Julian Jackson, James “Buddy” McGirt and Donald Curry will be gracing the corridors of the International Boxing Hall of Fame next year after the Class of 2019 was announced on Wednesday afternoon. The three fighters were the “modern” category selections and will be enshrined in Canastota, N.Y. at the 2019 induction week ceremonies which take place June 6 through 9.
Jackson (55-6, 49 knockouts) is generally considered one of the sport’s hardest punchers in history. A former WBA junior middleweight and two-time WBC junior middleweight champion, Jackson fought from 1981 to 1998, and was ranked no. 25 on THE RING’s Top 100 Puncher of All-Time list in 2003. His right hand produced numerous highlight reel KOs, including Terry Norris, Herol Graham and Buster Drayton.
McGirt (73-6-1, 48 KOs) was an IBF junior welterweight and WBC welterweight titleholder who was among the best pound-for-pound technicians of the late 80s-early 90s. The Long Island native won his first title in 1988, avenging his first loss to Frankie Warren, and put on a master class in boxing against Simon Brown to lift his second championship in 1991. His biggest fights came against Pernell Whitaker, whom he lost a pair of decisions to. He’s best known these days as a trainer, and was the Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year for 2002.
Curry (34-6, 25 KOs) had been one of the notable exclusions in recent years. The Lone Star Cobra became the undisputed welterweight champion in 1986 after unifying with Milton McCrory, and had defeated Gianfranco Rosi to become WBC junior middleweight champ. He had been looked at as the natural successor to the title of boxing’s top talent in the post-Leonard/Hagler era before a series of shock losses slowed his ascension.
In the “old-timer” category, Tony DeMarco (58-12-1, 33 KOs), perhaps the oldest living world champion at age 86, will finally get his day in the Hall. DeMarco ended Johnny Saxton’s welterweight championship reign in 1955 by 14th round TKO, but lost the belt two months later by stoppage to Carmen Basilio.
Among non-combatants, Teddy Atlas, the long-time commentator and trainer who recently made headlines for guiding Oleksandr Gvozdyk to the WBC light heavyweight title this past weekend, plus judge Guy Jutras, Top Rank publicist Lee Samuels, matchmaker Don Elbaum and journalist Mario Rivera Martino will also be enshrined.
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