he had a long career as both
a cut man and a trainer and was outstanding at both. He
worked with elite fighters such as Mayweather, Roberto
Duran, Alexis Arguello and Wilfredo Gomez.
Dr. Elias Ghanem - Ghanem as the long-time chairman of the
Nevada Athletic Commission, and was responsible for helping
it to earn the moniker, "The greatest commission in the
Ghanem, a physician whose patients once included Elvis
Presley, played a key role in the hearings after Mike Tyson
bit Evander Holyfield, and also was instrumental in bringing
the Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad bout to Las Vegas in
Mel Greb - Known as "The father of professional boxing in
Southern Nevada," Greb was a promoter and matchmaker who
first brought Muhammad Ali to Nevada. Then known as Cassius
Clay, Greb promoted Ali's seventh pro fight in 1961. That
week, he introduced Ali to wrestler "Gorgeous" George, and
Ali patterned himself after George in many ways.
Greb died in 1996 at 75 years old.
Debbie Munch - Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was a legendary
host for many of boxing's biggest fights in the 1980s and
early 1990s, and Munch, a public relations expert, was
instrumental in it.
She was widely respected by promoters, boxers and the media
and helped many journalists immeasurably with their boxing
Davey Pearl - Pearl was small of stature, but was a giant as
a referee. He worked more than 70 world title bouts,
including Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks and Sugar Ray
Pearl was also a highly regarded judge.