Bradley, Froch, Rafael Marquez top boxing Hall of Fame class

CANASTOTA, N.Y. (AP) — Timothy Bradley Jr. and Rafael Marquez, two-division champions whose exciting styles earned both of them “Fight of the Year” honors, and Carl Froch were inducted Wednesday to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

The three fighters will make up the men’s modern category when the 10-member class of 2023 is enshrined next June.

Bradley won his first 140-pound title in 2008 and moved up to take a welterweight title from Manny Pacquiao by split decision in 2012. Bradley defended the title by outlasting Ruslan Provodnikov in what was voted the Fight of the Year in 2013. Bradley would eventually suffer his only two losses in rematches with Pacquiao, finishing 33-2-1 with one no-contest. He is now an analyst for ESPN.

Marquez (41-9, 37 KOs) is best known for his four-fight series with Israel Vazquez. Marquez — whose brother Juan Manuel Marquez was inducted in 2020 — took the first bout by seventh-round stoppage to win a super bantamweight title after previously holding a belt at bantamweight. Vazquez came back to win the next two — they were voted Fight of the Year in 2007 and 2008 — and Marquez evened things up with a third-round knockout in 2010.

Froch was among the top super middleweights of his era. His only losses were to unbeaten Andre Ward in the finals of a tournament for a 168-pound title, and to Mikkel Kessler in a defeat he later avenged in 2013 to give him two belts in the division. He defended them both twice before retiring in 2014 at 33-2 with 24 KOs. The native of Britain has since worked for Sky Sports.

“Boxing is the best sport in the world,” Froch said in comments provided by the Hall. “It tests everything in a man and a woman. The mentality, discipline, grit, determination, heart, desire, everything is all in that ring and it is just you on your own with your opponent.”

The inductees were selected by vote of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Inducted from the women’s modern category were Laura Serrano, Mexico’s first female boxing champion and the first women’s boxing Hall of Famer, and Alicia Ashley, a Jamaican who became the oldest woman to win a title at 48 and boxed until she was 50.

“I dedicated my whole life to boxing and I did my best in those days when it was very difficult for women to fight especially in my country of Mexico, where I fought for women’s rights,” said Serrano, whose success helped lead to a reversal of a ban on women’s boxing in Mexico City.

Brad Goodman, Top Rank’s matchmaker for nearly four decades, and Brad Jacobs, the promotional company’s chief operating officer since 2010, were selected in the non-participant category along with longtime trainer and broadcaster Joe Goossen.

Goossen’s brother, Dan, was a promoter inducted in 2020.

Tim Ryan, the longtime CBS lead boxing announcer who called Sugar Ray Leonard bouts against Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns among his more than 300 championship fights, was chosen in the observer category. He was joined by Seth Abraham, the executive who oversaw HBO’s growth into a boxing broadcasting power.

Tiger Jack Fox, Pone Kingpetch and women’s trailblazer JoAnn Hagen were inducted posthumously.

The enshrinement weekend is June 8-11.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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